Storage specialists

Storage-area networks and network-attached storage are becoming hot buzzwords, so it's no surprise that certifications are popping up to verify these technical skills.

Leading IT training firm Global Knowledge recently inked a deal with Brocade Communications Systems to deliver worldwide training for Brocade's SilkWorm fabric switches and software.

The vendor also introduced the Brocade Certified SAN Manager certification.

However, Brocade's designation is just one of many certifications available for storage network pros. There are several other vendor-specific programs that may help you set yourself apart from the competition.

Here's a sampling of programs:

* The Adaptec Certified Storage Professional provides in-depth knowledge of Adaptec's storage products, server I/O technologies, RAID theory and implementation, troubleshooting methods and performance optimization. For more information, see http://nww1.com/go/0617CAR1A.html.

* As mentioned above, Brocade offers a SAN certification program. In addition to the new Brocade Certified SAN Manager designation, other tracks include the Brocade Certified Fabric Professional and the Brocade Certified SAN Designer. For more information, go to http://www.brocade.com/education_services/certification.jhtml.

* McDATA's certification program will offer four levels of credentials. The first, McDATA Certified Professional, provides the McDATA Certified Storage Network Designer and the McDATA Certified Storage Network Implementer. For an overview, head to http://www.mcdata.com/servsupt/education/certification/index.html.

* Sun's program touts three storage-related certifications - Sun Certified Data Management Engineer, Sun Certified Backup and Recovery Engineer, and Sun Certified Storage Architect. Learn more at http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/storage/index.html* Data management software vendor Veritas' Certified Professional Program includes tracks on Veritas data protection and Veritas high availability. Go to http://www.vue.com/veritas/ for the details.

* For a vendor-neutral option, consider the Storage Networking Industry Association Storage Networking Certification Program.

Administered by Infinity I/O, the program currently offers two levels. The Fibre Channel Storage Networking Professional is the most basic certification, while the Fibre Channel Storage Networking Practitioner is more advanced. Get more information at http://www.infinityio.com/

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