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SNIA Unveils "Bluefin" Storage Management Spec

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The long-awaited, much-tinkered-with specification for ensuring easier management in disparate storage hardware and software was released to the public Tuesday by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA).

Introduced was version one of the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S Version 1.0), which was called Bluefin for more than a year while it was undergoing rigorous testing and development by such industry stalwarts as IBM, HP and EMC.

SMI-S backers hope to use the open standard API to eventually integrate large, diverse multi-vendor storage networks to create more opportunities in the multi-billion-dollar storage networking market.

The public review period, during which SNIA encourages vendors to gain implementation experience, will last for 45 days. The news follows SNIA's commencement of a second round of plug-in tests, called CIM-SAN-2, which is expected to last six months.

Under the auspices of the CIM-SAN-2 program, the Storage Management Forum will be demonstrating a heterogeneous multi-vendor storage network based on the public version of SMI-S Version 1.0 through Thursday at SNW 2003. Moreover, 19 storage vendors will be showcasing SMI-S their products' interoperability through the spec at the show.

"The CIM-SAN-2 demonstration, assembled at SNW, is a heterogeneous multi-vendor storage network for vendors to cooperatively exercise SMI-S as it is being written," said Jerry Duggan, CIM-SAN program manager. "We have 20 providers, supplying device instrumentation using SMI-S, and 18 clients, or storage management applications consuming information from SMI-S providers, with over 150 points of interoperability so far."

According to Roger Reich, chair of the Storage Management Initiative Committee in SNIA, the group has set a goal for all storage networking products to use the SMI-S standard in 2005.

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