NetApp Leads Rebound in Storage Networking Jobs

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The job market for storage networking professionals has been steadily improving in recent weeks, according to analysts and industry observers.

A number of data storage vendors appear to be hiring, among them EMC (NYSE: EMC), NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) and CommVault (NASDAQ: CVLT), and observers note that Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) and VMware (NYSE: VMW) also appear to be adding jobs.

"I think in general, hiring is up across the board in tech, especially enterprise storage," said analyst Brian Marshall of Broadpoint AmTech.

"I think it means great things for confidence and visibility in future business trends," he said.

In March, Marshall and Aaron Rakers of Stifel Nicolaus noted that job openings at NetApp had jumped from about 200 at the start of the year to 600. Sales and software engineers led the listings, according to Rakers.

Marshall told Enterprise Storage Forum that NetApp management "has always stated that when they get back to the corporate goal of operating margins of 16 percent — which they have exceeded the past two quarters — they will start hiring aggressively again. It appears they are true to their word and other players in the space are following suit."

Since then, the analysts have noted strong jobs growth at CommVault and Brocade, among others, and Marshall said VMware also added 300 jobs recently.

Devang Panchigar, who blogs at StorageNerve.com and also runs the 12,000-member Storage Professionals group on LinkedIn, said he too has noticed the uptick in hiring, especially at NetApp, EMC and Oracle, which now boasts a big storage presence thanks to its acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

"I see quite a bit of activity on NetApp on the group, though being in social media, I absolutely think the two biggest places that are hiring big-time are EMC and Oracle," Panchigar told ESF.

EMC is building a vSpecialists team for its virtualization efforts with its VMware subsidiary and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), Panchigar noted, while Oracle is "hiring people with NetApp, EMC and other storage backgrounds" for sales and support "both on the East coast and West coast. Big efforts ongoing to ramp up storage services and sales."

NetApp and Brocade will report their quarterly results later this month — along with HP (NYSE: HPQ) and Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) — which should give industry observers additional insight into the health of the storage market.

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