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NAS Management Spec on Tap

A month after the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) released the first version of the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S), a couple of vendors are now pushing to extend it to encompass NAS management (see SNIA Releases SMI-S Version 1).

Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) and storage software startup AppIQ Corp. announced today a partnership to develop an open interface based on SMI-S to unify SAN and NAS storage. AppIQ also claims that its solution suite management software will be the first to manage NetApp's FAS900 storage systems through an SMI-S interface (see NetApp Teams With AppIQ).

The companies are co-developing interfaces for NetApps products that can be used by third-party storage management vendors to manage NetApp’s filers. Using a combination of Common Information Model (CIM) interfaces -- which form the foundation of the SMI spec -- and NetApp's APIs, the companies will be able to provide storage resource management (SRM) and SAN management, in addition to NAS management, for NetApp products.

Industry analysts applaud the move. "I think it's important, since it also addresses the NAS community as a separate, distinct community," says John Webster, founder of Data Mobility Group. "Getting NetApp to sign on to the SMI-S movement is important."

While SMI-S 1.0 offers a standard way to manage SAN devices, NAS vendors have yet to agree on an industry-wide standard for NAS management. A SNIA workgroup is currently trying to rectify that, as it develops a NAS management standard as part of the SMI-S 1.1, which it plans to release in the second half of the year (see Storage Standards Solidify).

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