Home > Uncategorized > Dell’s “Fluid Forward Think Tank – Let’s Talk Storage” – wrap-up

Dell’s “Fluid Forward Think Tank – Let’s Talk Storage” – wrap-up

November 14, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

During the Dell Storage Forum in Paris, I’m have invited to be part of something called the ” Think Thank ” discussion,


where basically Partners , Customers and Dell brainstorm regarding several topics within the IT industry.

For the discussion moderation we had Simon Robinson, Research Vice President of 451 Research and representing partners & customers I was privileged to share ideas with









I was there “officially” with a Blogger hat on


, but I represented a end-customer / IT Architect perspective.

The conversation started off with an introduction of all the folks present at the table, and we had a nice mix of expertise around us , like storage administrators (obviously ! ), to systems architects, systems integrators.

Several topics were part of the discussions regarding Chargeback or cost-awareness also known as IT Show Back , systems/solutions convergence strategy , relationships between Dell, Partners (a reseller must deliver a very clear  Value Added pitch or else is pointless) to trust towards/from the Vendor , manageability , roadmaps , build IT your own vs buy IT pre-configured , etc…

Quite interesting is the fact that despite the significantly different backgrounds we all have , the key concerns/ideas around all of us, were:

  • the traditional storage model vs the so called software defined storage with their good and bad things
  • flash …everyone understands flash and it would fix a lot of problems, however the problem is still  the, high, cost
  • scale-out vs scale-up approach
  • who’s now in control ? the software vendors or the hardware vendors ?
  • storage moved away from servers to shared environments, and now is going back to server again ?
  • backup & restore .. how to deal with the fact that no one deletes data and we must be able to backup it up and restore it if needed
  • bit expectations towards Windows 2013, HyperV 3, SMB3.0
  • deduplication as an option we want vs a “necessary evil”
  • Dell’s ability to execute their strategy based on buying a significant amount of companies, while keeping the support level as good as (if not better) and being able to integrate their IP rather than just sell it as a new product
  • FcOE vs iSCSI (always a fun topic!)
  • Management tools (or lack of )
  • Cloud…we all agree that we use it , but we don’t adopt it ! 🙂

At the end of the discussion we all agree that there’s no technology that can meet everyone’s needs, and at the end of the day the most import thing is to make a solid design for your environment and see what’s the right tool for the job. The main key conclusion is that any business, independently from their size and area of business, must see IT as a business enabler and not as a cost center, and IT staff may need to learn a bit more of Business Politics 🙂

I honestly had a very pleasant time during the debate, and I look forward for the next opportunity to have a new discussion , to see if and how the discussed concerns have been mitigated/minimized.

As we all know that one image worths more than 1000 words here’s some , great, topics captured and illustrated during the session .

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The session had a live stream, so you can check them out !

Finally thanks to Dell media team , Alison Krause and Michelle Richards for inviting me for the event, and for their support in making sure everything goes…Fluid 🙂

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