IT workers will soon have a new certification opportunity for storage networking technologies. CompTIA and the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), the worldwide nonprofit associations for information technology and storage technology, announced this week that they are working to develop and market the new certification.
The credential will be called CompTIA Storage + Powered by SNIA, and the organizations described it as a "comprehensive validation of the knowledge and skills necessary to support various solutions and technologies in data storage, storage networking, data protection, and the underlying technologies."
'Information-Centric IT Model'
The exam and certification is expected to be available in a beta release in the second quarter, and in final form worldwide by the second half of this year. This certification will replace SNIA's Storage Network Foundations one, although current holders will be offered a free beta exam.
Wayne M. Adams, chairman of the SNIA board, said the new certification "will be recognized within several vendor-specific certification programs in addition to SNIA and CompTIA programs." He added that it will provide "efficiencies in developing an excellent program for IT professionals to advance their career."
The need for vendor-neutral certification has increased as more data centers move toward a mix of private and public cloud-based environments, where integrating multiple vendors is the norm.
As more IT departments move to an "information-centric IT model," the organizations said, it's increasingly important that data storage be robust and follow a service model. A key requirement for this model, the organizations noted, is the ability "to work internationally with a uniform set of demonstrated capabilities."
Storage Capacity Increases
A survey by CompTIA last September found that 90 percent of the organizations responding expected their data-storage needs to increase at least 10 percent over the next two years. More than a third said they expected to double their capacity.
About half the respondents have at least five employees supporting or managing storage, and the same percentage expect that number to increase within the next two years.
The survey also found positive responses to the idea of a vendor-neutral certification, with nearly three-quarters saying such a certification could result in a better understanding of storage practices, a higher confidence in storage knowledge, and a high level of technical expertise.
Subject-matter experts and other professionals are currently being recruited by the groups to develop the examination and certification. In order for it to be accredited internationally, the certification will need to be approved by ASNI/ISO. Talks have also begun with curriculum and training partners, and at launch there will be versions in Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese, in addition to English. Other languages might be added later.