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IBM Spearheads Open-Source Storage Group

An IBM-led group of vendors on Tuesday announced the formation of an open-source community that will attempt to create a common but more flexible storage software-management platform.

Operating under the working name of Aperi, the group aims to offer users and partners more options for deploying open-standards-based storage-infrastructure software. Founding members of the group include Brocade Communications Systems, Computer Associates International, Fujitsu, Network Appliance and Sun Microsystems.

Under the strategy outlined by IBM executives, Aperi members will be managed by an independent, nonprofit organization that will work in concert to continually evolve the platform. Officials say they will soon announce a board of directors.

"We work with [the Storage Networking Industry Association], but this is a deeper collaboration than ever before--more than the storage industry has ever seen. It is based on open standards, and it is why we are so excited about this announcement," says Jim Stallings. vice president at IBM overseeing intellectual property and standards. "In technology, as in society, openness breeds creativity, and collaboration breeds advancement. Where yesterday was about data separated into storage islands, tomorrow is all about an integrated, diverse storage-networking environment. With this community, we have a chance to make that happen."

What has prevented such a consortium from forming to date, according to Stallings, is that proprietary APIs have formed "technical walls" that have not allowed vendors to work together on collaborative solutions that address a range of problems, bogging down solutions for all their customers.

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