Interoperability levels the playing field
SNIA has finally released a new specification and a conformance testing program.
Ronald Demone, Vice Chairman, South Asia Regional Affiliate, Storage
Networking Industry Association (SNIA) updates us on the latest developments.
by Brian Pereira
What are the new initiatives taken by SNIA?
The biggest thing we are trying to push forward worldwide is a test program
called SNIA Conformance Testing Program (SNIA-CTP). It's being designed by working
groups in the US. SNIA-CTP is a suite of tests that allows people to certify
their solutions, within our own testing environment, in our labs (See box).
The group will also release a new specification referred to as SMI-S (Storage
Management Interface Specification). This is a specification for interoperability
Can you update us on CIM? Are there CIM-compliant products
in the market yet?
Common Information Model was initially established by the Distributed Management
Task Force (DMTF). But as a standard management interface SMI-S provides new
features that extend CIM. There's also a Web-based enterprise management standard
to create interoperable storage. It's called Web-Based Enterprise Management
(WBEM) and it's an integral part of SMI-S.
What are your plans for South Asia? Is an India chapter
on the cards?
There is a lot of interest in India and we feel an India chapter is important.
But right now we'd like to keep our program together in South Asia, and India
will be a country member under South Asia.
We have 12 members in Asia, and the South Asia Regional Affiliate of SNIA are
primarily an organizing committee and now a governing body.
Traditionally, API exchanges between storage vendors has
been the way to promote interoperability. What more needs to be done here?
The SNIA will be the body that ensures interoperability between storage vendors
by using published and accepted standards. That's why it's important that the
vendor committee should be involved with the SNIA.
It has taken sometime for the SNIA to come up with a specification. The SNIA-CTP
is due for release late this quarter, after which the vendors can start conformance
testing against the specification.
Is there a message you want to send out to vendors?
Standards are created and popularized by standards organizations like SNIA and
IEEE. And these standards are very important for the industry. But it's more
important that we have interoperability. It levels the playing field for today's
and tomorrow's vendors, and gives better opportunities to take advantage of