The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is working on a new standard that should make it easier to manage servers running RAID. Managed by SNIA's Common RAID Disk Data Format (DDF) Technical Work Group (TWG), the plan is to standardize the data set that describes how data on a RAID disk is laid out.
Once RAID vendors adopt the DDF format, it will be possible, say, to swap RAIDed disk drives out of one server and into another, without first reformatting the drives. "This is all about the ease of migration for customers moving between different RAID solutions," says Linus Wong, director of strategic marketing for Adaptec, which is a member of DDF TWG.
For the time being, the DDF TWG is focusing on common RAID functions (largely 0, 1, 3, 4 and 5), says Bill Dawkins, technology strategist with Dell's storage advanced engineering team, and chair of the DDF TWG. The focus of DDF is host-attached RAID, and not external RAID arrays. The DDF work group hopes to have a draft specification available for public review by the end of this year. Ratification would probably follow 12 months later.