Network Appliance is to offer its Manage ONTAP API suite and Software Developer’s Kit free of charge to any company that wants to develop systems that will run better when integrated with the company’s file servers, nearline storage and caching appliances.

The Manage ONTAP SDK gives users and developers access to Network Appliances APIs, allowing them to build applications that better manage Network Appliance storage. It could be used by storage management and application performance vendors to enhance the functionality of their products.

Network Appliance claims that API exchanges are necessary until all vendors use the Storage Network Industry Associations SMI-S Interface and Common Information Model (CIM)-compliant software and hardware.

Manage OnTap lets developers access, configure, monitor and diagnose the performance functionality of the company’s fabric-attached systems, as well as manage the disk subsystems, adapters and clustering interfaces that comprise them. With the API’s developers can control LUN masking (partitioning of a storage array), volume and file system management. They can develop software that performs snapshot backups, mirroring, replication and vaulting of data stored on Network Appliance files.

In addition, software developed with the Network Appliance APIs can control user and group quotas or virtualize separate file servers into a single pool of storage for unified management.

The Manage ONTAP SDK is SNMP, Network Data Management Protocol compliant allowing serverless backup and Microsoft’s Win32 APIs. In the future it will include CIM capability.

Several companies including Computer Associates, BMC Software, Veritas as well as storage start-ups as AppIQ, Creekpath, Fujitsu Softek, Tek-tools and Teracloud are members of Network Appliance’s developer’s program