Aperi Strikes Back

The IBM-led Aperi storage management effort showed that reports of its demise were greatly exaggerated, with an announcement Wednesday that it will join the open source Eclipse Foundation and donate millions of lines of code.

Last week’s announcement by Sun, EMC, HP, HDS and Symantec that they would focus their storage management efforts on the Storage Networking Industry Association’s Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) left some analysts wondering if it was the beginning of the end for Aperi.

The Aperi effort — IBM, Brocade, Cisco, CA, Emulex, LSI Logic, Fujitsu, McData, Network Appliance and now Novell — announced Wednesday that it will work with SNIA on its open source implementation of SMI-S.

In a statement, SNIA Chair Wayne Adams said SNIA will work with Aperi, noting that all members of both groups are SNIA members. He said SNIA technical efforts are open to all members.

“SNIA’s planned relationship with Aperi will include interoperability programs for SMI-S, the use of SNIA facilities for Aperi interoperability programs, and advancing current and new storage standards,” Adams said. “The IT industry will benefit from Aperi helping to drive SMI-S implementations, storage technologies and open standards.”

Bob Sutor, IBM’s vice president of standards and open source, said IBM has a “tremendous amount of experience for how standards come together,” and said Aperi chose Eclipse because of its “unparalleled record of success in open standards.”

Aperi will be “the open source project that implements relevant SNIA standards,” most notably SMI-S, Sutor said. “This will accelerate the broad adoption of these standards.”

Sutor issued an open invitation to other storage vendors to join the effort. “They’re more than welcome to come in and strongly influence the direction of this effort,” he said. “At some point, it behooves them to come and join and donate code and influence the process.”

Storage customers, he said, “want a solution that can span any type of hardware. It future-proofs what they do.”

To advance the development of the Aperi framework, Fujitsu, IBM and McData said they will contribute storage management software code to the project. IBM plans to contribute more than one million lines of code from its TotalStorage Productivity Center software.

But it remains to be seen what will bridge the gap between what has been characterized by some observers as IBM and its partners on one side — including the top storage switch vendors — and other major storage vendors on the other side.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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