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1. Commentary
- The Bumpy Road to Open Storage Management

2. From the Community
- Issues to Watch for When Installing Windows 2003 SP1 on a Windows Storage Server 2003 Appliance

3. New and Improved
- SANRAD Debuts Industry's First Open iSCSI SAN
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

4. Windows IT Pro Resources

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==== 1. Commentary: The Bumpy Road to Open Storage Management ====
by David Chernicoff, david@windowsitpro.com

In late October, IBM announced the creation of Aperi (Latin for "to open"), an open-source consortium formed to work on the development of a common storage software-management platform. Aperi's initial membership of IBM, Cisco Systems, Brocade, CA, Fujitsu, McDATA, Network Appliance, and Engenio Information Technologies shows some serious interest in the development of this initiative. Which isn't surprising, considering that the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has already formulated the Storage Management Initiative Specification, an open standard that IBM claims that Aperi will use, and that all the announced Aperi members are also SNIA members.

Aperi's stated goal is to remove the technology barriers that have fragmented the development of storage-management products, so that users can implement management solutions that cross vendor product lines seamlessly. Ideally, an open-source solution would let a customer choose its management application and still fully manage all its selected storage systems, regardless of the vendor that supplied the hardware and software combination for those systems.

Aperi member companies will donate some of their intellectual property related to information storage management to get the project up and running. IBM successfully used a similar process to start the Eclipse Foundation, an open-source initiative aimed at providing a universal toolset for developers.

This all sounds great, but any storage administrator worthy of the name has probably already noticed a couple of serious omissions from the Aperi announcement: HP and EMC. IBM spokespeople have been quoted as saying that discussions have been held with both vendors but that they declined to join at this time. Shortly after the Aperi announcement, an EMC statement declared that "we were not notified or given the opportunity to engage in this proposed initiative prior to IBM already briefing the media," as reported by Information Storage & Security Journal. EMC also claimed that the formation of Aperi wasn't discussed with the SNIA membership in general.

To add a little more fuel to the fire, HP, which had been mum on the Aperi announcement, followed up 1 week later by announcing its HP Storage Essentials 5.0 storage resource-management product, an open-standards-based technology derived primarily from HP's acquisition of software vendor AppIQ, which was finalized in late October.

The open-standards approach differs from the open-source approach in that the Storage Essentials product uses open standards such as Distributed Management Task Force-Common Information Model (DMTF-CIM), Systems Management Interface-2 (SMI-2), and J2EE, so that any compatible product can fit in, instead of the open-source approach in which vendors can use common code to develop products. The HP goal is to be able to manage any storage device from its console, as Storage Essentials integrates directly with HP Systems Insight Manager, the backbone component for HP's infrastructure management model.

It would seem that EMC's statement about Asperi and HP's release of a new product that competes directly with the Asperi concept indicate that any industrywide management platform attempt will have a bumpy ride, at least in the near term. Whether the top providers of storage resources to corporations can ever sit down at the same table and play well together remains to be seen, but for the nonce, storage administrators shouldn't hope for too much.

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==== 2. From the Community ====

Issues to Watch for When Installing Windows 2003 SP1 on a Windows Storage Server 2003 Appliance

When you install Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) on a Windows Storage Server 2003 appliance, you might need to configure Windows Firewall to enable remote access to the port that the WebUI uses. Additionally, after upgrading to SP1, you might need to make certain changes to the registry for Windows Storage Server 2003 to optimize its performance. For more information about making these changes, go to http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=894372.

==== 3. New and Improved ====
by Anne Grubb, products@windowsitpro.com

SANRAD Debuts Industry's First Open iSCSI SAN

SANRAD has announced the Total iSCSI SAN–V-Switch, a product that lets users integrate their existing iSCSI storage arrays into an iSCSI SAN pool of heterogeneous, multiprotocol storage devices. The product uses storage virtualization technology and intelligent storage management to pool iSCSI storage arrays and lets users manage that pool by using built-in storage services, including virtualization, remote replication, data mirroring, and snapshots. The Total iSCSI SAN-V-Switch supports any IETF-compliant iSCSI storage devices, iSCSI arrays, and iSCSI systems, so that customers can use the product with their existing storage arrays. For more information about the product, contact SANRAD on the Web:
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Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows IT Pro What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to whatshot@windowsitpro.com.

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==== 4. Windows IT Pro Resources ====

Check out these links to a wealth of Windows IT Pro resources: white papers, eBooks, Web seminars, conferences, and other events.

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Get the Most from Your Infrastructure by Consolidating Servers and Storage

Improved utilization of existing networking resources and server hardware lets you allocate money and time where they're needed most. In this free Web seminar, learn to optimize your existing infrastructure with the addition of server and storage consolidation software and techniques. You'll get the jumpstart you need to evaluate the suitability and potential of your computing environment for the added benefits that consolidation technology can provide.
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