SAN FRANCISCO: IBM and eight other storage vendors are teaming up to form an open-source organisation initially called Aperi. The companies intend to work together to develop common storage software to manage different vendors' systems. The software will be made available free of charge.
The Aperi name comes from the Latin word meaning "to open". The vendors will contribute code to the Aperi effort, with IBM making the first donation of some of its storage infrastructure management technology. The group will be managed by an independent, non-profit organisation with a multivendor board of directors.
Aperi will be modelled after the Eclipse consortium set up by IBM in conjunction with other vendors to handle open-source projects to create development tools and frameworks for building software. Eclipse was spun out from IBM early last year to become an independent, non-profit organisation.
IBM's partners in Aperi are Brocade Communications Systems, Cisco Systems, Computer Associates, Engenio Information Technologies, Fujitsu, McData, Network Appliance and Sun Microsystems. Missing are EMC, HP and Symantec.
Aperi intends to use existing open-storage standards, including the Storage Network Industry Association's (SNIA's) Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S).
"One of the last pillars of proprietary technology is about to fall," vice-president of intellectual property and standards at IBM, Jim Stallings, said. The Aperi work is being done in collaboration with SNIA, with all the current Aperi members also being members of SNIA.