An open-source initiative called StorageRevolution.com has been created to build a common framework for application-aware storage management.
The initiative addresses the age-old dilemma of squeezing better administration and improving integration within multivendor storage environments.
StorageRevolution.com will develop and eventually make available an open-source-based storage management framework referred to as "CAPSAIL," to help storage administrators and users better understand the varied requirements of their applications, and provide a means to provision storage resources toward their data.
The CAPSAIL framework will be free for anyone to use under a standard GNU/GPL open-source license.
The StorageRevolution.com initiative is the brainchild of Jon Toigo, managing principle for Toigo Partners International, an IT research and consulting firm based in Tampa Bay, Fla. Toigo is the author of several storage and networking books and runs his own blog.
Toigo said that the genesis of StorageRevolution.com grew from frustration on the part of customers with the fact that other storage plug-in technology efforts—such as the SMI-S (Storage Management Interface) protocol currently under the watchful eye of SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association—have become too entangled by vendors own interests to really help with storage complexity problems.
CAPSAIL does not require vendor involvement.
Toigo said StorageRevolution.com is targeting version one of CAPSAIL by the end of the year, and hopes it may be ready as soon as the end of summer 2006.
"The idea here is to empower the consumer and let him pick and choose software functionality so he can do more with fewer people and under tightly constrained budgets with a [storage plug-in] software framework he doesnt have to buy," said Toigo.
"One thing were hoping to break through on is to come up with strategy for listening to applications and the data it produces; where its going in, and to route it more effectively. From an application performance perspective, how often is it updated," he added.
Code which could form the customer-driven underpinning of the CAPSAIL specification has already been donated to StorageRevolution.com and is currently being evaluated by its membership and working groups.
Requirements for definitions of the fledgling storage management initiative and its group are being drawn out.
CAPSAIL would allow users to plug-in any commercial storage product they choose. Ideally, vendors would offer modules for purchase which could easily plug into the free CAPSAIL framework.
The group is eyeing Microsoft.NET as an application development platform to gain compatibility with large Microsoft Windows Server install bases.
Toigo said he expects good input as well from the open-source and Linux audiences who will also benefit from the new technology.
Both technical and non-technical users are encouraged to lend their voices and opinions to the StorageRevolution.com Web site where all business and communications is currently transacted and shared on message board forums.