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Storage Standards Solidify

After years of talk and not a lot of action, it seems that storage industry standards are finally getting off the ground.

This week's Storage Networking World conference in Phoenix featured the unveiling of the first version of a standardized storage management specification, the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S), which is based on the Common Information Model (CIM), and an interoperability demonstration of 19 vendors showing systems and software working together using SMI-S (see SNIA Holds Multivendor Demo and SNIA Releases SMI-S Version 1).

"Standards efforts may finally have reached a tipping point, with virtually all major storage vendors demonstrating interoperability of their products at the Storage Networking World (SNW) conference," writes Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Jason Ader in a note.

In one example, AppIQ Corp., a storage resource management (SRM) software startup that has been an early leader in CIM software, says it plugged into the SNIA demo and was immediately able to see IBM Corp.'s (NYSE: IBM) CIM-enabled Shark storage system. "We're starting to read the CIM interfaces that we didn't write -- that's very exciting," says AppIQ CEO Dave Lemont.

While the industry has been trying to standardize Fibre Channel switches and drivers for a while, the move to standardize the tools needed to manage this equipment is relatively new (see SNIA Puts the Pieces Together).

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