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Groups address storage industry needs

Information technology pros focused on networked data storage are being courted on two fronts, as two new storage-oriented projects get rolling.

Information technology pros focused on networked data storage are being courted on two fronts.

In one effort, a group dubbed the Association of Storage Networking Professionals announced its official launch Tuesday. The ASNP aims to offer professional development opportunities to members as well as balance the influence of companies hawking storage networking gear.

"The ASNP will level the playing field between storage networking users and vendors," said Tom Giannetti, a regional ASNP director and director of information services of operations at Home Depot. "There is so much hype in the storage networking market, which leads to a lot of confusion among users making decisions."

In addition, the Information Storage Industry Center (ISIC) at the University of California, San Diego, is reaching out to storage professionals with something called the Initiative. It was formally announced in June.

According to ISIC, is a nonprofit initiative with the goal of spurring the creation of local and regional storage networking user groups. The project also involves developing an online portal to provide access to user group resources, industry-specific educational opportunities, academic research, discussion groups, news and information, ISIC said.

On Tuesday, ISIC announced that's founding sponsor is the Storage Networking Industry Association.

That association is made up of companies in the storage industry, such as EMC, Hewlett-Packard and Veritas Software.

"As a vendor-neutral industry organization, the SNIA strives to make storage networking technologies understandable, easier to implement, simpler to manage and recognized as valued business assets," SNIA Chairperson Sheila Childs said. "We see the initiative as promoting these same values."

ASNP is a for-profit company owned in part by its chairman and executive director, Daniel Delshad. Delshad is also the chairman and founder of a storage industry conference.

ASNP said it is launching its organization with 22 chapters: 14 in the United States and eight abroad. The organization is open to users who manage storage networks, to educators and to students. The first 500 members to sign up will have a free lifetime membership, Delshad said. The second 500 get two free years of membership. The regular annual dues fee is $199.

The market for networked storage--connecting a computer to data-storage resources through a network, rather than directly attaching a storage device to the machine--has grown despite a drop in overall storage revenue.