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What’s in store for storage training?

Dec 14, 20053 mins
Data CenterVoIP

* Storage training options

We’re continuing our look at where to find education for the current Top 3 highest-paying, non-certified network-related skills as reported in Foote Partners’ most recent skills pay survey. Today, we’re going to discuss storage training, but first here’s a look at some feedback I received about last week’s newsletter on VoIP training.

I heard from Vince McLain, vice president of sales and marketing at Prosoft Training, who said my statement that vendor-neutral training does not currently offer students the opportunity to become certified was inaccurate. He says his company offers training toward Convergence Technology Professional (CTP), a certification that’s administered by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). McLain says CTP is recognized and endorsed by most of the large equipment manufacturers, and that “in some cases this certification can even be substituted for their vendor-specific exams in their product-specific training programs.” 

I took a look at the TIA’s literature for CTP, and it looks to be geared toward channel partners and sales engineers, so I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether CTP is useful to you. The TIA does offer the Certified in Convergent Network Technologies (CCNT) certification program, which the TIA says is a, “competency-based educational training of the common-industry terms, concepts and definitions.” However, the literature says the program was “developed for telcos and other network service providers that provide convergence services,” but learning about the basics of a technology should be applicable to all no matter what your job role is.

I also heard from TrainingCity, which tells me it “has been providing vendor-neutral VoIP training for over five years.”  The correspondent says: “We are fortunate to count many of the world’s leading enterprises and VoIP equipment vendors as clients.”

And now back to our scheduled programming: where to go for storage training. Not surprisingly, many storage vendors offer their own training and certifications on their products, including Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert’s Storage Networking track and the EMC Proven Professional Program.

For vendor-neutral training, the Storage Networking Industry Association last year launched SNIA Education Continuum, its training and education initiative that includes certification, training materials, roadshows and conferences. SNIA also provides training courses at its Technology Center Institute in Colorado Springs, Colo., where students get to play with storage and networking equipment worth some $250 million donated by the likes of CA, Extreme Networks, Dell and LSI Logic.

Part of the initiative is the Storage Network Education Framework that provides curricula guidance and a framework for training providers and vendors to develop and deliver courseware. The framework is based on the SNIA’s Job Task Analysis survey findings. The SNIA is currently hosting its 2005 survey at its Web site.

The SNIA’s Network Certification Program is aimed at a number of job roles, including storage manager/administrator, implementation specialist/systems integrator, and storage network developers. The certifications offered are: SNIA Certified Professional, SNIA Certified Systems Engineer, SNIA Certified Architect and SNIA Certified Storage Networking Expert.

For more information about the SNIA’s education initiative, including prerequisites for certifications and workshop prices, go to the SNIA Web site.

Next time, we try and tackle Gigabit Ethernet training. One reader wrote to me puzzled at how Gigabit Ethernet could be considered a skill: “Gigabit Ethernet is no more a skill than being able to use a circular saw,” he says. What do you think?