Storage Vendors Announce Storage Management Effort

Several members of the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) have announced plans, independent of SNIA, to begin promoting and deploying SNIA's Common Information Model (CIM), Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) technology, and Storage Management Initiative (SMI) specifications (formally known as Bluefin) for Storage Area Network (SAN)-based storage management. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), IBM, Sun Microsystems, and VERITAS Software (see URLs below) support this effort to help deliver CIM-compliant products and to develop interoperability guidelines and testing.

The plan is open to any storage company willing to meet guidelines outlined by the founding companies. Storage companies involved in the effort will have to ship CIM- and WBEM-based storage management software commercially in 2003, support SNIA's emerging SMI specification, make their CIM providers available to others for testing, conduct joint interoperability testing, and support the Distributed Management Task Force's (DMTF's) CIM/WBEM interface.

Noticeably absent from the announcement were storage giants EMC and Hewlett-Packard (HP--see URLs below). Both companies were invited but declined to join. EMC and HP believe that efforts already underway by SNIA address the goals set out by the new effort.

"We were invited, but we felt it was totally redundant, potentially confusing to customers, not to mention irrelevant," said HP spokesman Mark Stouse. "HP doesn't see a need to create another alliance. Basically, it's a publicity ploy." EMC spokesman Greg Eden added, "It isn't clear that this alliance provides anything more than a marketing opportunity for the companies involved. We would need to be convinced otherwise."

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