America's storagenetworking.org is to expand its user groups into Sydney and Melbourne following a visit to Sydney this week.
The non-profit association, setup by the University of California, San Diego, has almost 40 storage networking user groups (SNUGs) around the world. The groups are designed to be educational, based on peer discussion, as well as vendor neutral.
The first SNUG in Australia, based in Brisbane, has already been vocal about demanding better integration and pricing from storage vendors.
This week, storagenetworking.org assistant director Allen Springer flew to Sydney to promote the association and find co-founders for Sydney and Melbourne SNUGs.
While the new groups were still "in their infancy stage", Springer said he had found a few people interested in founding SNUGs.
The Sydney SNUG is the closest of the two to its first meeting.
"It looks like we're going to have our first meeting sometime at the end of November.
"I think we have the numbers on our mailing list to suggest that if we do hold a meeting we'll have decent attendance," he said.
SNUGs were generally designed to create "smarter storage administrators", said Springer.
One of the current issues discussed by SNUGs in the US was regulatory requirements of storing data.
"You have sort of a tension between 'keep all information forever', versus 'keep everything as little as possible'," said Springer.
"And that has a lot to do with regulations. And if you ignore regulations, how much information do you really need to keep from the past 20 years? Medical records? Yeah sure. Financial? Probably. But your standard company, do they need to hold onto their e-mails forever? And these things are going to be worked out probably through the courts.
"Pharmaceutical companies have to [keep their records], for example, pretty much from the development of the first protein all the way to final product, final drug, for as long as the drug is on the market. That could cover a very large span.
"Medical records, you're looking at maybe 100 years for the life of a person.
"So that's the tension that's playing out. Storage per disk is relatively cheap right now, but capacity is growing and increasing. It's going to have to balance out, you won't be able to keep everything forever."