Blogger Q & A: Devang Panchigar AKA @StorageNerve on hot technology and even hotter CurriesJuly 7, 2011
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself:
Social Media was a scary word for me a few years ago, well it all changed when I wrote the first blog post. Then came along Twitter, Facebook and now Google Plus, the list keeps on expanding. Today Blogging, Twittering and having presence on social media channels is something that I feel is very important as we build communities around us for knowledge and information sharing. Social Media has been one of those defining factors of this decade and I am glad to be a small part of it.
I work at Computer Data Source, Inc as their Chief Technology Officer, we are a managed services organization working with channel partners and direct customers offering storage, systems and virtualization support and services in many parts of the world. Life is quite challenging working around the clock with our customers worldwide, but that is something I love and appreciate a lot. Some of my responsibility include managing IT and R&D within the company, pre-sales support responsibilities, working with some of our large storage customers and some limited responsibilities around marketing. I am totally a hands on person when it comes to technology.
While the .com era was shaping, I was doing my Masters in Chemical Engineering, and decided it would be better to jump to Computer Science with the booming computer industry, I am glad I did.
……the last few years of 1990’s and the early few of 2000’s changed the IT industry.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your blog and its interest in data storage.
I blog at StorageNerve.com and my twitter handle is @storagenerve. I have been working in the storage industry for the past 8 years and have enjoyed every moment in it. Storage is rapidly changing with introduction of virtualization technologies and other data center focused technologies, lets call Storage Sexy….and it really is.
Q. What’s hot in storage this year?
Convergence of technologies into a stacked solution, call it the datacenter of the future, automation and orchestration of resources. SSD, Scale Out NAS, Replication and Federation. VMware is changing storage, Intel already changed storage in the last 4 to 5 years.
I will refrain from saying Cloud J. At the end of the day its all about managing the data growth and keeping your applications happy. Storage is no more about speeds and feeds.
Q. How many storage events do you attend each year?
Typically between vendor shows and events, I try to keep a balance, though easily that number exceeds double digits in a year. With the busy work schedule, it has been quite hard to stay away from office. On top of that all the business travel, and then you still need to keep a balanced family life and spend some quality time with the kids.
Though these events are very important as you can network with industry experts, vendor engineers and customers.
Q. Which one are you most looking forward to?
VMworld is up next …really looking forward to that. There might be some down the road, but they are not on the calendar yet.
Q. What types of stories or companies are likely to attract your attention this year?
Acquisitions are the big stories of 2010 and 2011, there are a few more, that may shape the future of the storage industry. Startups are really the incubators of the next generation storage technologies.
Q. How many interviews do you do per week?
Typically 1 to 2 interviews a week with different vendors. I love to hear the pitch from new players in the storage and virtualization industry.
Q. What’s the best way to pitch a story to you? Email? Phone? Twitter? By mail?
Typically through a conference call, a technology deepdive without the marketing slides on how the technology works under the hood and how it solves business problems
Q. Who is worth listening to (about storage)?
Q. What’s your favourite blog?
There are quite a few I read. But to start with, I hear the Infosmack Podcast and then Veeam Community Podcast. These podcasts are very informative and give a great deal of depth into a certain technology. Nigel Poulton’s Technical Deepdive – Infosmack Deepdive podcast is something I am looking forward to as well.
Then there is Twitter….and it’s a great medium for communication and learning, I read my own StorageNerve Daily (paper.li newspaper) that gives the top stories by the folks I follow on twitter. Twitter is a great distribution medium of content.
I am pretty regular on reading blogs – content from thestoragearchitect, Storagebod, Chuck Hollis, Barry Burke, Hu Yoshida, Michael Hay, David Merrill, StorageZilla, Steve Todd, Robin Harris, Nigel Poulton, Marc Farley, Stephen Foskett, Claus Mikkelsen and Barry Whyte.
Q. What is your favourite piece of technology?
Well today it is….
The integration between my Mac, iPad, iPhone and the 5 other idevices in the house, seemless / wireless syncing of music, calendars, movies, photos anywhere, anytime, its just awesome. iCloud may change it soon.
Q. What do you think is the most important development in storage to date?
Virtualization. I like Storage Virtualization as well. Then there is SSD and some other emerging technologies. But by far, the biggest impact has been from Virtualization.
Q. What is the best piece of advice for companies pitching stories?
Keep it short, on the point, no marketing. Technology talk.
Q. What was the best press trip you’ve ever been on? Worst? Why?
So far, out of all the them, the HDS Japan trip.
Lots of HDS executives, full access to Hitachi Engineers, Hitachi uValue convention – more than 50000 people come to this convention every year.
Being a vegetarian, initially I had a hard time with the food in Japan. But once the Japanese knew about it, they took great care of me. Walking around in the streets of Tokyo, riding the Bullet train, its just a different cultural experience. Since then, I have been to Japan twice and its always been a great experience there.
Though I have to say if I rank my top 5 trips, most of them would be those international trips.
Q. What’s your favourite restaurant?
Really love ‘THE BRICK LANE CURRY HOUSE’ in NYC. The taste of the curry they serve is something very comparable to what you find in London and Birhimgham. They also serve the Phaal curry (considered as the hottest curry). Outstanding food.
I also love Pizza.
I do recommend if you are into eating hot food and like curry, try The Brick Lane Curry House, you wont be disappointed.
Q. Are you a social media lover? Which ones are you on? FB? LinkedIn? Twitter?
For personal and some professional networking, Facebook is a great platform. What are the high school friends up to, any friends in your neck of the woods, keeping in touch with family members, it’s a great medium of connection today.
For business contacts LinkedIn has been the best to organize contacts and keep in touch with. I started a group on LinkedIn about 3 or 4 years ago called the Storage Professionals, this group is now the largest Storage group on LinkedIn.
As for Twitter, it is one of the best information consumption platforms for me.
Then there is Youtube, Flickr, Vimeo and many other apps for content distribution and consumption.
I am all for social media…
Q. Tell us something no one knows about you. Do you have any unusual or unexpected hobbies/interests? Do you have a claim to fame?
I collect stamps, love the English Curry and I have a great deal of passion for German cars 🙂