SNIA: Slow march of standards

SNIA: Slow march of standards


Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) standards are just beginning to filter through into networking solutions, according to its executives.

Global vice-chairman, Ray Dunn, said Storage Management Initiative-Specification (SMI-S) version 1.0.3 was only now becoming a standard, with more than 200 companies going through the verification process.

"To complete one version of a specification is an 18-month cycle," he said. "Six months for implementation, six months for development and six months of ratification."

SMI-S Version 1.1 is currently considered a US rather than a global standard. Version 1.2 is in the testing phase and Version 1.3 is just being developed.

As new standards are developed, extra functionality is included. SNIA IP Storage Forum chairman, David Dale, predicted the next level of standards would go beyond the current focus on configuration, provisioning and trending, event management, data protection and asset management.

"The next layer will add more richness and start getting into the data management stage," Dale said.

For IDC analyst, Graham Penn, this would result in removing the proprietary layer of vendors, which would ultimately reduce end user complexity and improve interoperability.

SNIA is also expanding its standards drive into the enterprise management level.

Dunn said there were "two sides to the equation; devices and the management framework. The enterprise management level is involved in how to suck up information into their layer."

Another area of interest for SNIA is grid architecture.

"We look at existing technology, emerging technology and technology on the horizon," said. "For example, SNIA recently formed a partnership with the Enterprise Grid Association to determine what grid architecture will look like and how storage fits into that. We've had a lot to do with the speed of proliferation of IP storage into the market place. This is the next step."

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