Vendors propose storage management standard

IBM, EMC and other storage companies have created a technology standard to manage disparate multivendor storage-area networks (SANs).

Code-named Bluefin, the proposed standard uses the Common Information Model (CIM) and Web-Based Enterprise Management technologies to enable SAN devices to communicate with one another. The standard also creates definitions and channels through which manufacturers can integrate components so they can exchange management information.

Users have been clamoring for storage management tools to support a growing and complex number of storage network ports. Storage vendors including Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Computer Corp., which have been hit hard by the slowdown in IT spending, have recognized customers' needs for interoperability among products from multiple vendors.

John Webster, an analyst at Data Mobility Group in Londonderry, N.H., said a standard would give users a common way to manage storage devices and for management applications and storage devices to interact with one another.

Bluefin has been presented to the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), a trade group comprised of 300 companies and individuals. SNIA said it is committed to delivering standards for multivendor storage networks. Officials from the SNIA couldn't be reached for comment at deadline.

IBM spokesman Chris Andrews said his company has been a long-standing supporter of efforts to develop an interoperability standard for SAN devices.

"It will lead to a better environment for customers," he said. "It will reduce costs and make storage-area networks more efficient."

In a statement today, EMC said it has been involved in the collaborative development of the Bluefin technology.

Don Swatik, EMC's vice president of Global Alliances and Information Sciences, said the successful development of open industry standards would go far to reduce the time, effort and cost of delivering management tools for heterogeneous networked environments.

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