Feature

SNIA Members Plug Away at Management Spec

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Storage Networking World, co-sponsored by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is always a big source of storage standards news. This year was no exception, with SNIA announcing that the Storage Management Interface Specification (SMI-S), formerly known as Bluefin, is now available for public review. At this rate, SNIA chairman Sheila Childs expects a preliminary spec this June, and a fully ratified standard this fall.

The 600-page SMI-S document describes a plethora of nitty-gritty functional tasks such as array configuration, LUN masking, zone management, array snapshot and copy services, and tape library management, Childs says.

"We've come a really long way," Childs says, who believes that we could start seeing products shipping by the end of the year.

But SMI-S supporters aren't waiting around for ratification to show off their stuff. Nineteen companies participated in SNW's CIMSAN 2 demo, with 19 different CIM providers, 15 different management applications, and 152 "points of interoperability," between HBAs, switches and arrays, Childs says, compared to fewer than 100 last year. Storage devices included switches from Cisco, Inrange, McData, Brocade, and QLogic, and arrays from EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, and Sun.

How did the demo go? "It's been sort of boring," says Roger Reich, SNIA chair of the SMI Committee. Unlike in years past, "where engineers were writing code until the very last minute, everything just sort of works."

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This was first published in May 2003

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