The Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) of Australia and New Zealand is increasing its activity here, but says there is “nothing official” regarding a local chapter of the organisation.
Australian-based chairman Jacob van der Eyk says SNIA wants its activities to be relevant to the New Zealand market, so it needs to hear what the local industry’s needs are.
“My strategy is it’s about time we started doing something in New Zealand. This is our second event after we did the certification education programme last year, which was well attended, and we’ll be doing more education and more academies,” he says.
“I’m very keen to see the industry in New Zealand putting their hand up to be involved. I don’t want to come in with a big stick when it could be totally off the mark, I want to hear from the marketplace if they want us to do it.”
Van der Eyk would like to have a New Zealand-based board member, but says local firms need to decide if they want to become a full member and put someone forward for a seat.
Board seat numbers have been extended to 12 for vendor reps and four for non-industry members, and two from each category are currently vacant. Distributor Datastor became an associate member late last year and has been providing SNIA training. SNIA is also open to forming a local committee, van der Eyk says.
He adds 2007 was a year for re-structuring, while 2008 and 2009 will see more events here. Former European SNIA chairman and now Sydney-based IT events consultant Paul Talbut has been recruited to run the activities.
The first local event in Auckland in late March had two streams, vendor neutral (SNIA content) and vendor specific. Seminar sessions covered the basics of virtualisation, how to virtualise successfully, data protection and using virtualisation to transform data centres, along with a panel discussion. Presenting vendors included IBM, NetApp, Quantum, Symantec and CA, while IDC’s associate vice president for storage, Graham Penn, also gave an address.
SNIA has launched an individual membership category in addition to the company membership for which firms pay an annual fee, with van der Eyk saying it wants to create a community of interested industry members, such as consultants, system integrators and customers.
“This [event] is a mechanism for them to meet us and decide if they want to join. Our charter says we’re trying to get to the end user, the people who make a living out of this.”
SNIA has brought system integrator and end user representatives onto its board in the last couple of years, as well as talking to a group of university CIOs about being represented.
SNIA also wants to introduce a scheme whereby members who are resellers can offer education packs as an add-on to a storage sale.