Greetings from Storage Developer Conference 2012

I’m in Santa Clara this week (a whopping five miles from home) for the SNIA Storage Developer Conference (SDC).

I’m here as a guest of SNIA and Gestalt IT, who are sponsoring my attendance. I’ll be participating in daily SDC Tech Field Day roundtables–check out at 2pm Monday and 1:30pm Tuesday and Wednesday, Pacific Time, to see my TFD colleagues and I review the past day’s material from the perspective of the end user of storage technologies.

An Englishman In New York?

I’ve been doing storage beyond DAS since 2001 (A Disk Space Odyssey?), and dabbled in the Windows interoperability world. But some of this material is way over my head. I’m a sysadmin by trade, not a storage developer or hardware designer. When I asked my boss for time off to come to this conference, he asked “do you really want to develop for storage?” And in the sense of writing code, no. I don’t care to write a line of code under the covers at this point.

But in the sense of growing in my experience, my trade, and my awareness of things that I’m not quite blamed for yet, definitely, I’d like to develop for storage.

It is good to get a sense of perspective. As some of you may commiserate with, I’ve been known to work with “experts” who know things that make no sense in the real world. CIFS/SMB is dead. Hadoop is dead. Hardware is dead. Vegan cookies are tasty.

This week I’m hearing from some of the most prominent people in the storage industry from the functional side (as opposed to the commercial product and sales side), and even if a fair bit of it is above my clue grade, it’s giving me perspective. And even if it’s not always useful to correct those “experts,” it’s good to know for myself and my own work what’s really worth knowing.

As I started writing this post, I was in a room with kernel and Samba developers and a lot of other people who work miracles in very low level code for the CIFS/SMB2/SMB3 layers in Linux. Steven French from IBM, who wrote the original CIFS support for Linux, was speaking, and getting corrected by some of the people who are qualified to do so.

Not all experts take correction well. The ones who admit when they’re wrong are the ones you want to pay attention to, unless you like driving around in circles. I’m expecting quite a few of that sort of expert this week at SDC. The ones that know their stuff but can still learn/refine, that is, not the ones who drive around in circles.

Back To The Fray

I’m going to get back to my sessions… tune in online at (or come to the mezzanine if you’re here at SDC) for the first Tech Field Day roundtable today at 2:00pm Pacific time. And follow me at @gallifreyan on Twitter to see sporadic live comment on whatever I’m watching at the time.

Disclaimer: SNIA and Tech Field Day are sponsoring my presence at SDC this week. My blog and roundtable activities are based on my own perspectives, not necessarily those of SNIA, SDC, or Gestalt IT/Tech Field Day. And while my badge does mention my employer’s name for identification purposes, I am not formally representing my employer at SDC, and my opinions do not reflect the positions or opinions of my employer.


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