A journalist’s eye view of Storage Expo – Dave Simpson, Infostor

May 31, 2007


About Dave: Dave Simpson has been the Editor-in-Chief of InfoStor since its launch ten years ago. Prior to InfoStor, he was a senior editor at IT trade publications such as Systems Integration, Datamation, and Digital News & Review. He has been covering storage since the birth of SCSI. 


Tell us a little about InfoStorInfoStor is one of only a few publications and Web sites dedicated 100% to storage. In the U.S., we have a circulation of 38,000 readers, about half of which are end users (IT storage managers/administrators) and half are in the channel (mostly VARs and integrators). In the U.S. we publish monthly, and our European edition – InfoStor Europe – is published quarterly. InfoStor Europe has a circulation of 12,000 readers. 

 What’s hot in storage this summer?  If I had to choose three technologies, I’d go with storage virtualization, iSCSI, and disk-based backup/recovery technologies such as virtual tape libraries (VTLs). iSCSI seems to be nearing critical mass in terms of end-user adoption (finally). D2D backup has been hot for a couple years, but end-user interest in VTLs will be very high this summer. Also, surprisingly, you’ll be hearing a lot about tape this summer, because virtually all of the tape library/drive/media vendors will be shipping LTO-4 devices. In addition to the usual capacity and transfer-rate improvements, LTO-4 is interesting because it includes device-level encryption, and security is a hot topic. 

How many Storage Expos have you been to? Last year was my first, and I was quite impressed. 

This year is Storage Expo better than ever, or is it like some shows in decline? From what I’ve heard, Storage Expo is still growing. That’s in contrast to some shows in the U.S. For example, the two Storage World Conference shows in the
U.S. were recently cancelled. 

What types of stories or companies are likely to attract your attention at this Storage Expo? We’re more technology-focused, as opposed to company-focused (we cover all vendors, small and large), so we’ll be most interested in the hotter technologies/trends, such as those mentioned above. 

How many interviews do you think you’ll do at Storage Expo? I generally have one briefing per hour at trade shows. So in the course of two days at Storage Expo I might have 16 to 18 briefings. 

When do you start planning your diary for Storage Expo? About 4 to 6 weeks in advance of the show. 

Who is worth listening to? Everybody, including vendors, end users, and consultants/analysts. Even trade press editors. 

What’s your favorite blog? There are around 100 storage-oriented blogs, so it’s impossible to track them. I don’t spend much time on blogs. But if I had to choose one it might be www.drunkendata.com. That’s Jon Toigo’s site/blog, and I like it because it combines insight, controversy, and humour. 

What is your favorite piece of technology? As a journalist, I’m impartial and don’t have ‘favorites.’ I’m just interested in anything that helps end users solve their storage problems. 

What do you think is the most important development in storage networking to date?   Fibre Channel SANs are the obvious answer, but more recently I’d say iSCSI-based IP SANs and storage virtualization. W

What is the best piece of advice for exhibitors at Storage Expo? Concentrate on explaining your products’ benefits to users and/or integrators, rather than just selling products. Hard sells are a turn-off at trade shows.Many thanks, Dave and looking forward to catching up with you in Olympia at the Show! 


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