While some other events in the region seem to have struggled to retain their audience the organisers and sponsors of these three key conferences in the calendar were more than happy with the increase in attendance and support from the industry with new records being set in almost every respect.
The conferences featured over 130 sessions across nine tracks focusing in on the areas of cloud computing services; desktop, server and storage virtualization; converged data center networking; data center efficiencies; data protection and business continuity and of course the many aspects of data storage. Speakers came from across Europe and the United States to address the audience drawn this year from 29 different countries, and many sessions featured ‘standing-room-only’ as delegates were drawn to some of the hottest topics on the agenda.
Overall attendance this year was up 13% on 2009 with well over 1,700 attendees over the two days, of which almost 1,300 represented IT end-users, systems integrators, consultants, press, analysts and bloggers. This figure of ‘quality’ delegates as defined by co-owners of the SNIA events, was itself up 17% on the 2009 figure and was a reflection of the continuing importance of these conferences in the IT calendar. As it is usual for events of this nature the majority of attendees were drawn from the German, Swiss and Austrian markets with the Benelux region, the UK, Nordics and Eastern Europe all well represented among the 29 countries in total at the events. The most heavily represented industries were Finance, Banking, Insurance and Telecommunications.
Not only were delegate numbers up on 2009 but so were the sponsors in attendance, with 30 new vendors joining the exhibition floor swelling the total number of companies supporting the event to over 70, compared to a previous record of 56 in 2008. Business talk was brisk and intense with new opportunities being discussed and existing relationships strengthened between suppliers and buyers and many collaborative discussions taking place among the vendors themselves, laying down routes for future business opportunities.
The third cornerstone of the events, the media program, was once again a key success factor with over 50 international press, analysts and bloggers in attendance from 11 countries across the region. The airways were heavy with news traffic from the busy press room and show-floor, as the assembled vendors maximised the time available to share new product information, discuss customer wins or simply build and develop contacts in the media.
In the run-up to the conferences organisers Angel Business Communications surveyed the registered delegates on a number of aspects of the their storage, data centre and IT virtualisation plans and experiences and we are pleased to share some of these with you here.
One of the hottest topics around in the conference program and on the show floor was that of ‘Cloud’ and all that it encompasses. Today only very few organisation have already committed to using cloud services for data storage with only 2% saying they had already implemented these offerings and just 11% planning to in 2011. 79% of respondents are not considering these services yet and the main obstacle sited for not moving towards cloud storage are concerns around security with 45 % seeing that as the biggest obstacle.
When the various aspects of virtualisation were discussed the results are more positive, with 71% of respondents expecting to have at least 40% of their production server environment virtualized by the end of 2010; 22% expecting to have at least 40% of their desktops virtualized by that time and 39% saying they will have at least 40% of their production storage environment virtualized in the same period. So there is still some way to go before over half of the various elements of most organisations IT infrastructure is virtualized but certainly a strong indication that those numbers will be reached sometime in 2011.
When the organisers asked about the issues that topped delegates’ concerns in their IT environment, management complexity topped the list of issues in the datacenter with 53% respondents saying it is one of their biggest challenges.
Storage/data management and server virtualization, both head the lists of data centre projects and investments in the next 12 months followed by infrastructure consolidation and storage virtualization.
Finally, when asked about the issues that those surveyed saw as being the most important in respect of their storage environment, limiting storage acquisition costs (purchase of hardware, software, cloud, etc.) came out on top with limiting storage maintenance costs (service contracts, upgrades, etc.) next, followed by limiting storage administration costs (staff, training, etc.) and making their storage strategy compliant to company and other rules and legislation. In line with this, 55% say budgets will be at least as big if not bigger for storage in 2011 while only 15% say it will decrease.
So as the organisers and SNIA Europe start to plan for 2011 these results will certainly be taken into account as the program is put together - but if you have any inputs to the program you saw this year or areas you think you would like to see more time spent on the agenda please feel free write to the conference director, Paul Trowbridge c/o EVITO Ltd at email@example.com.
One final note, dates for the 2011 editions of SNW Europe, Datacenter Technologies and Virtualization World are one week later than normal on the 2nd/3rd November - we revert to our more ‘normal’ dates in 2012.
Tags: The Cloud