A storage management alliance effort that the storage industry created last month but that was independent of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has dissolved, according to industry reports. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), IBM, Sun Microsystems, and VERITAS Software formed the effort and intended it to promote and deploy SNIA's Common Information Model (CIM), Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) technology, and Storage Management Initiative (SMI) specifications (formerly known as Bluefin) for Storage Area Network (SAN)-based storage management. Members of the alliance promised to release products supporting the standard by 2003. The vendors hoped their initiative would help spark standards-based storage management deployment, but the general opinion was that the effort unnecessarily competed directly with SNIA's efforts.

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Shortly after the alliance announced its formation, the SNIA launched a new industry initiative called the SMI Forum, whose mission shared similar goals with the alliance and included vendor support from some of the alliance's vendors--i.e., HDS, IBM, Sun Microsystems, and VERITAS. (You can read my previous report about this initiative at http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=27262 .) The formation of the SMI Forum and the confusion that the initial vendor alliance caused led to the dissolution of the vendor alliance. "Now that SNIA is moving the \[CIM\] effort forward at a better clip, the group believes that its alliance was confusing to customers and the industry as a whole," said Steve Kenniston, a senior analyst with Enterprise Storage Group (ESG). The vendor alliance companies are expected to continue to work together with one another, the other SNIA vendors that weren't part of the initial SNIA effort, and the SNIA.

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