All roads lead to Rome. When in Rome…. What have the Romans done for us? Rome if you want to. Rome is where the heart is.

This week I was in Rome. For NetApp’s Insight event. A technical event for technical people. This year, more than 2000 of them. And a few imposters like me. From NetApp and our partners. A few wives, husbands, girlfriends, but mostly distributors, resellers, service providers, system integrators, training & alliance partners.

 

IT Partnerships – why bother?

IT is complex. No one company in IT can do everything. Either technology innovation. Or understanding how best to configure that technology to suit the needs of the person that bought it. So we build partnerships between companies to help each other out and make everything work.  Companies with great technology [like NetApp], need great partners, so we can work together to solve customers’ problems. And the IT industry is constantly changing. New innovation happens all the time. So it’s essential we continually learn from each other…………. hence NetApp Insight.

 

Insight into Insight

I’d never been to a NetApp Insight event before. Lots of things impressed me. First, the scale. 2000+ people is a lot. From across Europe, Middle East, Africa and the US. Especially given it’s invite only and no IT end-users were there. The range of sessions – from Big Data to Cloud …… to Bingo. The 30m wide main stage & screen. But what really impressed me was the sense of community. And mutual respect. It was almost impossible to tell whether somebody worked for NetApp or a Partner (more than 2/3rds of the attendees).

 

[One other thing that impressed me was when my colleague Youdo ordered 10,000 drinks in a single round - it arrived in a truck!]

 

What did they say?

I learnt too much to share in one post. So I thought I’d have a go at summarising the keynotes I saw in a tweet like style. How modern. Won’t make much sense if you weren’t there. Or in fact if you were. But here goes…..

 

Growth king. Apes. Best of the best. Beer. Innovative Trains. StorEff Drugs. Wine. Be a Navigator. Dare to Innovate. Just like NetApp. On fire.”

 

A great event. And I think unique in IT. Thanks especially to VMware, Cisco, Microsoft and all our sponsors.

crowd at insight.pngLots of pasta.jpgHitz on stage.jpgvespa.pngView from the party.jpg

Mercedes in Frankfurt airport - cost more than 6000 Euros.jpg€6000 is a lot of money. About $8,000 or £5,000 or R60,000. It would buy you a car (4 if you go for the Tata Nano, or 1/100th of the Merc I saw in Frankfurt airport last week). It would buy you 11 iPads [with 704GB storage combined].  And, in bizarre news this week, a ¼ of John Lennon’s tooth if you’re a certain Canadian dentist!

 

However, €6000 is not a huge amount in IT. Especially for storage, when it’s common for systems to cost €200,000. And up to €20,0000,000!

So what should you do if you have €6000 to spend on storage? Traditionally you had a few choices......

  1. Buy storage from server vendors (IBM, Dell, HP). They do servers well. Less so storage. So you get low functionality, RAID protected disk. You have to spend a lot of time configuring it. And you’ll run out of capacity sometime soon, throw it away and start again with a bigger system.
  2. Buy any old disk and string it together yourself. Known as internal or direct attached storage (DAS)
  3. Risk a storage start-up company that wants you as a reference customer.
  4. Buy an ‘Enterprise class’ storage system for some of your [most important] data, plan a future disaster recovery project and forget about the rest (see points 1&2)

 

Not only that, but as you virtualise & consolidate your growing infrastructure you’d like to be able to use a few smarter tools. Like storage virtualisaton, deduplication, multiple storage protocols (FC, iSCSI, FCoE, CIFS, NFS) - so you can buy less storage. And snapshot back-ups, replication, management integration with VMware, Microsoft, etc. to make your life easier. And you’d like to be able to build towards Cloud services at some point in the future. Last week I was at the biggest storage show in EMEA - SNW Europe in Frankfurt. You could have easily come away with the impression that you’d need to buy many systems and many software packages to make this possible. And pay to integrate them (hopefully). You don’t.

 

You could make a smarter decision. And buy a NetApp FAS2000 unified storage system – which will support all your storage needs – today and in the future – with all the tools you’re ever likely to need built-in. You will never need to migrate data again. Flexible. Efficient. For smaller organisations.

 

And FAS2000 prices start around €6000.

 

The new FAS2240 is available from today. It includes Data ONTAP 8 and new OnCommand System Manager 2.0. For more details, and to see what mid-sized customers across the globe have achieved with NetApp, see http://www.netapp.com/us/solutions/midsize/ . European case studies include Eden Project, Mobility, Monacor, Pierre Lang and more.

 

To learn more about our solutions, including the FAS2240, please join a live webcast I’ll be hosting on the 24th November. Register here.

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