Well folks I am happy to report that we had another very good meeting of the Dell Ireland Storage User Group. We had some familiar faces and a lot of new faces but I think they all agreed that the facility was excellent. It might be a trek for some but we do try to spread the location of the user meeting around the country as much as possible.
The morning sessions kicked off with Darren Gill, our Storage specialist bringing us the latest news in the Dell Storage world, including some sneak previews. We then had presentations from Mark D’Arcy from the Storage ProSupport team followed by Mark Shaw for an update on the Compellent Storage solution. Martin Petty got us going again after lunch going through the performance analysis considerations for NAS File systems.
Following on from Martin was an overview of the Dell Clinical Archive solution presented by Jeff McCann and Colin Healy. This may have been a point specific solution for the Health segment but the solution does address issues encountered by many other segments and it drew a lot of interest from our audience. Jeff also gave an overview of the work being carried out at the Dell Solution Centre in Limerick. This was met again with interest, with at least one attendee making arrangements to visit in the near future. if you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Limerick facility it is well worth a visit and regularly reveals projects that even Dell people are not aware of, as there is always something interesting in the pipeline. For instance, we have solutions for Digital Forensics, 3D learning solution, Police and military spec workstations for rapid deployment as well as identity control systems for medical facilities. In conjunction with this it plays hosts to our demo centre and Proof of Concept centre where customers can bring their own applications to test on Dell platforms.
Following on was an opportunity to hear from the newly formed Dell Software Group (DSG) with Adrian Moir giving a preview of the next generation of data protection software from DSG Quest. We were delighted to have an opportunity to learn more about one of the products from the group and how they will fit into the overall Dell solution.
The final session on the day was given over to a panel discussion on the future lifecycle of Data. This probably generated the most interaction from the group with input from almost every member of the group. The key issue is not in data growth but identifying the value of the data. How do you decide to delete data or move it to an archive? Without knowing the real value of the data you risk throwing the baby out with the bath water. At least that was the perception of one attendee who had been tasked with retrieving an email from five years ago.
There was a lot of discussion on technology solutions to this problem but the reality is that most solutions merely seek to provide an IT department with a method of avoiding dealing with the real challenge which is content management. Bigger, faster disks, with faster controllers give us the abilty to handle more information but this fundamentally takes the responsibility away from the content owner.
Martin Petty gave a great view on possibly where the next data technology leap will be made separate from any underlying hardware or traditional storage constructs. This is the whole area of meta-data, essentially providing us with a method of assigning attributes to the data itself that allows its type, role, position, access profile, protection profile and assigned costs to change over time against a policy you set or quickly in response to new business needs.
It certainly provided some food for thought. So whats with the picture of the cat? Well that is in reference to one comment made by an attendee in response to the assertion that we are all dealing with a huge explosion in the amount of data we are dealing with, “most of it is pictures of cats”. There was a recent post on social media channels stating that we have at our disposal the sum of all human consciousness and what do we do with it? We post pictures of cats!!
If you attended the meeting and want to know more about any of the solutions discussed just let me know and we can arrange a more in-depth presentation. If you couldn’t attend and want to know more then likewise, just get in touch.
The next meeting of the Dell Ireland Storage User Group will be in September. In the meantime you can sign up to the on-line group at https://dellireland.groupsite.com/main/summary