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Vol. 3 No. 8 October 2004

The state of standards

A quick look at some major storage standards Standards initiatives resemble large, noisy families that argue right up until the morning of the wedding about every little detail, no matter how minuscule or inconsequential it may seem to outsiders. Then, just as the couple is walking down the aisle, everyone smiles and becomes the best of friends--and woe to anyone who suggests otherwise. What follows is a look at four storage-related standards: the Fabric Application Interface Standard (FAIS), Storage Management Interface Standard (SMI-S), RAID Data Disk Format (DDF) and iSCSI. The standards are presented in various stages of family unity, presented in rough order from the youngest to the oldest. "There are always differences of opinion on any major standard," says Roger Reich, a member of the technical working group (TWG) responsible for SMI-S. "There are plenty of disagreements; that's part of the process." All these disagreements can take a while to work out. For example, there were 20 distinct revisions of the iSCSI protocol ...

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