The recent news around open source in the storage community was a very positive development for our industry and one that should be welcome.

Unfortunately it has largely been misunderstood and as a result it has been positioned as a possible delay to the achievement of interoperability.

Both SNIA (the Storage Networking Industry Association) and SNIA Europe have always been great supporters of the open source approach because of the numerous benefits it brings to the industry. Worldwide the association has historically been involved with open source to advance storage networking and data management in order to achieve the broadest adoption possible, and to further improve interoperability.

The SNIA's SMI-S (System Management Interface - Specification) has been very well received and the news that five of our members have decided to focus on advancing this standard should be welcome because it will benefit other members, SMI-S developers and implementers, and ultimately end-users.

As announced, the development work proposed by these members is expected to be taking place within SNIA's current technical workgroups, committees, and forums as it relates to SMI-S specification work, tool development, and interoperability programs. This SMI-S initiative is not a new program but rather an expansion of current technical specification work.

The reference implementation, if approved, would be a new project that would fit naturally in SNIA's SMI technical committees, similar to how tools and test suites are created today and offered to our members.

Although Aperi members also recognise the value of building on the success of existing storage standards, such as SMI-S, because of the scope of work, the location where the work would be done, the sequence of the work, and the name of the work, the five SNIA members above decided to create a separate group.

Aperi however is a further endorsement of the work SNIA has been carrying out worldwide to develop and promote open source standards, and is an additional step towards interoperability.

SNIA has been working with the Aperi group for several months to determine how best to work together and a relationship now exists that maximises both groups’ strengths, missions, and purposes. The association is developing the specification standard for storage management interoperability i.e. a document, while Aperi aims to create the code.

Aperi will develop a storage management application platform based on the SMI-S specifications; the efforts of the two organisations have a great deal of synergy and the experiences that Aperi members have with SMI-S will generate more ideas and refinements for the standard that SNIA will include in its SMI-S roadmap.