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HP, EMC, Hitachi, Sun Microsystems, Symantec to Expand Industry Standard for Storage ManagementLONG BEACH, Calif., June 22, 2006
HP, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, Sun Microsystems, and Symantec today announced a coordinated effort to advance industry-standard storage management.
The five companies, collectively representing more than half the worldwide market share for enterprise storage management software,(1) will work together to ensure that the Storage Networking Industry Association’s (SNIA) Storage Management Initiative specification (SMI-S) becomes a common, widely used industry standard.
Announced at Storage World Conference Spring 2006, the collaboration’s goals are to enhance SMI-S with new specifications and programming interfaces for a Web services framework for advanced storage management as well as to provide the first reference implementation of SMI-S. IT organizations will benefit from having access to improved storage management software that will further reduce the costs of storage administration and align storage resources more closely with business needs.
In addition, the companies will seek to give independent hardware and software vendors, service providers, system integrators, and enterprise IT organizations a common, standards-built pluggable platform to more quickly and cost-effectively develop high-value storage management services. The companies plan to contribute staff, specifications, and code to expedite the success of this initiative.
“SMI-S has been very successful to date in providing a standard way to discover, model, and provision storage devices, so increased SNIA member commitments to enhance the specification with more advanced management functions and create a reference implementation of the specification will serve all SMI-S developers and implementers,” said Wayne M. Adams, chairman, SNIA Board of Directors. “The commitment from these SNIA member companies, and other SNIA members who will join this effort, will further propel SMI-S to meet the needs of ILM, data protection, grid computing, and interoperable storage management applications.”
Thus far, the focus of SMI-S has been on the instrumentation of heterogeneous storage devices to facilitate standards-based storage interoperability. It offers a specification for managing devices such as disk arrays, switches, and hosts, defines a common model of device behavior, and provides a common language to read and set control information.
End users, systems integrators, and software developers, however, are calling for the specification to define more advanced management functions such as topology, navigation, policy management, security, and workflow. SNIA constituents also have voiced the need for a reference implementation of the specification to avoid re-writing common functions each time they build a new storage management application.
“A number of storage vendors have already done the work of leveraging SMI-S to deliver SAN management and storage resource management solutions. This initiative takes advantage of their efforts to create a middleware platform for storage that anyone can use to get past all of the basic foundation work, and focus on building more innovative storage management software,” said John Webster, founder and senior analyst, Data Mobility Group.
All five companies were leaders of the early SNIA CIM work and the original Bluefin specification that eventually evolved into SMI-S. The companies will actively work over the next few months to make the necessary changes within SNIA to enable the organization to support such an initiative.
“Standards such as SMI-S create a level playing field where vendors compete on innovation and value, and the ultimate winner is the end user, which is why HP has been so supportive of standards across our storage, server, software, printer, and consumer electronics product lines,” said Ash Ashutosh, vice president and chief technology officer of the StorageWorks Division at HP. “HP has been committed to SMI-S, CIM, and WBEM since co-authoring the original Bluefin specification, and has backed that up with a wide range of SMI-S-conformant storage solutions, including our HP StorageWorks MSA, EVA, and XP disk arrays and our HP Storage Essentials SRM software. Now it’s time for SMI-S to take the next step in its evolution from device management interface to systems management standard and offer the re-usable building blocks needed to deliver advanced, high-value management solutions.”
“EMC’s longstanding support for SMI-S is evidenced by our continued technical SMI-S contributions to the SNIA, our full participation in SNIA interoperability labs and SNIA SMI-S demonstrations, and our SNIA SMI-S CTP-conformant product implementations for Symmetrix, CLARiiON, and ControlCenter,” said Jeff Nick, senior vice president and chief technology officer at EMC. “A full SMI-S reference implementation will expedite CTP programs and interoperability programs, further benefiting IT end-users with deployable multi-vendor storage management solutions. Extending SMI-S with a Web services framework, coupled with SMI-S CIM, will enable existing and future storage applications to plug in to a common model-based infrastructure to share and exchange essential resource and data management information.”
“Hitachi and Hitachi Data Systems have demonstrated continuous leadership in the movement towards open standards management frameworks,” said Jack Domme, senior vice president of Global Solutions, Strategy and Development at Hitachi Data Systems. “As a founding member of the SMI-S initiative, we have contributed to the development of the SMI-S specifications of standards for heterogeneous storage management and successfully completed SMI-S Conformance Testing for all Hitachi and Hitachi Data Systems products. Since its inception, Hitachi’s HiCommand Suite has been architected utilizing open standards frameworks such as CIM and SMI-S, which have allowed us to provide our customers with the same common set of storage management and replication tools across all lines of our TagmaStore storage systems. Hitachi has always maintained an open and collaborative business strategy and the creation of a reference platform based on recognized standards like SMI-S or Web services will help to further this cause by easing the deployment and management of heterogeneous storage environments for customers.”
“Storage management is a pressing priority for customers and it’s time for the industry to get serious about developing a common, standards-based framework to address it. The SNIA provides the most conducive environment for enabling the success of standards-based software development projects and it’s why Sun has aggressively lobbied for changes to the SNIA’s core governance model over the last eight months,” said Adam Mendoza, director of storage industry initiatives at Sun Microsystems, Inc. “Building on existing industry standards like SMI-S in a collaborative, cooperative environment is the most logical path to helping customers solve their storage management challenges. To jumpstart the process, Sun will contribute CIM provider code to the initiative.”
“SMI-S is now a backbone for the storage industry and a vital technology for bringing customers new value in our solutions. Augmenting SMI-S to provide more advanced automation, disaster resilience, and security represents a key future deliverable for the storage industry,” said Rob Soderbery, senior vice president for Symantec’s Storage Foundation Group.
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is a not-for-profit global organization made up of more than 460 member companies and close to 7,000 active individuals spanning virtually the entire storage industry. SNIA members share the common goal of advancing the adoption of storage networks as complete and trusted solutions. More information is available at www.snia.org.
More information about EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) is available at www.emc.com.
More information about Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), is available at www.hds.com.
More information about Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) is available at www.sun.com.
More information about Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) is available at www.symantec.com.
More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.
(1) IDC, Worldwide Quarterly Storage Software Tracker, Q1 2006.