HP, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, Sun Microsystems, and Symantec have announced a coordinated effort to advance industry-standard storage management.
The five companies, collectively representing more than half the worldwide market share
for enterprise storage management software, will work together to ensure that the
Storage Networking Industry Association's (SNIA) storage management initiative
specification (SMI-S) becomes a common, widely used industry standard.
Announced at Storage World Conference Spring 2006, the collaboration's goals are to
enhance SMI-S with new specifications and programming interfaces for a Web services
framework for advanced storage management as well as to provide the first reference
implementation of SMI-S. IT organizations will benefit from having access to improved
storage management software that is expected to further reduce the costs of storage
administration and align storage resources more closely with business needs.
In addition, the companies will seek to give independent hardware and software vendors,
service providers, system integrators, and enterprise IT organizations a common,
standards-built pluggable platform to more quickly develop high-value storage management
Thus far, the focus of SMI-S has been on the instrumentation of heterogeneous storage
devices to facilitate standards-based storage interoperability. It offers a
specification for managing devices such as disk arrays, switches, and hosts, defines a
common model of device behavior, and provides a common language to read and set control
End users, systems integrators, and software developers, however, are calling for the
specification to define more advanced management functions such as topology, navigation,
policy management, security, and workflow. SNIA constituents also have voiced the need
for a reference implementation of the specification to avoid re-writing common functions
each time they build a new storage management application.