2007 is the year for a data storage career

The time to move into data storage management is right

The beginning of the year is often a good time to change jobs. New years bring new budgets and new job openings, and for individuals thinking about a change, the time to move into data storage management is right.

Storage networks are dropping in price, which is driving their growth. Large companies are attaching more low-end servers to their storage networks while opening the doors for more small and midsize businesses to bring in storage networks as well.

As businesses expand or move into the networked storage space, they are subsequently finding a shortage of talent. Few individuals with experience are available, still fewer students are graduating with degrees in storage management, and equally few individuals hold vendor-specific or vendor-neutral storage certifications.

Large businesses are further driving the demand for skilled storage pros. As they deploy and expand their use of storage networks, they see more possibilities for how they can lower their overall storage management costs by implementing new options for managing their data.

For instance, storage networks allow corporations to introduce block and file virtualization into the network that centralize data management and movement. This approach minimizes corporate reliance upon pricier and more management-intensive host and array-based data management options.

The challenge for any corporation that wants to manage data in a network is to find individuals who possess the right combination of skill sets. Locating individuals with networking, server or storage management skills is already tough. Finding one with all of them is almost impossible.

Because of this talent shortage, technologically-savvy companies are looking to train motivated individuals with the desire to learn this set of skills. And for individuals who want to learn and move up, 2007 is shaping up as an opportune time to enter the data storage management field.

Jerome Wendt is the president and lead analyst with DCIG. He may be reached at jerome.wendt@att.net.

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