Multivendor SAN management standard gains ISO approval

Two dozen storage vendors have implemented SMI-S in more than 450 products

A specification designed to help multi-vendor storage systems interoperate, freeing up the movement of data and giving IT managers a single view of their environment, has been designated a standard by the international standards community.

Developed by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) Version 1.03 has been ratified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). SMI-S was ratified last year by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

"This is the first storage management standard out there that's specific to SAN-based technologies," said Wayne Adams, a SNIA board member. Adams said the international acceptance of SMI-S will further its adoption in the U.S. and over seas.

Two dozen big and small storage vendors -- including EMC, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard Co. -- have so far implemented the SMI-S 1.0 specification in more than 450 products.

SMI-S is a set of common models and interfaces designed to allow storage management applications to communicate and manage multivendor storage devices. SNIA is working on three separate updated versions of the SMI-S.

"We still have a data explosion going on and still need to move data across larger pools of storage and this standard allows this to take place and it offers a common tool set to do that," Adams said.

SNIA is particularly focused on Version 1.1 of SMI-S, which defines interfaces between network-attached storage (NAS) and iSCSI-based devices. That version is currently being reviewed by ANSI. SMI-S v1.1 deals with device descriptions and the services associated with them, such as copying data from one array to another.

SMI-S version 1.2 is being reviewed by SNIA members and will offer support for host based controllers – bringing SMI-S down to the host storage enclosures. file system quotas, volume protection and the management of data snapshots.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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