The Storage Networking Industry Association has made a raft of announcements, timed to coincide with the Storage Networking World show, and aimed at raising its profile as a standards and training body.
SNIA has pitched into ILM with its own definition of the acronym, and a set of best practice guidelines designed to cover a range of ILM implementations. It also announced completion of a DDF standard for RAID controllers, ANSI ratification of the first version of SMI-S, and other standards and training developments.
Like many others, SNIA’s definition of ILM refers implicitly to tiered storage systems. It describes ILM as the use of policies, practices and tools to ensure that data is stored on whatever devices are appropriate for its value, throughout its life. The ILM guidelines are described as a roadmap that describes the different stages of implementing ILM.
The Common RAID Data Disk Format specification completed by SNIA will standardize the way that RAID controllers lay out data on disks, so that any controller will be able to read data formatted by any other controller.
Currently if you swap out a RAID controller after a failure, the new controller is very unlikely to be able to read the data on the disks. That can be even if the new controller is in the same brand and in the same family, said Matthew Brisse, chair of SNIA’s DDS committee. This forces customers to carry a wide range of spare controllers, a need that will be eliminated once manufacturers adopt the DDF standard. Over sixty companies have been involved in the specification, and five manufacturers will implement it next year, Brisse said, in search of lowered costs and greater flexibility.
The first version of the evolving SMI-S storage management standard has been approved by ANSI, via the INCITS committee. Currently SMI-S principally provides a standardized API by which disk arrays and SAN switches can talk to storage management software, and the next stage of development will extend into NAS, iSCSI, tape, and automated storage services such as capacity provisioning.
For the first time SNIA will not be hauling hardware from its Colorado laboratories to the show in Orlando, Florida, but instead will be demonstrating remote management of the same equipment. As well as showing off the remote management allowed by the SMI-S storage management standard developed by the body, it will save costs for SNIA.
Twice a year we’ve brought two semi trailer tractors from Colorado. Now we’ll be leaving all that heavy gear behind, said Ray Dunn, chair of the storage management forum at SNIA.
Also, for the first time SNIA will also be offering hands-on sessions for IT administrators who want to experience IP storage networking systems. People have told us they want to get their hands on equipment. This is really like a petting zoo, SNIA said. The sessions will be combined with tutorials set up by SNIA.