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ISO Approves SMI-S

In a move lauded as a new ray of hope for a lackluster spec, the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has won approval of its Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The SNIA hopes ISO's blessing, which took two years and hundreds of person-hours to achieve, will promote the use of SMI-S outside North America. The association says that roughly 450 products from 24 companies have implemented the spec, which is designed to allow heterogeneous storage devices and management systems to share information.

"ISO approval is a major milestone for SMI-S," says Wayne M. Adams, chairman of the SNIA board of directors. He says it will accelerate the spec's adoption by international suppliers and encourage IT managers to require it in their RFPs.

But many remain skeptical that ISO can boost the sagging fortunes of SMI-S. They say the SNIA's taken too long to grind out the specs, that they're too limited in functionality, and that the potential is there, but not the momentum to bring it to fruition.

"There just is not all that much value in it as it currently stands," says one analyst, who asked not to be named.

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