Storage industry aims for better management

The Storage Networking Industry Association has announced a new initiative to develop open standards for storage management interfaces.

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By  Mark Sutton Published  August 14, 2002

The storage industry is taking moves towards open standard with the launch of a new initiative. The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has announced the Storage Management Initiative (SMI) to drive open storage management interfaces.

The aim of the initiative is to enable customers to better manage multi-vendor storage networks, through establishing an industry standard storage management interface. By applying open standards, customers will be able to buy and use the devices they choose instead of being constrained to just one vendor. Management of heterogeneous storage environments is proving a major headache for IT managers, according to analysts.

“The SNIA recognises customer concerns and demands for a more efficient storage networking solution and is dedicating its efforts to making a truly open, interoperable storage network a reality,” said Brad Stamas, SNIA chairman. “The standards created by the Storage Management Initiative will alleviate the complexities that daunt many IT professionals and also increase the value and efficiency of vendors’ hardware and software storage solutions.”

The SMI’s initial efforts towards an open storage management interface will be based on Bluefin, a draft specification developed by the SNIA. Bluefin describes a Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM), Common Information Model (CIM) based interface for discovery, management and monitoring of storage networks. Among the companies that worked on the Bluefin specification were BMC, Brocade, Computer Associates, Dell, EMC, Emulex, Gadzoox, HP, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, JNI, Prisa, QLogic, STC, Sun Microsystems and Veritas.

Analysts welcomed the move. “It is imperative that the SNIA keep the standards process moving, because open standards always benefit both vendors and users. The SNIA Storage Management Initiative is a step towards putting a true management standard in place,” said Dan Tanner, Director of Storage Research, Aberdeen Group.

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