IBM Says Aperi To Move Industry To SMI-S

    November 7, 2005

Back in October, IBM announced the launch of Aperi open source storage software in conjunction with eight other companies. Some discussion from IBM suggests one major reason for Aperi’s creation was to speed up adoption of the SMI-S storage software standard.

An article this morning from Computer Business Review discussed statements regarding the new venture by IBM and the fact SMI-S hasn’t moved along quite as fast as they’ve hoped for. They suggested IBM, using IBM’s own statements, is using the Aperi as a kicker for the SMI-S.

Aperi was the brainchild of IBM and eight other vendors including Network Appliance Inc, Computer Associates, Brocade Communications, Fujitsu Ltd., McData Cor, Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems and Engenio Information Technologies. As many have pointed out, EMC, Symantec and HP were all noticeably absent from the mix.

Computer Business Review also pointed out HP and Symantec both said they wouldn’t sign on with the new Aperi because they believe it will rival SMI-S and any changes would need to be done by SNIA.

It’s obvious this is a bit of politics because IBM can’t exercise the same level of control over SNIA they can over the Aperi. While they do have some power players on their side already, HP and Symantec are two giants. How this will affect the success of Aperi is unknown.

At first, IBM, Sun and the other partners plan to donate part of their storage infrastructure management technology to the open source community. Other members will have the option to also donate a portion of their intellectual property, so that collectively the group can advance the platform and encourage developers to write storage management software based on the platform.

Providing more flexibility for storage management provides a range of benefits to customers, who face storage complexity and staff shortages and lack a standard way to manage information through its lifecycle. By standardizing on a common software infrastructure platform, customers will be able to choose from a greater range of storage management products. In addition, doing so could help eliminate the need to “rip and replace” storage management software when purchasing new hardware or applications, and reduce training requirements for storage operations teams.

Similarly, the community will help customers by enabling storage vendors to efficiently develop a management platform within an open source-based consortium framework, while focusing on developing new capabilities that enhance their own storage products.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.