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The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) announced that it has received an offer of a substantial new contribution of technology aimed at advancing standards-based SAN Management by a group of storage industry vendors.
The contributors have developed a draft specification that applies CIM/WBEM object technology to create the basis of a complete management solution for interoperable, multi-vendor SANs.
The contributing companies and the SNIA are cooperating to create a transition plan that addresses the appropriate level of incorporation into SNIA technical and marketing activities. The transition plan is expected to be complete in July. The Challenge of SAN Management
"Managing the complexity of SANs has become a key user issue - a problem that is compounded by the multi-vendor environment most users have," said John Webster, Senior Analyst at the Data Mobility Group. "Without comprehensive standards for management and testing for interoperability, users will be forced to pay artificially high prices for solutions and as a result, will find it more difficult to achieve the promised value of storage networking."
The industry requires a comprehensive standard architecture for managing devices such as disk arrays, switches, and hosts in a SAN. The standard must include a common model of device behavior, and a common language to read and set control information. This subject has been the focus of work within SNIA since its founding in 1997.
Recognizing the need for a standards based approach, the contributing companies have worked together to draft a specification for a proposed common interface for SAN management that can reliably identify, classify, monitor and control physical and logical resources across the enterprise using a common transport for communication. The specification, code-named `Bluefin', employs technology from the Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) initiative that uses the Managed Object Format (MOF) to describe system resources based on a Common Information Model (CIM). Bluefin introduces new technology for security, locking, and discovery for SAN management.
By contributing the specification the contributors seek to leverage the technical workgroup and marketing resources of the SNIA to complete and extend the Bluefin work. The contributing companies are: BMC Software, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., Computer Associates, Dell Computer Corporation, EMC Corporation, Emulex Corporation, Gadzoox Networks , Hewlett-Packard Company , Hitachi Ltd, IBM, JNI Corporation, Prisa Networks, QLogic, StorageTek , Sun Microsystems and VERITAS Software.