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October 20, 2008

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Bob Fine

Gene, it was great seeing you again at SNW. About your question on scalability, we've been doing automated data movement for years. All we're doing with SSD will be just adding support for another drive type, along with FC and SATA, in the same system. For more on this, see our comment on Martin Glassborow's blog at http://storagebod.typepad.com/storagebods_blog/2008/10/more-flashiness.html#comment-135181655.

Paul von Behren

Gene,

You made several comments regarding the SMI-S standard recently and I wanted to clarify a few points.

What you witnessed and sensed at SNW was the great passion for SMI-S from vendors who wanted to make sure you realized they have worked hard to integrate SMI-S into their core products. The CTP results (snia.org/ctp) are a good place to start gauging vendor participation in SMI-S. We made the 1.3 provider test available a few weeks ago and we already have four conforming vendors. The 1.2 provider test has been available for less than a year and we have 129 hardware products tested. The count of hardware products over time is interesting because of the impact of mergers (fewer companies with a higher percentage of the install base). The CTP numbers are growing; we are seeing new vendors and products for 1.1, 1.2 as well as 1.3. IT users deploying SMI-S in their management environment are demanding such conformance testing to support their solution implementation efforts.

SNIA SMI has had a "game plan" for several years which has allowed a steady release schedule of enriched SMI-S versions, with input and feedback from various communities, from developers to users. SMI-S 1.0 and 1.1 covered a significant amount of SAN management. Since 1.1, our SMI-S development plan has included filling in the gaps – new types of devices (e.g. host RAID controllers), new functionality for devices already supported (e.g. SMI-S 1.4 will add support for managing Array remote copy services and thin provisioning), and improvements to support management applications (techniques for faster and scalable bulk retrieval and asynchronous alert reporting have been introduced and are extended each release). These are just a few examples of what has been added since 1.1, and the 1.2 and 1.3 review versions have long lists of updates and additions. The SMI plan over the last few years has been similar to product development plans; with goals coming from marketing volunteers, end-users (through BOFs at SNIA symposiums and other meeting opportunities), product managers, and the volunteers contributing to SMI-S. These goals have primarily addressed product functionality.

Moving forward, we are extending our game plan with input from SMI-S stakeholder companies. We continue adding new functionality (storage products just keep on growing), but we also have some new objectives. These objectives include educating developers on techniques for assuring in-field interoperability, comprehensive event reporting, CTP enhancements, and improved marketing. One of the goals for marketing is to improve communications with the various IT industry communities interested in SMI-S. Overall our efforts will contribute to improve and accelerate SMI-S adoption and deployment. Hopefully we will have new opportunities in the future to let you know about our progress.

Paul von Behren, SMI Governing Board Chair

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