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Fishing for Better Management

What does the newly released Bluefin storage management specification mean to your enterprise? In the long term, it means you'll be able to consolidate tools and personnel, and free up the scads of head space dedicated to separate SAN management systems.

But in the short term, it means very little.

The Storage Networking Industry Association plans to have a draft of the spec available for public review in July. It's unlikely, though, that your current equipment will be retrofitted for Bluefin support or that equipment you buy in the near future will support the spec. And in some quarters, the opinion is that the consortium of companies -- including HP, Sun, IBM, Dell, EMC, Computer Associates and Hitachi -- that created Bluefin before handing it to SNIA will slow down the adoption of a truly universal SAN management spec as they fight among themselves.

Frankly, considering the failure of any single SAN management vendor to set a standard, we think this initiative simply can't do worse. The vendor ploy of making SAN interoperability difficult may have worked when the market was limited to specialized apps and very large companies, but it won't work as the SAN market expands.

--Steven J. Schuchart Jr., [email protected]