Storage Networking Group Gains MomentumFormed in late September of 2003, few gave the Association of Storage Networking Professionals (ASNP) much chance of success. In an industry jammed with associations and user groups, who needed another one? Yet the ASNP's determination to be an organization "for the user, by the user" appears to have struck a chord.
The ASNP, in fact, has rapidly blossomed to 27 chapters around the world — 16 in the USA, and 11 international chapters — Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, Korea, Nigeria, Signapore, Switzerland, and two in Canada (Vancouver and Toronto).
An obvious part of its allure is its end-user exclusivity. Vendors are not permitted full membership of the association. They can become involved in specific vendor forums, but have no say in group management and cannot participate in chapter business.
"Users have been telling me for years that if they raised a concern with a vendor, the usual reaction was, 'Sign this PO and we will fix the problem'," said Delshad. "The ASNP offers them a place to resolve storage issues without vendor pressure or bias."
According to those present at the annual summit, this message resonates with the membership.
"The ASNP is a place where members can get unbiased information about storage networking from their peers," said Chris Adriano, Storage Administrator for Southwest Gas Corporation.
Dan Pollack, principal Unix administrator at America Online agrees. "The ASNP has been a long time coming," he said. "Users need to gather outside of the vendor framework in order to participate in an open forum for sharing their experiences."
Despite their exclusion from active participation, several vendors have jumped on board the bandwagon. EMC, NeoScale and QLogic, for example, are partnering with ASNP. QLogic, in particular, is very much behind the aims of the association.