EMC Says Good-bye to WideSky, Hello to SMI

As storage standards have begun to mature, EMC has decided its WideSky middleware program is no longer necessary.

Executive VP Mark Lewis said recently that the company now favors SMI-S, the Storage Networking Industry Association’s Storage Management Initiative Specification, and API swaps. The SMI Specification is expected to be adopted later this year.

The reason, the company says, is that standards that weren’t in place when the heterogeneous storage management program was launched two years ago have
now matured.

“EMC’s strategy for open management has evolved with the maturation of standards,” the company said in a statement.

WideSky had raised concerns that the company was taking a proprietary approach to interoperability. IBM , for example, welcomed EMC’s decision to abandon the program. “Customers do not want products that implement proprietary management interfaces,” the firm said in response to WideSky. “Customers want choice — products based on open standards.”

Enterprise Storage Group’s senior analyst Nancy Marrone-Hurley has a similar but slightly different take on the decision. “I think it’s a good move for them to take WideSky out of the conversation. The WideSky initiative was confusing. The messaging made it sound like EMC was proprietary and would not be participating in open standards efforts. That was really not the case. WideSky was really just middleware used to manage APIs and CIM modules, but that just was never really [made] clear.

“And realize, they announced WideSky before the SMI-S standard was defined,” she adds. “The part of the standard that defines how to communicate with the CIM modules was still being formed as Bluefin. Now that SMI-S is pretty solid, they do not need to have a separate offering. It’s not so much that they are dropping it, rather they only need to support the single standard now and can focus their attention on adding more value to their applications.

“Of course, they will still need to have overlap so they can support APIs during the transition and offer API extensions for advanced functionality, but there no longer needs to be two separate initiatives for common management functions,” concludes Marrone-Hurley.

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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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