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Robin Glasgow is the Executive Director of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), a non profit independent trade association representing over 200 storage vendors. We asked Robin how he views the role of the SNIA, and about some of the factors that affect networked storage industry as a whole. Here is what he had to say:
[ESF] "Hi Robin. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us."
[Robin Glasgow] "No problem. Thanks for the opportunity."
[ESF] "The SNIA is now an established feature of the networked storage industry landscape, but how was the SNIA formed, and what is the structure of the organization?"
[Robin Glasgow]"The SNIA was formed by 17 companies who desired to impact the storage networking industry by forming a 501-C6 Non-profit "benefit association" in California. The Storage Networking Industry Association was formally incorporated on 12-18-97 and is also registered in Colorado as of 11/1/01. The SNIA is structured to be responsive to it's membership which currently lists over 200 companies worldwide. Most (but not all) of these companies are vendors in the storage market. The SNIA members follow a set of by-laws laid out in a policies and procedures document, and elect 10 Board members to run the association. An additional three seats can be appointed by the Board. All terms are for 2 years and after 4 consecutive years as a Board member a term limit kicks in. This keeps the leadership of the SNIA fresh and robust. The Board uses a contract staff to work the day-to-day operations of the association."
[ESF] "Who can be a member of the SNIA and what is required of members?"
[Robin Glasgow] "Any company or individual can join the SNIA, but the majority of members right now are storage vendors. We are starting to see VARS, integrators and even a couple end users join, and we plan to push that trend in the future. People join for a variety of reasons, access to Storage Networking World (our bi-annual conference), network peer interaction, to be in on the ground floor in producing technology in one of our work groups, easy access to education and certification, use of the Tech Center in Colorado Springs, etc. All members subscribe to the SNIA mission, which is that we will 'ensure that storage networks become complete and trusted solutions for the IT community'. The only requirements we make of our member is that they pay dues on time and adhere to SNIA by-laws and P&P and IP policy."
[ESF] "How does the SNIA work with members? For example, does it see itself as having a co-ordination role or more of an arbitration function?"
[Robin Glasgow] "The SNIA is not really an arbiter between members, we do bring them together, we do ask them to look at the industry as a whole, and to work with the SNIA to expand that industry. We do coordinate conferences, education, planning, technical work groups, but remember the competition in the industry is fierce, and in that environment (like any successful industry) we sometimes have to remind a member that they must wear an SNIA 'hat'."