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Gang of Five Counters Aperi

One day after Sun bolted from the Aperi initiative IBM created last fall, it joined hands with EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, and Symantec to trumpet an expansion of the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) created by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). (See Sun Withdraws From Aperi and Management Muddle.)

In a joint statement, the group vowed to work together to ensure that the (SNIA) Storage Management Initiative specification (SMI-S) becomes a common, widely used industry standard." Translation: The five partners are ganging up on IBM to thwart Aperi.

Users will take any standards that work. The SMI-S initiative has been going for years now with mixed results, so some saw Aperi as a breath of fresh air. (See Users to SNIA: Help Us Manage and Aperi Appears Amid Questions.)

But the vendor's agenda has a life of its own. When Aperi was first announced, industry insiders considered it a potential broadside to SMI-S. (See Aperi Appears Amid Questions.) It seemed especially dangerous to HP, which acquired AppIQ last September for around $250 million. (See HP Chomps AppIQ & Peregrine.) AppIQ's embrace of SMI-S was considered key to winning OEM deals with HP, Hitachi, LSI Logic, and Sun, and HP continues those OEM relationships.

Now, Sun's defection appears to have polarized things even more, making Aperi more of an IBM initiative than ever. Aperi now includes Brocade, Cisco, CA, Emulex, Fujitsu, LSI Logic, McData, and NetApp alongside IBM. Except for CA, the rest are IBM partners. Most Aperi members, including IBM, are also SNIA members.

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