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SNW: SNIA Advances Cloud, Green Storage Standards

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) used this week’s Storage Networking World (SNW) conference as a launching pad to announce the latest advances in its efforts to standardize cloud storage and power efficiency standards for storage systems.

The Green Storage Initiative

As part of its green storage efforts, the group today unveiled the SNIA Green Storage Initiative’s (GSI) SNIA Emerald program, including a website (currently in beta) built to allow vendors and interested parties time to prepare for the forthcoming public release of the SNIA Emerald Power Efficiency Measurement Specification.

According to SNIA’s chairman and senior technologist at EMC, Wayne Adams, the Emerald program is designed to provide a vendor-neutral power efficiency test measurement specification and serve as a clearinghouse for sharing the results of using the specification. The website will provide the resources needed to learn about, evaluate, test and share storage system power usage and efficiency.

Adams said the Emerald program will help drive continuous improvements in storage system power efficiency. “The specification will provide a baseline for apples-to-apples comparisons of power profiles for active and idle workloads, he said.”

There is a nominal fee associated with participation in the program. SNIA members will pay about $300 to download and use the specification, and post their power efficiency measurements to the Emerald program’s website. Non-members can expect to pay about $500. The money will go towards “sustaining the program’s infrastructure,” Adams said.

Vendors who use the specification will be allowed to post the results to the central repository and obtain a SNIA Emerald logo for those results. In turn, others can view the test results of various storage systems and an indication of which products have met and undergone the Emerald testing requirements.

The Cloud Storage Initiative Expands

On the cloud storage front, SNIA announced several new additions to its Cloud Storage Initiative (CSI). The new members of the group include cloud computing vendors and managed service providers CA Technologies, Cisco, CoreVault, Iron Mountain, Recovery Networks and Terremark Worldwide, bringing its membership to 23 companies.

The CSI completed work on its first cloud standard, the CDMI (Cloud Data Management Interface), earlier this year. The CDMI provides standards for the data path to clouds, includes the ability to manage service levels that data receives when it is stored in the cloud, and includes a common interoperable data exchange format for securely moving data and its associated data requirements between clouds.

The CDMI is based on a RESTful HTTP protocol, and requires providers to implement stringent access controls and encryption of data for security purposes. The standard enables developers to mark cloud storage containers and data objects with Data System Metadata to enforce service-level requirements for the data.

The new members join the CSI’s founders, Actifio, Bycast, Cleversafe, CloudOptix, Dell, Desktone, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, LSI, Mezeo, NetApp, Olocity, Oracle, Symantec and Xiotech.

The SNIA is offering a first-hand look at the CDMI at this week’s SNW conference in Dallas, Texas.

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