The Storage Networking Industry Association, a vendor-neutral body dedicated to encouraging storage standards and educating enterprise customers, launched its Canadian branch this week.
The main goal of SNIA Canada will be to inform users about storage trends and offer certifications based on training courses covering such topics as storage networking foundations, Fibre Channel and IP storage, said Wayne Hogan, the group’s acting chair.
Hogan is the head of Sun Microsystems’ storage business unit in Canada. SNIA, which has groups in a number of countries, includes vendors, channel partners, end users and non-profit institutions.
Some of SNIA Canada’s members include Cisco Systems, EMC Canada, FalconStor, Hitachi Data Systems, Infostream Technologies, StorageTek, Sun Microsystems and Xiotech.
Enterprise storage needs have grown dramatically in recent years, Hogan noted. Most organizations, he said, will grow their storage requirements anywhere from 50 per cent to 80 per cent every year.
“What that does is put a lot of pressure on those organizations and on the administrators of the storage in those organizations,” he explained. SNIA Canada wants to help users better manage their data, Hogan said. The group will help users look at how they can network storage and use policies to get control of their storage growth.
“We want to help them automate a lot of the processes around storage and have administrators worry more about planning and managing storage requirements,” he said.
SNIA already has a storage road show, called the SNIA IP Storage Forum, that will host educational seminars in Toronto on Oct. 14 and in Montreal on Oct. 18. The forum will focus on iSCSI technology, Hogan said. Future forums will address other hot topics in storage.
SNIA Canada is also offering the SNIA Storage Networking Certification Program through TSI Learning. Certifications include SNIA Certified Professional, SNIA Certified Systems Engineer, SNIA Certified Architect and SNIA Certified Storage Networking Expert. SNIA members qualify for a 10 per cent discount on the cost of the certifications.
SNIA has done a good job of educating users in the U.S. and other parts of the world noted Alan Freedman, an analyst with research firm IDC Canada in Toronto, so Canadian users should benefit from the hands-on training of a local chapter.
“It’s important Canadian customers get a sense of what a strategic and interoperable storage system can do for their business,” he said. Users can sign up for SNIA Canada at www.snia.ca. The cost for business users is $100. There is no cost for government organizations or non-profit groups.