StorageNetworking.Org is continuing to expand its storage network user groups (SNUGs) in Australia with a NSW branch joining the inaugural one in Queensland.

Rob Sterling from SNIA Australia, along with assistant director of StorageNetworking.Org, Allen Springer, will serve as the founders for the NSW SNUG. The Queensland Founder is Naveen Sharma from Griffith University.

Like any user group, SNUGs conduct face-to-face meetings with local users to discuss their mutual challenges, exchange information, and interact with technology experts. The meetings are open to anybody involved in storage - end-users, VARs, integrators and even vendors, providing they don't use the events as product pitches.

"We help bring people up to speed so they know what the issues are and what to talk about. Our job is to create education for them. Allow them to know what is going on," Springer said.

Springer used last week's Storage Networking World as a platform to spruik the SNUG message in Australia.

"I met with several end-users who were supportive of the SNUGs and were looking forward to the inaugural [NSW] meeting. The key attribute for most was that our events are vendor neutral and educationally focused," he said.

SNUGs are the brainchild of University of California, which about four years ago realised there was no end-user association for the storage community. "We went out to SNIA and asked them what they thought and thought it was a good thing," Springer said, who also works at the Information Storage Industry Center at the University of California in San Diego.

Springer said he still trying to recruit founders for a Victorian SNUG. The first NSW SNUG meeting is scheduled for sometime in late November.

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