CIM-SAN-2 ready to hit road

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Today the Storage Networking Industry Association (known as the SNIA to its friends) announced news of CIM-SAN-2 and the next steps forward in storage management.

The management of heterogeneous storage systems has been a thorn in the side of many IT managers that has been growing in size for much of the past three years. Last year the SNIA started a programme looking to address these issues with the launch of the Storage Management Initiative (SMI).

SMI, or Bluefin as it was first known, was the first attempt to build specifications for interoperable network storage management solutions.

The SNIA's technical working groups have now completed their initial reviews of the proposed SMI Specification document and have now embarked on a rigorous testing cycle as part of the newly formed Storage Management Forum sponsored CIM-SAN-2 Developers Demonstration Program. The six month-long programme will seek test management applications in heterogeneous storage networking environments.

The new functionality planned for inclusion in the CIM-SAN-2 will be focussed on enhancing Security and discovery along with work to maximise network efficiency. The features to be implemented include the ability to create array volumes (creating logical volumes in arrays and virtualisers and making them available for use by host systems), array LUN masking, array snapshot and mirror control (the creation, splitting and synchronising of snapshots and mirrored Volumes) along with Fabric Topology and Zoning discovery.

The SNIA's own technology centre will host a six-month "plug fest" to provide software clients with cutting edge storage networks to allow them to develop further their storage management capabilities whilst enhancing the interoperability of their solutions.

Many of the storage industry's leading players have already committed to participate in the program, including AppIQ, Brocade, Cisco Systems, CommVault, CA, CreekPath, EMC, Fujitsu Softek, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, INRANGE, LSI, McDATA, Network Appliance, Qlogic, StorageTek, Sun Microsystems and VERITAS.

It is good to see the SNIA and the major vendors are still showing every sign of being committed to providing paths to the ultimate goal of heterogeneous storage management. The SNIA has an important role to play to encourage the big boys to carry on playing together. In this vein of cooperation, it was good to see that EMC and Hitachi have reached an agreement to settle their patent litigation actions in the US courts.

With recent storage sales figures confirming that the market has shrunk in dollar terms over the last twelve months, there is a clear requirement for storage suppliers to make life as simple as possible for enterprises in order to encourage them to invest in new storage technologies. Let's hope that the SNIA and the FCIA can keep everyone on board and moving forward.
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