SNIA puts storage networking tutorials online

SNIA also positions cloud management spec for international standards certification

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. -- The Storage Networking Industry Association this week announced a doubling its efforts to put tutorials for IT managers and storage administers online. The group said it hopes to get upwards of 60 sessions online by the end of 2011.

The videos of vendor-neutral education sessions, produced at the Storage Networking World conference here, are 45 minutes long and include slide shows.

"It's an important way for SNIA to help educate the market by offering rich online content," said SNIA Chairman Wayne Adams. "By the end of the year, we hope to have 50 to 60 tutorials online."

Tutorial topics run the gamut, from an introduction to data protection on tape and disk, to a session on solid-state drive use in the data center to another on cryptography.

Currently, there are 10 tutorials available. By the end of this week, 12 more will be produced, Adams said.

SNIA said it has also partnered with the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) to help disseminate professional IT certification courses in storage networking and other areas. SNIA has a large presence in the U.S., while CompTIA has a worldwide reach, Adams noted.

The vendor-neutral certification courses cover basics such as network administration to more general topics such as green IT.

Professional certifications are in high demand by companies looking to hire competent storage administrators, Adams said.

"There's been a 20% increase in data storage management job openings this year," Adams said. "IT shops are investing in credentials."

Adams said the vendor-neutral courses give IT workers a general overview of the technology, which can then be followed up by vendor-specific courses depending on what equipment a company has in its data center.

Among the more popular courses are cloud computing, data tiering and virtualization. "Virtualization is still very hot as a skill set," Adams said.

Lastly, SNIA plans to submit its Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) for international standardization through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) later this month.

SNIA released the CDMI specification last spring as a way to preserve metadata about information stored in a cloud infrastructure by an enterprise.

CDMI also defines service levels for cloud-based data, such as how long it should be retained, how many copies should be kept and whether those copies need to be distributed geographically, Adams said.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.

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