An association promoting storage networking among IT managers plans to increase its education and certification efforts in 2008, according to its new vice-chair.

“There’s still a lot of people who don’t know about the organization and the benefits,” said Ron Carson of SNIA Canada, the northern wing of the Storage Networking Industry Association.

It also hopes to hold seminars next year in cities it hasn’t hit yet, including Halifax and Winnipeg. Sessions are often run in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa.

The organization counts 25 vendors and a half dozen system integrators or resellers among its members, he said, but wants to increase that number. There are also some 20 end user members.

Among the companies not represented on its board, Carson added, is EMC, which is the largest storage manufacturer. Until the beginning of the year EMC had someone on the board, Carson said, who was not replaced when personnel in Canada shifted.

Carson’s full-time job is manager of knowledge services at Ottawa system integrator Nova Networks.

SNIA’s goal is to promote storage networking technologies in part through a number of educational events throughout the year and by overseeing what Carson calls “vendor-neutral” exams and certifications for those who design or sell storage networks.

The certifications are a way employers and customers can verify that staff have competence in certain storage technologies, he said.

The recently-chosen board for 2008 will be headed by John Cardoulis, brand manager for IBM Canada’s storage systems and technology group; Carlo Spalvieri of Pillar Data Systems; Wayne Hogan of Hewlett-Packard Canada; Nolan Evans of Richmond Hill, Ont. infrastructure consultant FlexITy Solutions; Kevin Mann of Sun Microsystems Canada; Bill Bowerman of CGI Group and Chuck Wright of Diversified Business Communications Canada.

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