Q&A: SNIA’s Paul Talbut

SNIA's global education director, Paul Talbut, discusses the forthcoming Implementing Information Infrastructure Symposium (IIIS)

The Storage and Networking Industry Association’s (SNIA) global education director, Paul Talbut, speaks with Computerworld Australia ahead of the Implementing Information Infrastructure Symposium (IIIS).

Computerworld Australia: Paul, why has SNIA decided to put on the IIIS event focusing on information and infrastructure?

We’re in the middle of an information explosion. We don’t see any slowdown in the volume of data that companies are required to keep. It is exponential wherever you look.

So, from an industry perspective wee see a number of technologies making an impact on that management headache — storage optimisation and data management but also people looking at their networks and infrastructure, virtualisation across server, storage and network platforms, and then the cloud to potentially help contain the information explosion at a better cost point.

How much is this data explosion a business issue and how much a technology issue? The data explosion viewed from a business issue and technology issue viewpoint is inextricably linked. It is a business issue and regulatory compliance forces it to become a business issue. But without the technology it becomes very difficult to management, especially in an environment where you have flat or declining budgets. Technology has a major role to play, particularly in optimising information storage but also in reducing the cost of running data centres and all the attendant costs of such.

Is the data explosion issue being neglected?

I don’t think it is neglected from a technology perspective, but certainly from an information governance perspective there are lots of discussion about the FoI act — how do you safeguard people’s data privacy but how do you also comply with the act — lots of issues around the issue of Cloud and understanding where the data is and how you protect it. I don’t think it’s an issue of neglect as information has become the key point in nearly every technology discussion we see. It is all about managing and protecting businesses’ most critical asset: information.

What makes the IIIS event different to other industry summits and conferences?

It is that it’s backed by the industry and that it is probably the only event on the calendar that all the big players are in the same location at the same time.

We are focussing very much on the education and technology detail aspects. From a delegate perspective having the opportunity to go to one event in the year where you are likely to see everyone’s technology in the same place is a major drawcard.

We have deliberately tried to be innovative with the event and keep it very focused on the educational and technology aspects. We have the head-to-head vendor debates plus a wide variety of technology workshops and labs going on where we can put delegates right in front of the experts.

This is a true industry show case. SNIA is very keen to address educational aspects and provide a level of access for the delegates you wouldn’t normally get as well as being a truly educational experience.

Securing Steve Duplessie is another drawcard. He’s a very energetic character and has a real in=-depth knowledge of the industry and talks to all the CTOs of the major vendors. I expect him to be very challenging and very entertaining.

Implementing Information Infrastructure Symposium is being held on 2 - 3 August 2011 at the Hilton, Sydney, and is hosted by Computerworld Australia and the SNIA.

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