SearchSystemsChannel.com: You're also charged with heading up plans for the Server Blade Summit. What are the must-attend
sessions for channel professionals interested in working with blades and virtualization?
Barb Goldworm: If you are new to either one of these technologies, there are tutorial sessions called "essentials" -- one for blades and one for virtualization -- that are designed for people to start at the ground level; if you've never had anything to do with blade servers, the Blade Essentials will take you from knowing nothing to having a pretty good sense of what blades do, why they are important, what value they deliver, the ROI implications, how to select a vendor, and so forth. If you are dealing with blades but haven't dealt with server virtualization, there's a Virtualization Essentials tutorial that does the same thing: What is virtualization, what are the different options and why should anyone care?
If you are a channel professional who doesn't want the technical details of the technologies, but wants to understand the ROI and TCO implications, there is a business and strategy track that speaks to these issues. So if you're selling to IT management and need to know the points where these technologies are going to hit that IT manager in ROI and TCO, than you'll want to focus on that track.
On the flip side, if you're a technical person who will go out and help people implement, there's a technical track for you. For example, there's a half-day tutorial on consolidating with VMware VI3 on blades. That will start from the beginning with questions like, how do I lay out an implementation plan? What does that mean in terms of the virtualization software? What does that mean in terms of the blade hardware? The tutorial will show how to bring up a VI3 system from scratch in a blade environment.
Drawing on the experience of TechTarget experts, there is also an Ask the Experts session with site editors Jan Stafford from SearchServerVirtualization.com and Matt Stansberry from SearchDataCenter.com, as well as experts Andrew Kutz, Anne Skamarock and me. It will include a presentation of recent research survey results on blades and virtualization. Then participants will be invited to ask questions of the expert panelists. That will be interesting for people who follow TechTarget sites because it will give them a chance to ask us questions and for us to interact and give a broad perspective answer.
The focus of the Server Blade Summit is "Blades and virtualization: The perfect marriage." IBM's keynote presentation will be a joint talk from the VP of BladeCenter and the director of virtualization strategy. You will hear about what IBM is doing and where they see these technologies going as enabling building blocks, taking IT to the next generation of data centers. VMware and Microsoft are also doing keynotes. In addition, we have a major user -- Countrywide Financial -- who has gone through a very successful implementation virtualizing on their blade infrastructure; they will talk about what it has meant to them in the real world. We also have a CIO panel talking about their experiences from a business perspective and a user technical panel talking about their technical successes and difficulties.
10 tips in 10 minutes from Barb Goldworm
1: Blade server and virtualization benefits
2: Ideal blade server candidates
3: How to sell blade servers
4: Blade server and virtualization misconceptions
5: Preparing to deploy blade servers and virtualization
6: Server virtualization channel impact
7: Future of blade servers and virtualization
8: Blade server and virtualization consulting
9: Server Blade Summit must-attend sessions
10: Blade server and virtualization resources
About Barb Goldworm: Barb Goldworm is founder, president and chief analyst of Focus Consulting and author of the book Blade Servers and Virtualization. She has spent over 30 years in systems and storage in various senior management, marketing, sales, technical and industry analyst positions with IBM, StorageTek, Novell, Enterprise Management Associates and several successful startup ventures. A frequent speaker at industry events, she also created and chaired Interop's Networked Storage Track. More recently, she was one of the top three ranked analyst/knowledge expert speakers at SNW and has been a regular expert speaker for TechTarget and Ziff-Davis E-seminars. She also chairs the Server Blade Summit on Blades and Virtualization.