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SMI-S Coming of Age Page 2

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Earning the SMI-S Logo, End User Anticipation

According to SNIA, by earning the SMI-S logo, end users will have a guarantee of interoperability. They will have confidence that specific arrays can be plugged in to a storage network and that management will be able to occur without hands-on configuration. This is made possible via a series of agents that spans vendors and platforms.

"Storage standards increase customer choice, value, and flexibility and forces vendors to compete on value," says Dell storage technology strategist Matthew Brisse. Several of the Dell/EMC CX line of network storage appliances and Dell Fibre Channel storage arrays have passed the initial SMI-S CTP testing.

"Customers are no longer focused on speeds and feeds — they're in need of real solutions that meet today's pressing business issues such as cutting IT infrastructure expenditures and protecting existing data center investments," adds Mark Canepa, executive vice president of Sun Network Storage. Several SunStorEdge products have passed the test.

Based on initial feedback, end users appear enthused about the implications of the technology standard.

"From this point forward, SMI-S conformance requirements will be an important element in our RFP's for any new storage products," says Marty LeFebre, vice president of technology strategy at Nielsen Media Research. "Knowing the products we plan to purchase have SMI-S in them, coupled with the fact that the implementation has been independently tested, provides us with a level of assurance that the product will perform to our needs and deliver new efficiencies in our storage management solutions."

At the same time, it should be understood that this is an early release of SMI-S and that there is still a long way to go. As in any 1.0 release, there are sure to be bugs that come up. In addition, many additional refinements are planned over the next several years.

"SMI-S is very young and still has infant functionality," cautions Roger Reich, chairman of the SMI-S committee. Still, "there is a solid decade of work involved in delivering the SMI-S vision of complete storage interoperability and policy automation."

Feature courtesy of Enterprise IT Planet.

» See All Articles by Drew Robb

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