IBM Storage Conference
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  Posted October 14th, 2011 by Zdenko  in Travel | 2 comments

What’s new in IT technology

By Zdenko Kahlina
IBM System Storage Technical University (Formerly known as the IBM System Storage Symposium)

I recently returned from Washington, DC where I was attending an IBM storage conference. The conference has hundred’s of sessions to choose from in the IBM System z10 and zSeries Mainframes, Systems Storage and Linux areas. These sessions are presented directly by IBM developers, which provide the opportunity to learn directly from the experts. The purpose for me was to find out how can we at WCB address the growing challenge of managing and securing retention-managed data, using storage solutions from IBM.

 All activities were held at Washington Marriott Wardman Park hotel , easily accessible from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport – DCA. The Marriott Wardman Park Hotel is a Marriott International property in Washington, D.C.. The hotel is located in the upscale Woodley Park neighborhood at Woodley Road, NW and Connecticut Avenue, adjacent the Woodley Park–Zoo/Adams Morgan station of the Washington Metrorail system.

 Washington Marriott Wardman Park hotel

 Good Location to visit DC area with Metro within one block

Even among the most sophisticated hotels in Washington, DC, Marriott Wardman Park rises above. With a blend of charm, modern elegance and a historic landmark setting, this NW Washington, DC hotel’s stunning guest rooms, event space and impeccable service make it the perfect choice for business and leisure travelers.

Wardman tower 

Hotel lobby area

Situated on 16 garden acres, this hotel in Washington, DC has hosted a long list of U.S. Presidents, dignitaries and VIPs. With 1,335 guestrooms and suites, including 145 VIP suites, plus an outdoor heated pool, vacationers will find the perfect place from which to explore the city and enjoy their down time. Families will delight in the hotel’s close proximity to the National Zoo and the National Cathedral. With 195,000 sq ft of event space and 95,000 sq ft of exhibit space, meeting and conference planners will find the Washington Marriott Wardman Park a perfect venue for events of any size. Additionally, the comprehensive conference services and expert staff ensure that every event is perfect.

IBM storage representative for Western Canada Brian Neudorf with Zdenko

Group of conference attendees from Alberta

This hotel is split into two towers, Central and Wardman. The Central part of the hotel consists of the main tower and two wings and it is so big people get lost. If you take time to review the map it will save you a lot of steps when you walk to the metro (and you need those to walk the national mall area). They are significantly different. The Central tower is like a typical business hotel while the Wardman tower is more luxurious and has finer furnishings and gardens etc. The hotel lobby areas and bars are very nice and elegant.

I’ve requested a room in Wardman tower because I heard this was a newer section of the hotel and the rooms are newer and bigger. The room (2323) was nice and clean, with new furniture and big window overlooking the pool. I must admit it was hard to leave the room every morning for the sessions, seeing all those people swimming in the pool. But I did what I had to do and didn’t miss a single session.

Hotel pool was always busy

Pool view from Zdenko’s room

The metro was very convenient within a block of the hotel at the corner of Woodley Road and Connecticut Ave. An all day pass on the metro was only $9.00. The zoo is within walking distance of the hotel.

Plenty of places to eat around the area or just a subway ride away. We did not use any of the amenities in the hotel as there is so much to do and see around the DC area.

One warning–the hotel offers the use of three complimentary computers in the lobby (right next to the bar where it’s noisy and very dark) for web browsing. If you have any real work to do, however, the hotel business center charges $24/hour (!!!!) for the use of its MS Office-enabled computers and printers. So definitely bring your laptop. Even than be careful, as a daily internet fee is about $13. I was offered Marriott’s membership (thanks to Brian who mentioned this option to me!) and received complimentary access to the internet as part of the package.


At the IBM conference, I learnt about the latest enhancements to the IBM System Storage portfolio, all of which support virtualization. I sat at the sessions about the new IBM XIV® Storage System, a revolutionary high-end Open Disk system designed to support key business requirements.

Many more sessions were available as conference was spread all over the Marriott Wardman Park hotel conference center. I must mention how well conference was organized. I couldn’t find anything that was out of order.

Opening General Session

I discovered new Tivoli Storage Productivity Center functions that deliver enhanced management capabilities for virtualization. I also attended a session to learn how to use IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) to automate data backup and restore functions, and centralize storage management operations. At the conference IBM had setup Solution Center where their best Business Partners were presenting their storage products and solutions.

Entrance to the IBM Solution Center

Solution Center 

IBM selling boot camp

IBM System x Rack and Power Infrastructure

Highlights and Featured Sessions

I am listing here just some of the sessions the 2010 IBM System Storage Technical University conference was offering this year with the short description:

Opening General Session

Presentation on trends and directions in IBM Storage by IBM Distinguished Engineer and Chief Technical Strategist for IBM Systems & Technology Group, Storage Platform.

XIV Overview

The XIV system is an exciting addition to the IBM disk portfolio. This session covers the underlying architecture and describes the different configurations currently available.

DS8000 Technical Update

This session discuss the enhancements to the DS8000 product family during the last year. A new model of DS8000, new disk options, and exciting new functions such as Easy Tier were covered. 

DS8000 Space Efficient Storage: Flash Copy and Thin Provisioning

This session compared and contrast two different space efficient implementations on the DS8000, and then provided an update on the situations in which these implementations performed best. 

Easy Tier Implementation and Use on DS8700

This session introduced the new Easy Tier functionality provided by the latest release of the DS8700. It provided an overview of the capability to monitor an active subsystem, automatically moving data which is most likely to benefit from Solid State Disks onto SSDs, managing this resource based on application usage. 

Data Deduplication

This session cover the data types that deduplication does well and which ones don’t, capacity planning exercises and considerations to maximize performance and network bandwidth.  

IBM System z Storage Management Overview

This session provided an overview of IBM’s strategy for managing z/OS storage environments and some about z/VM. Details were provided about each layer of the z/OS Storage Management strategy: Process management, IBM Service Management foundation and Operational management. 

IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center Overview and Update

IBM recently announced its latest version of Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, a storage resource management tool that manages both IBM and non- IBM storage devices, including disk systems, tape libraries, and SAN switches. This session gave an overview of the various components of Tivoli Storage Productivity Center and describe what’s new in this version of the product.

Tivoli Storage Manager Version 6 Technical Overview

Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) Version 6 includes many new features, including client side deduplication, automatic deployment for Windows clients, simultaneous write during storage pool migration, a new reporting and monitoring server, and several others. This session was a technical overview and was intended as an introduction to all the new functions introduced in TSM V6.2.

What’s New in DFSMShsm

With a new release of z/OS and DFSMS coming out every year, clients need a regular update to keep up with what is new in DFSMShsm. This session covered the latest and greatest enhancements to the product delivered in the latest official release and via development APARS.

What’s New in DFSMSrmm

This is a review of z/OS V1R11 content for the DFSMSrmm component. The material covered includes all the latest functions: command and dialog enhancements, cross-verification of tape labels, new GDG retention options, exploitation of the z/OS Dynamic Exit Facility, and reporting changes.

SEA CATCH Restaurant

IBM representatives from Alberta invited all their business partners from Canada, who were attending the conference, for a dinner on Tuesday night. The reservations were made at the “Sea Catch” restaurant. Known as one of the top downtown DC restaurants, Sea Catch Restaurant and Raw Bar prides itself on offering the best in seasonal seafood in a welcoming and pleasing environment.

The Canal Square Building is the birthplace of the original computer.

Restaurant setting

Situated in a restored building over 150 years-old and just steps from the charming C & O Canal, this restaurant offers a unique and delectable dining experience.
Today guests to this exceptional seafood restaurant in Georgetown Washington DC are invited to honor the history of the building, while appreciating its present incarnation as home to the Sea Catch Restaurant and several art galleries. Please take a moment to view a commemorative plaque, an original punched card plate and a pictorial display of Hollerith’s achievements during your visit.

Seafood platter was served as a starter

Delicious Crab cake was served

Historians recognize the Canal Square Building as “the birthplace of the original computer”, long before it became a renowned Georgetown Washington DC restaurant. The building was originally built in 1842 to serve as a shipping warehouse for barge traffic on the bustling C&O Canal. It later served as a coopers shop, the art of crafting casks to hold such goods as flour, wine, and gunpowder. However, the Canal Square building gained its full historical status when Herman Hollerith converted the structure into a factory for manufacturing & printing punched card tabulating machines.

Patio overlooking C & O canal

Hollerith’s punched card tabulating machine shortly proved their worth. By using these machines in the 1890 census, the government was able to shave 2 years and 5 million dollars off of the project as compared with previous censuses.  

A pictorial display of Hollerith’s achievements with the original punched card plate in the middle

With such a success, it is no wonder that Hollerith’s Tabulating Machine Company was merged with two others to eventually create, in 1924, the “International Business Machines Corporation” or IBM. In 1984, IBM recognized the Canal Square Building as a historic site.

With this, I would complete this blog about another successful IBM System Storage Conference.



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