For the ninth time, Frankfurt played host to the European storage, virtualisation and related data centre technology industries as the three 'Powering the Cloud' themed events, SNW Europe, Datacenter Technologies and Virtualization World welcomed large numbers of visitors. The two-day event included over 130 sessions and was supported by a record number of 73 sponsors, 27 of which were new to the events for 2012. More than 1,200 quality delegates (end users, resellers, consultants, press, bloggers and analysts) were in attendance with over 1,650 total attendees. A record 60 journalists, bloggers and analysts attended from nine countries.
Throughout the two days, the Frankfurt Congress Center was buzzing with conversations about hot topics such as storage-as-a-service, solid state storage, Big Data and analytics, cloud computing, virtualisation, data security and converged infrastructures. The new for 2012 analyst-led Spotlight sessions proved a big success, offering attendees the chance to take a deep dive into particular technologies that are affecting their data centre infrastructures today and in the future.
Carly Stephens, Event Manager for the three co-located events, commented "We are very pleased with the attendee numbers and quality of the delegates. With an increasing number of vendors choosing to organise their own dedicated events, the fact that we were able to sign up a record number of sponsors including a high percentage of first time exhibitors, speaks for the reputation of the 'Powering the Cloud' events as the leading platform for storage, virtualisation and data centre information and networking. It really is a case of the conferences now being bigger than the sums of their parts and we would like to thank all our sponsors and delegates for making it so."
The sponsors have been sending in their feedback:
"SNW Europe is a must go-to event in the storage networking industry, and in 2012 it was once again very successful. No other event offers such a high concentration of industry players, channel partners and end users as well as relevant press, bloggers and analysts. The informal atmosphere promotes the productive exchange of information and ideas and resulted in a very positive return for DataCore Software", said Christian Hagen, VP and Managing Director EMEA at platinum sponsor DataCore Software.
"One of Dot Hill's major goals for the coming year is to expand our branded business. Participating at the 'Powering the Cloud' events with our own stand for the first time has helped us in this respect. We collected over 350 leads over the course of the two days and created a lot of buzz around our new real-time autotiering solution," said Warren Reid, Marketing Director EMEA, Dot Hill who was attending for the third consecutive year.
"The must be event in Q4 for storage and solution experts," added Jürgen A. Krebs, Director Business Development & Field Marketing Germany, at Hitachi Data Systems.
Thomas Pavel, director channel sales EMEA, at LSI, was also a satisfied sponsor: "Appointments such as the Powering the Cloud conferences provide us with a platform to discuss the challenges faced by cloud providers and datacentre managers and the technologies most suited to address these issues. As in previous years, the 2012 edition of the event resulted in many quality of meetings for LSI."
David Gingell, VP Marketing & Business Development, EMEA at NetApp also added "After nearly ten years Europe's leading storage, virtualisation and datacentre show still manages to feel fresh! We've seen many of the current hot IT topics being discussed at the event and many new players visiting for the first time – clearly a sign that Powering the Cloud is at the pulse of the industry and worth our recurring investment. Whether you chose the exhibition area, the presentations, press room or lobby, you can be sure that there will be people worth talking to. And many of the conversations here play right into our technology strengths of clustered Data ONTAP and Virtual Storage Tiering, demonstrating the value of our sponsoring engagement. Also, working closely with the organizers we gained great exposure with media, bloggers and analysts. Clearly a very successful conference with top business and networking opportunities."
"SNW Europe proved to be an excellent venue to showcase our enterprise-class SSD solutions to potential channel partners, European OEMs and end user customers. The event was packed with quality delegates which meant our time was well-spent networking with decision-makers with solid intent, and budget, for doing business," said Ron Macleod, Director of Sales (EMEA) at first-time sponsor SanDisk.
Analysts, bloggers and press have also shared their thoughts on the conferences:
Chris Mellor, storage editor at The Register said "SNW Europe was extremely worthwhile and is a vital appointment on my calendar. It is one of those events where you can meet and be briefed by suppliers on leading-edge storage technologies, listen to and question analysts and bloggers and, more colourfully, take the pulse of the industry. The quality of the suppliers and their people is extraordinarily high and, overall, the event is one of the richest sources around for storage news, trend identification, industry gossip and so forth. It's unmissable."
Enrico Signoretti, founder of bi-lingual blog Juku.it agrees "I absolutely consider SNW Europe the best storage conference in Europe; this year it once again met all my expectations and it offered great networking opportunities."
One more journalist who asked for their name not to be shared said "SNW Europe 2012 event in Frankfurt was very well organized and had a good mix of vendors from storage, networking, security, server and datacentre fields; it was a good place to learn about the upcoming trends and technologies. Overall it was a good experience to come back with a better understanding of the storage and networking industry as well as with many feature-ideas. It was a good show to network with European and North American vendors and customers."
Analyst Josh Krischer, who also presented and chaired a number of sessions, noted, "This year SNW Europe and the other 'Powering the Cloud' conferences attracted many vendors, users, journalists and growing number of industry analysts from both Europe and the US. The combination of the exhibition floor, conference sessions and informal meetings created a perfect ambiance for delegates to learn about new technologies, see interesting solutions and to establish new contacts. The event was big enough to meet most of the participants' expectations but not so large as to cause confusion. Importantly the vendor presentations and end-user case studies allowed delegates to learn from others' experiences; as I said in my presentation - clever people learn from their own mistakes, wise people learn from the mistakes of others."
The tenth edition of SNW Europe and the fifth edition of Virtualization World and Datacenter Technologies will take place on 29th & 30th October 2013 in the same venue. Many of this year's sponsors have already in discussion with the organisers regarding their options for 2013.