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Storage standards: A progress report

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Since the release of Version 1.0, SMI-S has grown in the products and functions it covers (see "SMI-S roadmap," PDF). Versions 1.0 and 1.1 provided

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coverage of basic SAN equipment such as switches, host bus adapters and arrays. Only a few functions were covered in any of the products. SMI-S has since added more products, including NAS and much deeper coverage. Versions 1.2 (the newest adopted version) and 1.3 (in advanced development) cover or will add performance instrumentation, improved monitoring and virtual tape. Work is already starting on Version 1.4.

Click here for the SMI-S roadmap (PDF).


Among the features added to Version 1.2 are support for storage enclosures (as devices), host-based controllers, file-system quotas, consistency management for snapshots and replication. Disk partitioning, virtualization and a variety of Fibre Channel features are also included.

The standard is becoming broader by addressing different kinds of devices. It's also becoming deeper by providing additional capabilities for supported devices, says David Thiel, chairman of the SNIA Technical Council and a staff fellow in Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co.'s StorageWorks division.

"SMI-S 1.0 couldn't even spell file and didn't apologize for the fact," says David L. Black, a member of the SNIA Technical Council, as well as one of the chairs of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) IP Storage Working Group. He's also a senior technologist at EMC Corp. "In Version 1.2, you find file management."


This was first published in January 2008

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