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What to expect from 2021's data storage conference lineup

In the coming months, data storage conferences are plentiful. This roundup details dates, sessions and topic areas, from event hosts such as SNIA, Dell and Pure Storage.

(Virtual) conference season is heating up and storage features prominently on the calendar.

While conference season would normally mean thousands of flights and hotel rooms booked across the country and the world, the pandemic continues to shift events to a virtual format. Fortunately, as major conferences have been virtual for about a year now, organizations have started to figure out what works well and have had lots of time to plan for this different platform.

The data storage conference schedule includes several major events. From April through October, the lineup includes conferences devoted fully to storage, as well as hyperscale shows with storage-focused elements.

Below is a list of top conferences and what users can expect from them.

SNIA Persistent Memory + Computational Storage Summit, April 21-22

The Storage Networking Industry Association presents its ninth annual summit, with a focus on persistent memory and computational storage, from the data center to the edge. Technology experts will discuss applications and uses, offer insights on current and future trends, and provide networking opportunities, according to the summit.

Session subjects include NVMe computational storage, persistent memory in Compute Express Link and trends in non-volatile memory technologies. The data storage conference also features a Persistent Memory Programming Workshop and Hackathon Program.

Dell Technologies World, May 5-6

Dell Technologies World is a fixture on the conference schedule. Last year's version of the show, held virtually in October, had a running theme of accelerated digital growth and development.

This year's conference, with a focus on getting the most out of data, touts more than 200 breakouts, hands-on labs, interactive demos and live Q&As. Topics include edge computing, IT resilience and AI. The speaker lineup features CEO Michael Dell, COO Jeff Clarke, CTO John Roese and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez.

Pure Accelerate, May 12 - June 10

Pure Storage presents its first user conference following last year's acquisition of container management startup Portworx. In fact, Pure recently released its first joint product since the acquisition, a FlashBlade appliance integrated with Portworx PX-Backup.

The data storage conference promises information on data management with storage product and integration sessions, as well as interactive breakout sessions. At last year's Pure Accelerate, the vendor launched upgrades to its FlashArray platform that built in file storage natively and augmented disaster recovery.

Nutanix .Next, Sept. 20-23

This year's show will be the first for former VMware exec Rajiv Ramaswami as Nutanix CEO. VMware has filed a civil lawsuit against Ramaswami that alleges breach of contract. As the 2021 show is still six months away, Nutanix has not released agenda details.

Technologies and trends discussed at last year's data storage conference included hyper-convergence, hybrid cloud, DevOps, automation and security. Specifically, Nutanix and Microsoft revealed a partnership that enables Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure clusters to run on the Azure public cloud.

VMworld, Oct. 5-7

Another mainstay on the tech conference calendar, VMworld this year runs virtually over three days. Learning tracks include multi-cloud, security and app modernization. The app modernization track features a focus on Kubernetes and microservices. Attendees should expect updates from VMware executives, product and technology news, networking and hundreds of learning sessions, according to the conference.

VMworld 2020 prominently featured hybrid and multi-cloud, container management and Kubernetes integration. Also last year, VMware's corporate parent Dell Technologies merged the virtualization vendor's software deeper into its enterprise storage systems.

More to keep an eye on

Other conferences on the 2021 calendar that will likely have storage-related components include:

  • Red Hat Summit, April 27-28
  • IBM Think, May 11
  • HPE Discover, June 22-24
  • Nasuni CloudBound, Sept. 28-29
  • KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Oct. 12-15

In addition, some data storage conferences of recent years have yet to publicize details on dates for 2021. Those shows include NetApp Insight and the Global IT Executive Summit, presented by Fujifilm.

Stay tuned for more information, plus a roundup of major backup and disaster recovery shows scheduled for 2021.

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