The Storage Networking Industry Association's Australia/New Zealand chapter has stepped up its attempts to ensure that local users get a greater voice in the development of global storage standards.
SNIA ANZ Chairman Jacob Van der Eyk says the organisation is trying to break the US hegemony of the storage industry by liaising with SNIAs in Europe and Asia to ensure that storage standards are not dominated by US-based organisations.
"SNIA's regional mechanism had no strategy function," Van der Eyk told SearchStorage.com.au at a press event. Liaison between SNIAs has seen that change, with a new committee formed to consider strategic storage directions and standards. That group now interfaces directly with SNIA USA and attempts to give storage users around the world a greater voice in future technologies.
One example of this action is the appointment of Graham Rothwell, National Australia Bank's representative on the SNIA ANZ board, as the region's representative to the global group working on green storage standards. Van der Eyk said Rothwell's appointment was met with considerable surprise in the USA, but was well-received by other SNIAs. SNIA ANZ has since appointed a board member from the Defence community.
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Another new initiative for SNIA ANZ is the development of ties to the Records Management Association of Australia (RMAA), a move Van der Eyk described as "the librarians meeting the plumbers." The significance of the relationship, he said, comes from the fact that the RMAA is already well advanced at developing standards for long term records management that will need to be expressed through storage technology. By working together, SNIA ANZ hopes storage standards can meet records managers' needs to the benefit of both groups. The RMAA has therefore been offered a seat on the SNIA ANZ board.
Another new initiative is an individual membership of SNIA ANZ, a $95 investment the organisation hopes will encourage increased numbers to join the association. Over time, individual membership is also hoped to become an indicator of holders possessing storage skills and experience that employers will find compelling. SNIA ANZ has recently announced its new Storage Academy but admits that most storage training is vendor-delivered and the subject is seldom if ever taught in TAFEs or universities. Over time, the association hopes its efforts to promote storage training will see its certifications attain the same relevance as qualifications like the CCNA or MCSE.