Training is storage sector’s missing ingredient

Storage technology may not be the most exciting aspect of IT — and it certainly doesn’t feature in IT Skills Hub’s list of expanding job opportunities — it is essential. So you would expect there to be some training avenues. But, again, there is little to report.

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) does not offer any courses, although member organizations have “the ability to deliver training that is aligned with SNIA’s objectives and forms part of a curriculum that leads to certification as an SNIA Storage Networking Professional”.

The organization is in discussion with tertiary institutions to introduce SNIA certification-based subjects into existing IT discipline courses, with a view to creating a storage stream within these existing courses.

In the meantime, Infinity I/O offers a number of SNIA-certified courses: the FC-SAN Level 1 Professional (one day) and FC-SAN Level 2 Practitioner (three days) are available now, with Level 3 Specialist and Level 4 Expert planned for the near future.

It also offers technical specialisation courses covering IP and iSCSI Storage Networks, Introduction to FICON, and Advanced Fibre Channel Technology

In April, EMC announced a number of enhancements to its EMC Proven Professional certification and training program. Older courses were retired, new courses were introduced and almost all other courses were updated. This is an ongoing exercise, the company says.

The program offers four certification paths to customize learning needs: storage administrator; technology architect; customer engineer; and implementation engineer. Two pre-sales accreditation tracks are available for reseller partners. There are more than 45 instructor-led and 75 e-learning titles, including business continuity, storage area networks, network attached storage and storage management.

Courses can be taken individually, as part of a learning path, part of a customized training plan or part of the certification program. Purchasing of courses can also be done individually or as a packaged/bundled offering, which usually offers a discount off up to 40 percent.

The most popular courses are those targeted at medium to large sized companies. EMC says quarterly training numbers have increased by over 100 percent in the last 12 months.

Finally, Dot Educate has recently added a generic SAN Essentials course to its portfolio. In development are Storage Technologies Bootcamp, a five-day course to help manage the successful implementation of a new or expanded storage network, and Advanced Storage Technologies Bootcamp, covering gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel architectures, and planning for disaster recovery.

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