I had the pleasure of organizing the Tivoli Storage Software track for Pulse this year, and if the first day is any measure, this is going to be a really awesome week. If you weren’t able to make it to Las Vegas for the event this year, you can catch most of the action on LiveStream at ibm.com/pulse.
Before the official kickoff of the conference on Sunday evening, we spent Sunday with more than 1000 of our business partners from around the world, sharing strategies for working together to help our mutual customers transform their businesses and position themselves for success in the new world. During this pre-Pulse event, we had two breakout sessions that were very well attended.
First was Don Dishinger of our Worldwide Tivoli Storage sales team sharing strategies for moving storage into the Cloud. In this session, Don showed how traditional hardware and software resellers can move their businesses from “selling stuff” to “selling services”, in particular selling data backup and recovery services built on Tivoli Storage Manager. To help demonstrate this opportunity, Don was joined by Thomas Bak, co-founder of Front-safe, the developer of a cloud business portal for TSM, and Richard Spurlock, CEO of Cobalt Iron, a managed service provider that offers backup services based on TSM and the Front-safe portal.
Thomas and Richard really drove home the fact that this is a great time to be an IBM storage partner. The market is going through an enormous transformational shift – customers are saying, “make it simple, cut my costs, and if possible, do it for me” – and between us, we have the solutions and the services to take advantage of these shifts like nobody else.
Front-safe and Cobalt Iron were both honored with Tivoli Partner Awards during the luncheon gala for their work in bringing IBM and Tivoli Storage into entirely new market segments.
The second breakout session focused on helping our mutual customers improve their storage efficiency, and showing them how to do so using the analysis and migration tools from our latest acquisition, Butterfly Software. Tom Hughes, formerly of Butterfly, made a very strong case for storage being a huge business opportunity as organizations of all sizes struggle with the combination of data growth, sprawling IT complexity, increasing service level expectations, and tight budgets. The combination of Tivoli and STG storage offerings can make an enormous difference in these areas, and Tom showed our partners how to use Butterfly to prove it to their customers.
There was also a Tivoli Storage Virtual User Group meeting on Sunday afternoon, where we arranged 3 speakers selected by the user community. Svenni Gunnarsson, UNIX Infrastructure Engineer at Landesbankinn (Iceland) described more than a decade of architecting, growing and managing Tivoli Storage Manager and SAN Volume Controller. Patrick Jobin of Storagepipe described how his company uses Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack as the basis for a backup service that provides his customers with non-disruptive, continuous protection and near-instant recovery of their critical data. And finally, Ron Hermann of IBM STG explained the science of data deduplication.
Not a bad start, before the start, of Pulse this year.
The conference officially kicked off at 6:00 PM with the opening of the traditional Expo Reception, where thousands of people make a mad dash for the food, the drinks, and to see the latest in what IBM and dozens of our partners are showing off this year. But we held a very special event within the Tivoli User Community Lounge in the Expo Hall: this year, 2013, is the 20th birthday of Tivoli Storage Manager, and we took the opening of Pulse as the opportunity to share and celebrate it with our customers, partners, and product development team, many of whom have been associated with the product from those early days before it was called TSM, years before IBM even acquired Tivoli in 1996. Yes, TSM was originally developed within IBM in the early 1990’s and released in 1993 as ADSM – AdStar Distributed Storage Manager.
In the expo itself, the Tivoli Storage team is showing off some really cool things this year:
- A preview of the upcoming, revolutionary new user interface for Tivoli Storage Manager
- Improvements in backup and recovery for virtualized servers
- The latest in storage hypervisor technology, including advance storage virtualization and storage management
- Butterfly storage assessment and migration services
- Cloud portals for both storage and backup services
The next 3 days of Pulse promise to be just as packed with content, news and fun. We have 38 speakers across 21 breakout sessions, starting with Dave Russell, VP of Storage Research at Gartner kicking off the track at 2:00 on Monday. Customers from across the globe will share their experience – lessons learned and best practices – with our solutions, our partners will offer new opportunities for optimizing storage services and resources, and a selection of experts from IBM will show what’s new, and how IBM is using these solutions internally to help our business succeed against the challenges of data growth.