The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) announced the launch of the SNIA storage management initiative (SMI), an organization-wide program to develop, standardize and drive the adoption of open storage management interfaces.

This initiative, based on the Bluefin draft specification recently submitted to the SNIA, will ultimately solve one of the storage industry's most challenging issues: management interoperability. The SMI's goal is to generate management standards and to create an open storage management interface built upon the distributed management task force (DMTF)'s Web-based enterprise management (WBEM) architecture and the common information model (CIM).

The SMI continues the work being conducted by SNIA technical work groups and member companies to further the use of CIM/WBEM technology in storage management products. The Bluefin specification is the cornerstone of the first SMI standard being developed and describes an enhanced CIM/WBEM interface for discovering, managing, and monitoring devices on a storage network.

"The challenge now facing the industry is the broad adoption of Bluefin in shipping products as well as the refinement and expansion of the specification." said Roger Reich, chairman of the SMI committee and the consortium of companies that drafted Bluefin. "The resources that built Bluefin will now be added to those of the SNIA to expand and accelerate the success of the storage networking industry."

The storage management initiative is a direct result of feedback obtained from customer initiatives within the SNIA. Various SNIA customer surveys, polls, and input from the newly formed customer executive council have consistently cited that multivendor storage management is the number one concern of today's IT customers.

"It is imperative that the SNIA keep the standards process moving, because open standards always benefit both vendors and users," said Dan Tanner, director of storage research, Aberdeen Group.

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