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And we thought Santa had it tough...

Santa2 If you still believe in Santa, perhaps you should stop reading now.  With SNW in full swing this week, I'm reminded of many a comedian's take on what Santa has to do in order to deliver presents to all the deserving boys and girls (and sometimes moms and dads) around the globe each December 24.  If you need the scientific take on what Santa would need to accomplish in a 31 hour window (factoring in the world's time zones), you're better off reading it here.

The lesson for SNW is much the same.  There are only a finite set of reporters that cover storage in North America, let alone attend or follow SNW closely.  At last count, it was fewer than two dozen, excluding freelancers.  So let's study the science.

-Since April 4, there have been approximately 68 press releases issued with the Orlando, Fla., SNW dateline.

-More than half are announcing new products, services or technologies outside of promoting "come see our CEO speak on XXX day."

-In addition, there are at least two significant competing conferences happening this week where storage is being discussed, including RSA and the Open Fabrics Alliance.  And that's not even factoring in next week's NAB conference where the conference coordinators have added the Creative Storage Conference to this year's agenda.

-For those reporters that cover networking in addition to storage networking, you would have also competed with CTIA Wireless 2008 which happened last week.  It's worth factoring this in because as Mary Jander at Byte and Switch noted in her Choice Bits blog on Monday, this spring's SNW has taking on the feeling as the "the FCoE" show. There are implications beyond mere storage for FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) and if you wanted to pre-brief any of the networking reporters last week, you'll understand the challenge.  Mary's colleague James Rogers filed more on FCoE late yesterday after attending a major press conference at SNW in the afternoon on the topic.

-And the news just doesn't stop for SNW.  In addition to news around products, services and new partnerships being forged between many companies at SNW, storage companies continue to do what they do best, acquire and grow.  Take EMC's official announcement this morning to gobble up yet one more company, Iomega, for $213M. 

While we don't have all the answers on how Santa delivers the presents, it's worth taking a moment to put yourself in the media's shoes and understand their challenge - distinguishing which of the many news packages they get from companies or PR elfs are something nice (worth covering) and which merits as much attention as a lump of coal.

Stay tuned for more on SNW as we share our conversations with clients, colleagues, and friends who made the trip down to SNW this week.   

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