A: SMI-S is an industry standard that stands for Storage Management Initiative-Specification and enables a common approach for interacting with storage systems such as SANs.

The SMI-S provider typically either runs on a separate OS instance such as Windows server (which could be virtualized), and provides the SMI-S service, which communicates with the actual SAN, or the SMI-S provider might actually run on the SAN itself.

It’s important to know where it runs because when the SMI-S client is configured it needs to point to the SMI-S provider and not the SAN. Thus, if the SMI-S provider isn’t hosted on the SAN, you must identify where the SMI-S provider has been installed and point the SMI-S client to it.


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