Group Outlines Storage Interoperability

A group of 16 companies has agreed on a theoretical architecture for storage management applications that use the Common Information Model.

A group of 16 companies has agreed on a theoretical architecture for storage management applications that use the Common Information Model, officials of the Storage Networking Industry Association said Wednesday.

CIM, designed by the Distributed Management Task Forces Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) initiative, is an object-oriented encoding specification using XML and HTTP for controlling physical and logical components, such as the arrays and switches of a multivendor storage area network.

"The contributing companies and the SNIA are cooperating to create a … plan that addresses the appropriate level of incorporation into SNIA technical and marketing activities," officials of Mountain View, Calif.-based SNIA said in a press statement. They expect to complete the plan in July.

The architecture the companies agreed to is called Bluefin.

Industry analyst Randy Kerns, of Evaluator Group Inc., was skeptical of the news.

"Its just publicity," said Kerns, in Greenwood Village, Colo. "Nothing new, just that theyre saying everyones in the game now, so no one vendor can say theyre leading the charge," as companies like Hitachi Ltd. and IBM have previously done.

The companies involved are BMC Software Inc., Brocade Communications Systems Inc., Computer Associates International Inc., Dell Computer Corp., EMC Corp., Emulex Corp., Gadzoox Networks Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Hitachi, IBM, JNI Corp., Prisa Networks Inc., Qlogic Corp., Storage Technology Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Veritas Software Corp.

Many of the companies, like CA, EMC, Hitachi, Sun and Veritas, already have proprietary storage management suites, with varying degrees of open vs. proprietary technology. However, all the paper cooperation isnt necessarily a good thing, Kerns said.

"Once you get a whole lot of people involved in one thing, it takes longer for anything to get done. I suspect itll slow down the process," he said.