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HP launches storage developer program

Hewlett-Packard announces a partner program related to SMI-S, a storage management standard expected to be ratified by an industry group this summer.

Hewlett-Packard announced Wednesday a partner program for a storage management standard expected to be ratified by an industry group this summer.

HP's effort focuses on the Storage Management Interface Specification (SMI-S), which is designed to make managing storage systems easier. HP calls its SMI-S Developers Program the first of its kind and said initial members include Veritas Software, BMC Software and CreekPath Systems.

The Storage Networking Industry Association is set to ratify SMI-S this summer.

By creating the new program, HP hopes to mobilize developers for its storage efforts, as well as boost sales of its storage products to customers who use a standards-based approach to storage management.

Although information about SMI-S is public, HP's program is designed to help software developers make sense of the specification, said Phil Kemp, product marketing manager for HP's storage software unit.

SMI-S, which grew out of a storage industry effort called Bluefin, aims to provide a standard way for different types of hardware to identify themselves and list their capabilities. The specification is part of a push to better manage storage systems through software.

The HP program will offer partners access to SMI-S-based HP storage array interfaces, as well as create a forum for developers to discuss challenges. For a fee, HP will provide tech support related to the specification. "You can actually get a live engineer who's worked on the interface and debug the problem together," Kemp said.

The program also lets partners display products on HP's Web site, Kemp said.