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NetApp Insight: Las Vegas should have time to grieve first

LAS VEGAS – This blog was supposed to tell our readers about the big developments surrounding Day 1 of the NetApp Insight user conference.  Sadly, today’s subject matter touches on more sobering news.

On Sunday, as NetApp users, executives and media converged on Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino for the big event, a shooter with a high-powered assault weapon wrought havoc and put the frivolity of Las Vegas in a stark context. Perched from his room on the 32nd floor at Mandalay Bay, police here say 64-year-old Stephen Paddock indiscriminately rained a hail of bullets on neighboring concert-goers, killing nearly 60 people and wounding more than 500 others, including some critically.

Law enforcement officials have said they expect the number of fatalities to rise. Let us hope they are mistaken.

On the morning after, much of downtown Las Vegas remained on lockdown until mid-afternoon. The Strip that normally teems day and night with shoppers, fun-seekers and those combining business with pleasure is deserted. Major arteries are closed. Traffic is almost nonexistent. Shops remain shuttered.  Those who escaped the carnage are still suffering, the frightful memory coaxing fresh tears from scores of meandering hotel guests.

The gambling capital of the world resembles a scene from the 1960s nuclear-horror flick, “On the Beach.”

Mandalay Bay has been the vendor’s preferred venue for NetApp Insight for a number of years. The 2017 event was to be the culmination of NetApp’s long, tortuous journey toward hyper-convergence. On Thursday, NetApp planned to take the main stage and take the wraps off NetApp HCI, the hyper-converged gear built with SolidFire all-flash storage. But no one here is thinking of such things now.

Yes, life indeed does go on.  And sorrow has many manifestations, it seems. Even now, amid the gore and multiple crime-scene investigations, people sit meekly in the casinos, the arcades trilling incongruously against a police update being broadcast on local TV.

“I am shocked and saddened by the tragic event that occurred in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay last night. I am sure you all share these sentiments. My heart and the hearts of thousands of NetApp employees break for the loved ones of those affected by the terrible events,” NetApp CEO George Kurian said in a prepared statement.

In a separate announcement, planned NetApp Insight-related activities are expected to resume Tuesday, beginning with a general session at which the shooting tragedy almost certainly will headline discussion. SearchStorage.com remains at NetApp Insight and we will endeavor to update our readers as soon as we have news to bring.

From this viewpoint, NetApp would be better to postpone the event and give Las Vegas time to heal its grievous wounds.  In contrast to this moment in time, data storage seems less than trivial.

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