OSD A-OK with NSIC. Now, it's up to SNIA
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You may recall that some time ago, NSIC, the National Storage Industry Consortium, was hard at work on the Object-Based Storage Device standard. According to Dr. Jack Gelb with IBM Strategic Storage in San Jose and chair of the group, they largely wrapped up that work just over a year ago. Gelb says they documented SCSI command extensions in support of object-based network-attached storage devices, and submitted that document to ANSI's T10 Committee for standards consideration. They, in turn, are in the process of reviewing/revising it at this time. "Several of us involved with the NSIC NASD project are continuing to focus on object-based storage through the SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) OSD working group," he added.
The SNIA Object-Based Storage Device (OSD, formerly called OBSD) Work Group, for its part, is focused on enabling the creation of self-managed, heterogeneous, shared storage for storage networks. According to the group, the work is aimed at moving low-level storage functions into the storage device itself, accessing the device through a standard object interface. The group plans to standardize and extend the output from the NSIC NASD project and work closely with OSD efforts of the DMTF (Distributed Management Task Force, Inc.).
On a more concrete level, the SNIA work group reckons the work should eventually help minimize a server's involvement in moving data, and allow client applications to directly access storage devices. The results can help reduce network traffic by minimizing the number of times that data and control information is transmitted. This work should also help create a richer device interface through the use of an object model and object interface, and can separate storage management from operational semantics.
When will the results appear? "There are now working groups in both T10 and SNIA collaborating on the goal of a standard - to be done, I hope, by the end of 2001," says Seagate's Dave Anderson, chair of the SNIA group.