The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) last week officially launched the Storage Management Initiative (SMI), a program to develop, standardize, and drive the adoption of open storage-management interfaces. SNIA's initiative is based on the recently submitted and adopted Bluefin specification. The goal of Bluefin is to create a standard for storage-management interoperability, which SNIA perceives as the industry's most challenging concern. SMI hopes to build standards based on the Distributed Management Task Force's (DMTF's) Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) architecture and the Common Information Model (CIM). For more information about Bluefin, see the URLs below.

The initiative's goals include developing a plan to restructure SNIA to support technical development, education, and marketing for the standard; seeking accreditation as a standards body; developing a schedule for advancing the Bluefin specification into a full storage-management interface standard; providing training for developers; staging plugfests and interoperability demonstrations; developing an SMI conformance test suite as part of the SNIA Interoperability Conformance Testing Program; and driving the creation of an open-source initiative to support vendor implementation. Sixteen storage-industry vendors contributed to the development of Bluefin: BMC Software, Brocade Communications Systems, Computer Associates (CA), Dell, EMC, Emulex, Gadzoox Networks, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Hitachi, IBM, JNI, Prisa Networks, QLogic, StorageTek, Sun Microsystems, and VERITAS Software.