SNIA Delays Certifications to Fix Glitches

The standards affected are CIM 2.8 and SMI-S 1.0.

Storage administrators waiting for standards-certified products will have to wait a bit longer, a Storage Networking Industry Association official said last week.

The relevant standards are CIM (Common Information Model) 2.8, which is a universal language that lets storage products intercommunicate, and SMI-S (Storage Management Initiative Specification) 1.0, which is the SNIAs implementation of CIM.

SNIA plans to announce the first round of product certifications by March, as part of its Interoperability Conformance Testing Program. The results were originally due in January but will be delayed due to recently discovered glitches, said Wayne Adams, a member of the SNIA board of directors and senior technologist at EMC Corp., in Hopkinton, Mass.

"Theres areas of the model that are being redefined," Adams said. As SNIA members work on fixing bugs, the ICTP scripts need to be adjusted to match the SMI-S profiles identically, he said.

In addition to those issues, "were still trying to get the DMTF to close some holes in CIM-XML," Adams said, while updating the Storage Networking User Group New England on SNIA activities, at a Waltham, Mass., meeting. DMTF is the Distributed Management Task Force, where the original CIM development came from. The issue with CIM-XML, which determines where to get information as storage or applications request it, is that third-party CIM object manager software must fully interoperate, Adams said. That, too, is taking longer than expected, he said.

Besides delaying storage vendors from completing the inaugural ICTP round, SMI-S 1.1 will also be delayed until the second half of next year, from its original timing of early next year. SMI-S 1.1 will add control of host bus adapters, network-attached storage, tape storage and virtualization technology, officials said.

Adams said the delays and debates are not major. "The delays are positive, where the specification that SNIA has created is being tightened up. It will result in products of higher integrity," he said.

"If it happens, that would be good," said Shane Brauner, operating systems programmer for the University of Houston, which runs a storage network from Sun Microsystems Inc. and others. Standards would be invaluable to the universitys research projects, but "Im not holding my breath," he said.