Storage Expo - show guide

Business continuity, information lifecycle management and future-proofing are among the topics in the keynote programme at this year's Storage Expo exhibition

Storage Expo, to be held at London's Olympia from 18 to 19 October, is the event to attend to catch up with the latest storage technology and services available for your business and gives you the chance to compare a range of systems from different suppliers.

If you want to keep up with the expansion in data with the latest storage technology and services, or you have to juggle shrinking budgets and growing data storage demands, Storage Expo 2006 is the event for you.

It is the UK's only dedicated data storage event, where visitors can compare a comprehensive range of systems from the leading suppliers. The show is now in its sixth year, with more than 100 exhibitors and an unrivalled education programme addressing key storage issues.

This year there is a great diversity of leading-edge keynote addresses given by industry experts. Here is a selection of what is on offer:

Opening address: Archive or delete? The politics of data retention

Chair: Philip Virgo, secretary general of Eurim and strategic adviser to IMIS

10.15am, 18 October

This keynote session will summarise the conflicting legislation surrounding data retention and look at what is already in place or on the way.

It will address the balancing act facing storage professionals on the need to use systems engineering to assess whether regulatory proposals will reduce the risk to customers or simply impose new overheads, encourage unofficial workarounds and open up new risks.

It will illustrate how well publicised routines for rigorous data protection can be used as a powerful marketing tool in a world of phishing and identity theft.

According to Virgo, most regulatory proposals are based on ignorance, and organisations need to be active to ensure better and more relevant regulation.

Getting virtualisation motoring for your company

Chair: Frank Timons, research analyst at Robert W Baird

11.15am, 18 October

The panel of speakers for this presentation includes Paul Thomas, data services manager at Britannia Building Society, and David France, IT director at Honda Formula 1.

This session will use diverse case studies to illustrate the benefits of virtualisation to an organisation, and demonstrate that independent of data type, there are common lessons that can be extracted which you can exploit for sophisticated orchestration of your storage network.

Storage, disaster recovery and business continuity

Chair: John Abbott, chief analyst, The 451 Group

12.45pm, 18 October

Abbott discusses some of the hottest issues facing organisations with Colin Everett, head of IT strategy and architecture at Lloyds TSB FMD, and Nizam Ali, IT consultant at Arup.

In light of recent high profile disasters, the importance of effective recovery has never been higher on the storage agenda.

This session will draw from case studies of real disaster events and show what measures companies can put in place to mitigate the potential impact of data storage loss.

Does your storage stand up to legal scrutiny?

Chair: Jon Fell, lawyer, Pinsent Masons

2.15pm, 18 October

The wave of compliance regulations means your system can no longer rely on standards and received business practice as a code for storage protocol.

This session will give an overview of the processes that your business has to have in place to ensure compliant function.

Information lifecycle management

Panel of speakers: Atle Skjekkeland, vice-president, AIIM Ross McCarroll, UK chair of SNIA

3.30pm, 18 October

This session will explore the true meanings of information lifecycle management (ILM) and strategic record management.

Skjekkeland said, "ILM and ECM are big terms that make big promises, and you risk losing your executives and users in a lot of pitfalls during your project. We will therefore try to address the 'why', 'what' and 'how' of ILM and ECM."

What is more important - speed, scalability, capacity or cost?

Chair: James Hayes, editor,Information Professional

10am, 19 October

This session uses case study analysis to explore the relative importance of the factors you need to consider when setting up your storage network.

Hayes said, "When specifying enterprise networks, you cannot have it all. Demands placed on infrastructures mean there has to be a trade-off between key factors that define functionality.

How do leading IT practitioners decide which factor is more important? And how do they balance the technological and business requirements when calibrating performance?"

Standing on the shoulders of giants - the future of storage technology

Chair: John Riley, managing editor, Computer Weekly

11.15am, 19 October

This session will offer an overview of the storage landscape, and will analyse the key issues in storage technology, and what the issues, solutions and innovations of the future will be.

One member of the panel of speakers is Hu Yoshida, vice-president and chief technology officer at Hitachi Data Systems. He said, "Managing data has become, for many companies, their primary IT challenge. But the emphasis has long since shifted from efficient storage and retrieval to how storage solutions can actually improve business efficiency.

"However, as storage takes centre stage issues of simplicity, security, compliance and environmental impact must also be addressed.

"Simplification is emerging as a major storage trend with companies demanding dynamic, flexible IT systems to support their ever changing business needs.

"They seek to reduce complexity while sweating existing assets. The environmental impact of storage will also feature as firms look to reduce energy costs and emissions."

Storage security - moving from network to datacentric security

Chair: Brian McKenna, editor, Infosecurity Today

12.30pm, 19 October

Comprehensive data security cannot be viewed from a network-centric perspective - firewalls, intrusion detection, filtering and anti-malware may reduce the impact of external threats - but realistically thisw is only a small fraction of the picture.

Sophisticated data security also requires people-centric protection such as authentication and authorisation control, and datacentric protection such as encryption.

Today only 30% of companies employ satisfactory datacentric protection - this session will discuss the elements you need to ensure storage security.

Building on legacy technology to provide future-proof storage

Chair: Jon Collins, principal analyst, Macehiter Ward-Dutton

2pm, 19 October

The evolution of your storage facility is driven by capacity and regulatory compliance. This session will explore the issues concerned with this complex procedure and suggest methods that can be employed to ensure that the decisions you make today are still functional in the future.

Collins said, "It can be quite easy to lose track of the fundamentals of storage management, assuming that the fundamentals are already solved and the next steps are straightforward, if only people would listen.

"Storage is far more complex than is generally realised: today's CIOs and IT managers are looking to harness that complexity at the same time as giving them a firm foundation for the future.

"At Storage Expo, advice tends to be practical and pragmatic. Attendees can benefit from the experiences of their peers while comparing those with the solutions offered by suppliers, giving them a far greater sense of what would work in their own environments."

David Lipsey, information systems infrastructure manager at Ordnance Survey, and a member of the panel of speakers, said, "The ongoing project to digitally photograph the UK from the air presented us with a storage challenge that would need us to access terabytes of large files far into the future without overloading our infrastructure.

"Overcoming this challenge has provided us with a blueprint for our archiving needs moving forward. In the keynote, I will be sharing the lessons we learned as valuable pointers for all of us facing the growing mountains of data."

David Martin, group technical internet development manager at Johnston Press and also on the speakers' panel, said, "Building on legacy technology providing futureproof storage - the most challenging term here is 'future' followed by 'legacy'.

"In our internet platform with terabytes of data, agile applications, ferocious growth rates and regular business acquisition, the future is difficult to read.

"Understanding capacity, utilisation and designing flexibility and cost-effective scalability on common standards goes a long way to rise to the challenge."

Deal or no deal: storage special

Judging panel: Jon Collins, principal analyst, Macehiter Ward-Dutton Chris Howard, vice-president and service director, Application Platform Strategies, Burton Group Dale Nix, managing director, Chapman Nix

3.15pm, 19 October

In this special session, five companies with some of the most innovative products in the storage market will cold pitch to a panel of the leading experts in the field.

Expand Networks, Iron Mountain, Promise Technology Europe, StoreAge Networking Technologies, Texas Memory Systems and WysDM Software will be taking part.

With no slides, no props and nowhere to hide, the product specialists will be given five minutes each to tell the panel why their product is superior to the rest.

They will then face an inquisition from the panel, who will pull no punches to ensure that they root out the best product. At the end of the session, the panel will decide on a winner.

Jim McDonald, chief technical officer at WysDM, is ready to meet the challenge. "Integration of backup reports with business and asset databases is providing customers with new insights into their compliance with data retention requirements," he said.

"Separate groups within a company can now obtain real-time reports on the protection of their applications, their data and their business.

"Expect to see all of the major data protection management players on display at Storage Expo," said McDonald.

Documation UK focuses on content management

This year, the show will be co-located alongside Documation UK, the only exhibition to focus on the latest systems and technology for all your information, content and document management issues.

Documation UK, in partnership with AIIM, the leading enterprise content management (ECM) association, is the largest dedicated exhibition of its kind in the UK, covering end-to-end enterprise content management.

It will address all the latest issues in information management including web content management, e-mail management, document and records management, information capture, scanning, imaging and business processes.

It also features a free education programme addressing today's key information management issues. This is an essential event for anyone involved in managing their business information efficiently and cost effectively.

Now in its second year, Documation UK offers a diverse range of new and innovative products and services from over 40 exhibitors on the show floor at Olympia 2, from 18 to 19 October.

To find out more about this year's Storage Expo or to register for the show visit


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