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May 22, 2002 - Mountain View, CA - The Storage Networking Industry Association is pleased to announce today that it has received an offer of a substantial new contribution of technology aimed at advancing standards-based SAN Management by a group of storage industry vendors. The contributors have developed a draft specification that applies CIM/WBEM object technology to create the basis of a complete management solution for interoperable, multi-vendor SANs.

The contributing companies and the SNIA are cooperating to create a transition plan that addresses the appropriate level of incorporation into SNIA technical and marketing activities. The transition plan is expected to be complete in July.

The Challenge of SAN Management

“Managing the complexity of SANs has become a key user issue - a problem that is compounded by the multi-vendor environment most users have,” said John Webster, Senior Analyst at the Data Mobility Group. “Without comprehensive standards for management and testing for interoperability, users will be forced to pay artificially high prices for solutions and as a result, will find it more difficult to achieve the promised value of storage networking.”

The industry requires a comprehensive standard architecture for managing devices such as disk arrays, switches, and hosts in a SAN. The standard must include a common model of device behavior, and a common language to read and set control information. This subject has been the focus of work within SNIA since its founding in 1997.

About the Contribution

Recognizing the need for a standards based approach, the contributing companies have worked together to draft a specification for a proposed common interface for SAN management that can reliably identify, classify, monitor and control physical and logical resources across the enterprise using a common transport for communication. The specification, code-named ‘Bluefin’, employs technology from the Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) initiative that uses the Managed Object Format (MOF) to describe system resources based on a Common Information Model (CIM). Bluefin introduces new technology for security, locking, and discovery for SAN management.

By contributing the specification the contributors seek to leverage the technical workgroup and marketing resources of the SNIA to complete and extend the Bluefin work. The contributing companies are: BMC Software (NYSE:BMC), Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:BRCD), Computer Associates (NYSE:CA), Dell Computer Corporation (Nasdaq:DELL), EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC), Emulex Corporation (Nasdaq:EMLX), Gadzoox Networks (Nasdaq:ZOOX), Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), Hitachi Ltd.(NYSE:HIT), IBM (NYSE:IBM), JNI Corporation (Nasdaq:JNIC), Prisa Networks, QLogic (Nasdaq:QLGC), StorageTek (NYSE:STK), Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq:SUNW), VERITAS Software (Nasdaq:VRTS).

About CIM-based SAN Management

The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), and SNIA have been in close collaboration for several years in anticipation of driving improved storage management interoperability. DMTF has developed WBEM, a standard set of web-based enterprise management tools that unify management of enterprise computing environments. WBEM includes a data model, the Common Information Model (CIM), an encoding specification based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), and a transport mechanism based on Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP). CIM is an object oriented information model that provides a conceptual view of physical and logical system components. Taken together, these technologies provide the tools to build reliable, scalable, multi-vendor SAN management solutions. “These technologies form the base for high function, multi-vendor management environments”, said Jim Turner, DMTF Chairman. “We support the work that SNIA does to apply XML/CIM to storage management”.

“SNIA has worked on CIM-based SAN management for some time,” said Arnold Jones, SNIA Technical Director. “The first demo of CIM as a management technology for storage networking took place in October 1999 at the SNIA conference in Seattle. Most recently, SNIA members demonstrated CIM-based management in the Interoperablility Lab at the Storage Networking World Conference in Palm Desert. We look forward to evaluating the Bluefin specification to enhance our work.”

About the SNIA

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is a not-for-profit organization, made up of over 300 companies and individuals spanning virtually the entire storage industry. SNIA members share a common goal: to set the pace of the industry by ensuring that storage networks become efficient, complete and trusted solutions across the IT community. To this end the SNIA is uniquely committed to delivering standards, education and services that will propel open storage networking solutions into the broader market. For information, contact the SNIA via e-mail at, or visit the SNIA web sites at or

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