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Actions speak louder than words
"I'd rather hear someone talk about the value of change management as opposed to using the word 'ITIL,'" says Stewart Hubbard, director of technology engineering at Coldwater Creek, a Coeur d'Alene, ID-based women's apparel company that has implemented several Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)-based processes.

Like ITIL, the phrase "green storage" might be tempting to toss around, simply because everyone thinks it's important. But unless you can demonstrate that you reduced energy consumption and power costs, you could get caught "greenwashing" your conversation, says Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at StorageIO Group, Stillwater, MN.

The same is true when discussing ILM, says Schulz. "If you are talking about information lifecycle management [ILM], then you better talk about more than just having implemented different tiers of storage, tiered data protection, archiving or HSM [hierarchical storage management]," he says. "If you've done anything with policy or rules-based automated storage and data management, bring that up and articulate what you've done and what you used to accomplish the task."

Schulz

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encourages his clients to ask interviewees about the nitty-gritty details of their projects. "I want them to be able to show [that] they've got the cuts, the bruises, the burns, the scrape marks from having actually done it," he says.

SAN skills
Of course, storage professionals still need to know more about switches than sales pitches. SAN skills are at the top of any storage job requirement, as well as at the top of Storage magazine's list of eight skills to have in 2008 (see "In-demand skills," below). SAN design and architecture skills include storage consolidation, data placement and security, data provisioning and capacity planning, performance tuning and network knowledge, particularly Ethernet and Fibre Channel.

Alok Shrivastava, director of educational services at EMC Corp., says SAN architecture and design, including backup and DR, is where companies tell him they have the greatest need.

In-demand skills
  1. SAN design/architecture
  2. Backup and disaster recovery
  3. Business acumen
  4. Storage virtualization
  5. Deduplication
  6. Security
  7. Ediscovery
  8. Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

This was first published in February 2008

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