Storage Networking Industry Association Europe and Fibre Channel Industry Association Europe reflect on success of UK end user council meeting
Interoperability and skills certification is of utmost importance to end users
London – 19th May 2003 – In line with the official merger intent of the Storage Networking Industry Association Europe (SNIA-E) and the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIAE), the two associations held their second UK end user council meeting on April 30, 2003 in London, where debate amongst the end user community delivered interesting results. The next UK meeting is scheduled for November 2003.
The objective of the meeting was to provide end users with a free, vendor-neutral information exchange to discuss the roles of the SNIA and the FCIA, what developments end users would like to see within the industry and the current challenges that they face. Delegates from the end user community that attended included IT experts and technical services representatives from the financial, telecommunications, healthcare and aviation sectors, amongst others. The meeting was an opportunity to share experiences, with the focus on storage network security issues and emerging new storage technologies.
Tim Perfect, as part of the Enterprise Storage Team at Norwich Union, manages 80 TBs of data across the insurance company’s SANs in Norfolk said: “With the continuing growth of datacentre based storage, the end user customer council gives a unique opportunity for us to discuss openly the issues that directly effect our storage decisions.”
Perfect continued: “Interoperability was high on the agenda as users become more price sensitive, we expect more bang for our bucks, single vendor solutions are not always a valid option. Having SNIA as our man in the corner allows for all end user comments to be feed directly back to the storage vendors, we look forward to attending future events.”
At the meeting, end user attendees were asked to complete a short questionnaire, to discover more about the benefits of participating in SNIA events, their opinions on vendor-neutral skills certification and the disciplines they would like to see targeted. Finally, delegates were asked about the issues affecting their day-to-day work and with whom the responsibility should lie for delivering a value proposition to users in regard to storage management standards certification and performance.
Key motivations of the respondents to attend the event were to learn about evolving products and standards, and to gain insider knowledge of advances in the storage network industry, with 94% and 100% of respondents respectively citing these as key reasons to participate in the forums. *1
Storage Network Architecture was the main area of interest to the respondents, and the majority (64%)*2 felt that it was the SNIA who was best placed to deliver a value proposition statement to the user community on Storage Management Standards certification and conformance, showing the inherent value of both the SNIA and the important role it plays when helping end users to negotiate the most effective infrastructure solutions to optimise their business practices.
The most important challenges respondents faced were related to interoperability and interface consolidation. Access to roadmaps of future developments from vendors and solutions that could deliver improved security were key drivers to end users, and is an area where a vendor-neutral organisation such as the SNIA can deliver real benefits to both vendors and end users by helping to create standards for the industry to work with. The SNIA is also best placed to act as a source of impartial, agnostic advice to those considering or already using SANs and Fibre Channel technology.
Neal Watkins, chairman of the UK committee of the SNIA-E said about the meeting: "The End User Council meeting was a fantastic chance for end users within the IT community to provide direct feedback to the SNIA Europe. Users could not only learn about new developments and technologies, but also feedback to us about the issues that matter to them, to help to drive and shape the evolving role of the SNIA.”
Andrew Batty, chairman of the Fibre Channel Industry Association Europe commented: “ I am very pleased we are able to build on the success of the previous two end user council events and gain a closer relationship with the end user community in the UK. Our strategy is to solidify this relationship and establish a stronger mind share for the end users challenges and concerns within the vendor community.”
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
*1: Cited as being of ‘high’ or ‘medium’ importance for end users interviewed
*2: 64% felt that the SNIA were in the best position to deliver the value proposition. 12% thought it was the role of both the SNIA and vendors, 12% believed it was the role of neither and 6% believed it was the role of vendors.
- A total of 18 attendees at the event participated in the survey
About the Storage Networking Industry Association Europe (SNIA-E)
The Storage Networking Industry Association is a not-for-profit organisation made up of more than 300 companies and individuals worldwide spanning virtually the entire storage industry – end users, vendors and resellers. SNIA members share a common goal: to set the pace of the industry by ensuring that storage networks become efficient, complete and trusted solutions across the IT community.
To this end, the SNIA is uniquely committed to delivering standards, education and services that will propel open storage networking solutions into the broader market. For information, contact the SNIA Europe on +33 1 47 49 06 23 or +33 1 34 58 46 72 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the SNIA web site at http://www.snia-europe.org
About the Fibre Channel Industry Association Europe (FCIAE)
The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) Europe is an independent, self-funding, non-profit, pan European body set up to promote Fibre Channel technology throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. With affiliates in the US and Japan, the FCIA Europe's charter is to raise the profile and awareness of Fibre Channel technology thereby developing the broadest possible market for Fibre Channel products.
Established in early 1998, the FCIA Europe has grown its membership to nearly one hundred leading companies representing a broad spectrum of the Fibre Channel industry. The association undertakes PR and marketing activities, organises events, and generally acts as a facilitator to educate the user community and help vendors reach their target customers. For further information about the Fibre Channel Industry Association Europe please call +44 (0)20 7837 7890, or e-mail email@example.com, or visit http://www.fibrechannel-europe.com
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