What do clients really need from their storage systems? How can advanced systems methodologies help your customers better manage their computing needs? And how can IT companies provide those vital services at a price attractive to customers?
Businesses today have to contend not only with their competition, but with their ever-expanding information need to store and protect their data as well. The IBM Haifa third annual Systems and Storage Seminar, held recently at the IBM Haifa Labs site, brought together IT professionals to discuss and evaluate the main challenges facing the storage and systems communities.
Sponsored by the Storage and Systems Department of the IBM Haifa Labs, the seminar was attended by over 100 researchers, industry professionals, and university representatives. Designed to spark an exchange of ideas, the seminar featured lectures from a range of industry and technology leaders. Representatives from Israel's leading engineering schools and technical universities attended the seminar, as did employees from major storage and systems corporations, such as StorAge, SANRad, and Intel.
The lectures themselves addressed some of the major challenges facing the storage system community, including virtualization, the simplification of systems management, intelligent and secure storage networks, and autonomic self-managing technologies. Many of these major industry tasks, such as the drive for autonomic storage systems, are fueled by the increasing complexity of storage management and the need for constant availability. Of particular interest were presentations made by two storage systems customers-the Israel Aircraft Industries and Philips Research-who provided unique perspectives on the technological needs of today's clients.
The keynote lecture was delivered by Garth Gibson, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University, co-founder of Panasas Inc., and one of the pioneers of RAID (Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks), a seminal approach in the storage industry. In his presentation, he explained how combining RAID and object storage enables increased performance and high availability.
Shachar Fienblit, an IBM Haifa Labs researcher and one of the conference organizers, said the seminar provided a unique look at the challenges currently facing the industry.
"Storage and systems technologies are moving increasingly in the direction of virtualization," noted Fienblit, "a method traditionally used primarily by systems professionals.
Alain Azagury, manager of the IBM Haifa Labs Storage and Systems Department, agreed. "The next major challenge in this field is the integrated management of all virtualized entities," he noted.
The abstracts and presentations from the seminar can be viewed on the seminar web page, http://www.haifa.il.ibm.com/Workshops/systems-and-storage2004/index.html.