Storage networking customers should be able to manage heterogeneous storage products better in the future. Fourteen suppliers have passed conformance tests for the Storage Networking Industry Association's (SNIA) System Management Interface scheme (SMI-S).

The suppliers have issued supportive statements. EMC's was typical: "SMI-S, the storage industry's implementation of CIM (Common Information Model) and WBEM (Web-Based Enterprise Management), is a set of management interfaces designed to make it easier for storage hardware and management software from different vendors to work together. SMI-S enables EMC management software to better manage third-party arrays and allows more third-party management applications to manage EMC arrays."

The conformance test includes a storage array profile and seven sub-profiles, including features for volume creation and LUN masking (hiding servers).

The suppliers with products that passed are: Brocade, CNT, Dell, EMC, HP, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, LSI Logic Storage Systems, McData, Network Appliance, Silicon Graphics, StorageTek and Sun. You can find details of these products here.