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First Person: Will SMI-S Find Its Footing?

The trick is to get hardware and software vendors to ante up the time and effort required to build providers into their products, in a manner consistent with the extensible CIM metamodel. Otherwise, the exercise will be as much of a pain as API-dependent management strategies.

After a year and a half of trying to account for every peculiarity of every vendor's product, SMI developers turned a kludge into a more service-oriented model, buying off dissent by inviting vendors with exceptions to write their own extensions. Thus far, few extensions have appeared--and perhaps that's a good thing.

SMI-S backers are now confronting a bigger issue. How do they translate an unprecedented level of storage-vendor cooperation on spec development into an equally unprecedented level of storage-vendor participation in spec implementation?

Skeptics Abound

There's no easy answer. And it doesn't help that first-generation CIM advocates promised things the technology couldn't deliver, alienating vendors in the process. Many of those vendors continue to dismiss SMI-S as half-baked, too. "We don't exactly see customers lining up around the building to buy this stuff," one of them told me recently.

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