Ask the Expert

Classes and conferences

1. Where can you find conferences specific to Storage in the time frame of June 2001 through December 2001?

2. What classes, if any, can you take to become more expert in storage management?

3. What classes are best to take for SANs?


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These are all great questions. On the first one, I would recommend three sources: first, searchStorage.com provides on-going coverage of events, so they might (hint hint) begin a listing of upcoming events featuring storage technology if enough of us ask them nicely. Be aware that searchStorage will be throwing its own storage party in Chicago this September that you won't want to miss.

Editor's note: Actually, Jon, we do list all events we are made aware of in our Events and Conferences section at http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/events/0,289196,sid5,00.html. If anyone hears of another event that they think should be added, let us know via our Contact Us link, or by emailing editor@searchStorage.com. We will be providing you with a link to our September conference shortly.

The second source for information about shows is the storage vendors themselves. If you use or are considering using the products of a particular vendor, send them an e-mail asking what shows they will be attending or sponsoring.

The third source for information about tech shows is Web-based calendars such as http://guerrilla-guide.com/ or http://ww0.tscentral.com/.

In general, I try to stay away from storage-centric tradeshows, by the way. (The exception is the forthcoming searchStorage show, because I like these folks so very much.) Their content tends to be a mixture of vendor product pitches, mindless motherhood considerations, and pundit prognostications. Most storage shows are really for vendors to meet and make deals with other vendors, rather than to kibbutz with users. My advice: stick with Networld+Interop, which treats storage as one information track rather than the subject of a whole show. You'll get more context that way.

Question 2: I am not aware of any courses of education that you can take to achieve guru-dom in storage. Best way to become knowledgeable: roll up your sleeves and start messing around with the technology hands on. Go to a few vendor interoperability test labs. Read a few books. Most importantly, do your best to spend time each week chatting with other storage administrators, vendor technician and with integrator tech staff to learn what works and what doesn't. If you have the time, money and urge to grow your hair long, go back to school at Carnegie Mellon or UC Berkeley and play in the labs there.

Question 3: See question 2. To be honest, I haven't attended any of the current crop of SAN training seminars, which seem to be popping up all over. (Who knew storage was going to become so sexy?) I recommend going to the training offered for free (or at a nominal cost) by BMC, EMC, Brocade, Compaq and others. Try to see past the vendor hype and focus on the useful stuff they are communicating. You'll learn a lot.

Hope it helps.


This was first published in May 2001

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