Professional certification is integral to career development for most storage professionals these days. Whether its a round of training from your companys key storage vendor, or a supplier-agnostic course from an organization like the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), employers are increasingly attracted to this kind of paper proof of storage skills.
In response, a number of organizations (including storage suppliers) have instituted certification programs for IT professionals. This article explains the basic benefits, outlines a few examples of popular certification programs, and offers suggestions for program planning.
Storage Certifications 101
Storage certifications are in no way monolithic. Professionals can find what theyre looking for from a variety of different sources. Vendor-specific certification programs from companies like EMC and NetApp offer proof of expertise in designing, administrating, implementing, and supporting these suppliers' specific data storage solutions.
Some of the larger vendors also offer certification that encompasses multiple products, though this is a fairly new trend. Indeed, certification itself is a new endeavor in many cases. For years, EMC didnt focus on storage certificates in favor of courses, said Tom Clancy, EMCs VP of education services. But as the market grew more and more and EMCs technology grew, we realized that we needed to create a framework.
Storage managers looking for certifications that are not tied to one companys products can look to professional organizations like the SNIA, whose certification program is focused on generalized skills, rather than on specific product expertise.