Next week is Storage Networking World (SNW) and I'll be there doing my normal semi-live blog updates as we work through each day of briefings. Seems like most of the storage community will be there as well, at least according to my calendar of 25 briefings and growing. Along with the briefings I'll sneak into a few of the sessions and I also will be watching SNW itself to see how it is keeping up with VMworld, the BDEvent and the scores of supplier hosted events like EMC's, NetApp's and others.
This show should not be judged, as some try to do, as an indicator of the economic impact on the storage industry. Considering the number of questions I am asked about SNW, there are questions in the storage community on where these shows should be placed against other marketing priorities, especially in this economy. Earlier this year I did an entry on SNW's relevance and other than getting a few constructive emails from SNIA members, I also received a similar amount of emails from the supplier and end user community expressing agreement.
Most end users that responded indicated they would like to go but that Orlando or Phoenix was not in the travel budget. Since the sessions are supposed to be the most valuable component of SNW, I get concerned when it is in relatively small markets. I'm not an event planner so I'm sure there is more to it but I wonder why these events are not in major cities like New York, Chicago or San Francisco? At least keep it in Dallas. Don't get me wrong, as a runner I love Phoenix, but I don't know if its the best location for the show, especially now.
As I prep for travel to Phoenix I'm curious to know what the major trends coming out of the show will be. Will there be, like we saw at VMworld, an increased focus on the SMB market by the vendors? Will everyone claim to have a cloud storage offering? Will deduplication fights break out in the hallways?
Most of all, if your going let me know what you are looking to learn about. If your are not going, why not and if you could go what would you want to know about? We'll try to get those questions answered for you.