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Hockey, Bombs & Belgians

NOON -- IRVINE, Calif. -- Bomb threats at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Harry Potter, the CommVault hockey team, and Belgian idiosyncrasies were just some of the more eclectic topics that cropped up during presentations at the Data Protection Summit this week.

First up, HP exec Belinda Wilson used the ever-popular DMV to illustrate a point about the location of corporate data centers. (See Users Talk Power Pains.) At a time of heightened concern about terrorist attacks, Wilson asked the audience how they would feel about sharing a building with the FBI. While many might view the nation's leading law enforcement agency as a huge target, it's actually the DMV that gets the most bomb threats in the U.S. [Ed. note: Go figure.]

Strangest analogy of the week came from Seagate director Michael Willett, who turned boy wizard Harry Potter into a unit of storage measurement during a keynote yesterday. Some 161 exabytes (that's 161 billion Gbytes) of data were created last year, he said, adding that this is roughly equivalent to 12 stacks of the latest Harry Potter novel stretching between the Earth and the sun. Talk about a total eclipse of the mind!

CommVault's Chief Evangelist Randy DeMeno (yes, that was the title on his PowerPoint) couldn't resist a jockish jibe at Dell at the start of his own keynote. "Is there anyone here from Dell? I can't talk about the 13-0 result we had against them the other week," he crowed.

The exec, who is captain of the CommVault hockey team, also told IT managers to be grateful they are building data archives in Boston and not Brussels. "The most bizarre retention law I have heard is in the country of Belgium, where they have a 100-year retention period. They will be going from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2080," he quipped.

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