In store for enterprises

SNIA is planning on a local chapter of the organisation in the region to bring together stakeholders and enterprises, and increase awareness of storage technologies and best practices.

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By  Sathya Mithra Ashok Published  March 3, 2008

SNIA is planning on a local chapter of the organisation in the region to bring together stakeholders and enterprises, and increase awareness of storage technologies and best practices.

The second annual Storage Networking Industry Association's (SNIA) SNIA Europe Academy event was held in Dubai last month, bringing together some of the industry biggies in storage along with channel partners, system integrators and end-users.

I think it is absolutely essential to have a chapter in the region. I want to create it. I had mentioned in my presentation last year that it is on my radar screen and we have been talking to people since last year.

"If you compare with last year, we had at least a 100 more people register. That amounts to 250 individuals. It is an interesting and important event since it provides vendor neutral content inside the conference hall - what we call the neutral zone. But participants can also visit the vendor stalls outside or join them in their break out sessions to get a good sense of the latest in the storage industry.

The event has definitely been a big success," said Juergen Arnold, chairman of SNIA Europe. He is also the R&D director for enterprise storage and servers at HP.

"We invite people from across the Middle East and so do the sponsors of the show. People might not fly in especially for the event though but if they are in town, many of the invitees do join us. And so we do have some guests from across the region," he added.

According to Arnold, the goal is to have over 80% of the audience comprised of enterprises users.

Known as the global standards body for storage, SNIA prides itself on being a vendor-agnostic organisation with over 400 vendor companies as its members. While the organisation creates standards largely from the US, its other offices across the globe, including SNIA Europe performs outbound marketing functions.

While the body has had no local Middle East committee so far, Arnold explained that there was a need for a local chapter of SNIA to drive initiatives and bring together storage stakeholders in the region.

"I think it is absolutely essential to have a chapter in the region. I want to create it. I had mentioned in my presentation last year that it is on my radar screen and we have been talking to people since last year. This year we have a clear plan of expansion to set up more regional committees. I have two new ones that I want to create.

There is a Russian one, which is planned for May, right before the Moscow event in June. In the next three months, we will create a local committee here," said Arnold.

SNIA needs around four existing and voting SNIA members to come together to form the regional chapter. If and when the local chapter is formed, the committee can organise the annual events, bring together regional stakeholders in informal discussions and even have entire storage conferences delived in the Arabic language.

"It is almost like a day job. It is not like getting together once a month. I am looking for one person who can drive it. I cannot drive it out of Germany where I am based. I am a frequent visitor to the region so I can certainly help. We also have an office in London and they can also logistically support the operation. However, I need a local person who says he wants to do it and is ready to take ownership of the chapter," said Arnold.

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