End user feedback and participation along with interoperability standards top the agenda for the Australian and New Zealand chapter of the Storage Industry Network Association, according to chairman Mark Heers at the group's official launch in Sydney today.
While the local group has the blessing of the international organisation and promotes the standards – such as the Storage Management Initiative and SMI-S (Specifications for developers), Heers, also a product manager at EMC, said SNIA ANZ will focus on local initiatives such as technical content, certification and training curricula development with tertiary institutions.
To ensure end user input, each of the group's 18 members will have 10 invites for CIOs and IT managers to participate in forums across a number of storage networking topics in the coming year.
End user Mark Carmichael, senior manager IS&C at Ernst & Young, who was the 'face' of the end user community at the launch breakfast, said that, like all at the coalface, he had war stories and axes to grind about storage. While relating his dilemma of dealing with vendors and solutions when merging the systems of acquired companies, he said standards for the interoperability of storage networking is a great thing. For end users in storage networking, he said, "It is not practical to align with only one vendor."
The group will also focus on technical and content topics as part of its education program, and will structure a number of events in various cities, though no firm dates or locations have yet been scheduled.
The group took its first formative steps in August 2002, accumulated members, gained legal status in September and held its first annual general meeting and board elections last month.
SNIA ANZ board members, who represent 160 years experience in storage, Heers said, include Andrew Manners, HP, vice chairman; Andrew Antal, Computer Associates, secretary; Peter Glover, Imation, treasurer; Graham Schultz, Brocade; Ross Harper, HDS; Garry Barker, IBM; Chris Pearson, Sun; and Narelle Wilson, Veritas.
For details about standards and membership in SNIA ANZ, see www.snia.org.au