2007 — the year for a storage career

There's big money and great prospects in the speciality, says Jerome Wendt

Early in the year is often a good time to change jobs. New years bring new budgets and new job openings, and for individuals thinking about a change, the time to move into data storage management is right.

Storage networks are dropping in price, which is driving their growth. Large companies are attaching more low-end servers to their storage networks and more small and mid-size businesses are bringing in storage networks as well.

As businesses expand or move into the networked storage space, they are subsequently finding a shortage of talent. Few individuals with experience are available and still fewer students are graduating with degrees relevant to storage management. Equally few individuals hold vendor-specific or vendor-neutral storage certifications.

Large businesses are further driving the demand for skilled storage professionals. As they deploy and expand their use of storage networks, larger organisations see more possibilities for how they can lower their overall storage management costs by implementing new options for managing their data.

For instance, storage networks allow organisations to introduce block and file virtualisation into the network. These centralise data management and movement. This approach minimises reliance upon pricier and more management-intensive host and array-based data management options.

The challenge for any company that wants to manage data in a network is to find individuals who possess the right combination of skill sets. Locating individuals with networking, server or storage management skills is already tough. Finding one with all of them is almost impossible.

Because of this talent shortage, technologically savvy companies are looking to train motivated individuals with the desire to learn this set of skills. And for those who want to learn and move up, 2007 is shaping up as an opportune time to enter the data storage management field.

SIDEBAR

Senior storage-related positions advertised in New Zealand recently include a SAN hardware architect job paying $110,000-$130,000 (the role also includes pre-sales), a storage specialist position at an educational institution and an EMC project management role.

— David Watson

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