Studying for the future

With storage playing a greater role in companies' asset and disaster recovery planning, and the rapid changes in the technology, it is critical that storage-savvy IT professionals keep their knowledge and certification ahead of the game.

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has developed standards for storage and offers best practice and a common language across the sector.

Analysts confidently predict that within the next two to three years, SANs, NAS and technologies like virtualization will be quite common across companies and government.

Storage is a complex field and it requires that IT staff be better prepared to deal with its complexities. Most education available in the market today focuses on areas above the storage layer, like operating systems, databases, applications, servers and so on.

So SNIA has established the Education Continuum to expand educational opportunities and options available to end users and the IT industry. Through its Technology Centre SNIA has introduced the industry's first vendor-independent certification program for storage networking: the SNIA Storage Networking Certification Program (SNCP). It was developed in response to demand from enterprise customers worldwide for standards that measure the storage networking expertise of IT professionals.

It has also added the industry's first vendor-independent sales qualification program for storage networking and IT sales professionals which is designed to give the latest value-add information pertaining to storage networking technology, standards, processes and initiatives.

SNIA Education provides a framework for training providers and vendors to develop and deliver courseware based on collective industry knowledge and experience.

Using a vendor-neutral approach, the Education Framework provides curricula guidance based on job task analysis (JTA) findings conducted through SNIA sponsored surveys.

SNIA Education has created a Dictionary of storage and storage networking terminology. Because many SNIA Education members made substantial contributions, extensive reviews and comment, the dictionary represents the storage networking industry's most comprehensive attempt to date to arrive at a common body of terminology for the technologies it represents.

Sam Srinivasan is SNIA's education director and commercial, channels and OEM sales manager at StorageTek ANZ

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