Data Centre


Don't SNIA at my storage specs: Standards body dons goggles, takes the plunge

Unleashes Xiphias gladius – Swordfish to you and me

By Chris Mellor


The SNIA has unveiled its v1.0 Swordfish storage management specification to standardise management of storage products and services in cloud-era data centres.

Swordfish extends the Distributed Management Task Force’s (DMTF) Redfish application programming interface (API) to handle the management of storage equipment and services.

Swordfish was defined by the SNIA’s Scalable Storage Management Technical Work Group and is described as “the result of a broad industry collaboration involving the leading companies in the storage industry.”

It uses a RESTful interface, JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) and Open Data Protocol (OData) to seamlessly manage storage equipment and storage services as well servers. Swordfish’s API can link different classes of service with storage systems having different performance levels. Thus IT admins can provision servers with storage by selecting the class of storage service needed, bronze to this server, gold to that, etc.

Vendors can add their own functionality on top of Swordfish.

Don Deel, chair of the SNIA’s Storage Management Initiative, was quoted in the SNIA release: “SNIA Swordfish is easier to understand and implement than legacy standards, which will accelerate its adoption and use by storage equipment vendors and management application vendors."

A Microsoft technical fellow, Jeffrey Snover, was also quoted: “Because SNIA Swordfish is an extension of Redfish that will be widely adopted in virtualised environments, vendors will no longer need to produce versions for any one particular operating system.” Sounds good , in principle.

But will it have widespread adoption? The SNIA’s earlier SMI-S storage management effort wasn’t that successful, resulting in futile competing vendor efforts – remember Aperi?

However the Redfish data centre management standard seems popular, and Supermicro is using it in a Microblades product. This is a promising base for Swordfish to build on.

Get more Swordfish details here. ®

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