Storage standards body calls for volunteers

SNIA ANZ, the regional chapter of the world-wide Storage Networking Industry Association, headquartered in the U.S., is looking for a way to better service the business and customer needs in New Zealand.

The industry standards body held a training day in Auckland last month, which drew a crowd of specialized professionals, even though the event happened to be on the same day as Microsoft's "Launch Wave" event, says Jacob van der Eyk, SNIA ANZ's chairman. The SNIA event, themed virtualization, was part of the organization's Academy program and was the first of its kind in New Zealand, he says.

The education is vendor-neutral. "We strip out all the marketing fluff," says van der Eyk. But in addition to the neutral stream, the education also offers a sponsored stream for attendees who wish to learn more about what specific vendors are doing, he says.

The organization wants to get a stronger foothold in New Zealand, and rather than trying to figure out from Australia what Kiwi businesses and customers want, SNIA is keen to hear from industry leaders, vendors and end-users here, says van der Eyk.

How to best facilitate this -- whether this is achieved by starting a local chapter or having some sort of board -- is open to discussion, he says.

SNIA ANZ is a volunteer organization and the first step is to find local volunteers who are willing to give some time and people, he says. The number and frequency of events in New Zealand will depend on how active and passionate these volunteers are; the organization will hold events and training whenever there is a need for it, he says.

A couple of Academy program events, as well as some other education courses, are already planned for New Zealand in 2008-2009, says van der Eyk.

SNIA has three test labs -- two in the US and one in China -- that can be used for interoperability testing of advanced networked storage environments, says van der Eyk. SNIA was founded in 1997 in the U.S. The ANZ chapter has been operating since 2004.

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