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Storage Management Initiative gets rebooted

HP, EMC, Sun, Hitachi and Symantec make a new push for SMI-S as the industry standard in storage management.

A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.

The next industry standard for storage management may have moved a little closer to becoming a reality.

The Storage Management Initiative specification (SMI-S) got a boost Thursday from a number of tech heavyweights, including EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, Sun Microsystems and Symantec. SMI-S, the brainchild of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), evolved from earlier programs like Bluefin, which was also supported by the five companies.

SMI-S goals are to set standards for managing switches, hosts and disk arrays, as well as to offer a common language for developing storage management systems. Most recently, the companies said, storage management users have expressed a need for more commonality in advanced functions like navigation, security and work flow to avoid duplication of efforts.

The new goal, according to a statement released by HP, is to "enhance SMI-S with new specifications and programming interfaces for a Web services framework for advanced storage management as well as to provide the first reference implementation of SMI-S."

This proposal could overlap with other work being done on storage management standards. Some SNIA members are also backers of a group called Aperi, founded last October, that's concentrating on building open-source storage code. (Aperi members include Cisco Systems, IBM and Network Appliance.) Aperi members say they're not necessarily looking to be competitors to SMI-S and could eventually fold their work back in as part of SNIA.

Correction: This story incorrectly stated Sun Microsystems' relationship to the Aperi initiative. On Wednesday, Sun withdrew its membership.