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In Search of Storage Skills

Storage is growing at an alarming rate, but getting hold of the staff to manage it is easier said than done. Metadata, virtualization, and security skills are already posing problems.

A number of execs are steeling themselves for a tough 2007. "We're in an extremely competitive environment when looking for talented individuals in networking, data storage, and data management," warns Jonathan Rothman, director of data management at Livingston, N.J.-based healthcare firm Emergency Medical Associates (EMA).

The exec told Byte and Switch that people with experience in metadata management are particularly difficult to find. "What I am forced to do, as a result, is take that expertise from consulting groups," he says.

It is hardly surprising that demand for metadata skills is growing, says David Hill, principal of analyst firm Mesabi Group. "Understanding the metadata is going to become more and more important," he says, citing the impact of compliance regulations such Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) and the recent Federal Rules for Civil Procedure (FRCP). (See Top Tips for Compliance , EDS Selects StorageNetworks, and FRCP Tip Sheet.) "You have to now audit your data [and] you have to have a chain of custody as the information flows within your organization," he adds.

Elsewhere, virtualization is also posing a major skills headache. "Our two pain points are people with experience in virtualization and people with experience in encryption," says Christian Philips, chief security officer at Napa, California-based bill processing company Regulus Group. "We bring people up in-house where we have to -- it's a long, arduous process, but it's what we have to do."

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