Code-named Bluefin, the proposed standard uses the Common Information Model (CIM) and Web-Based Enterprise Management technologies to enable SAN devices to communicate with one another. The standard also creates definitions and channels through which manufacturers can integrate components so they can exchange management information.
Users have been clamouring for storage management tools to support a growing and complex number of storage network ports. Storage vendors including Hewlett-Packard and Dell, which have been hit hard by the slowdown in IT spending, have recognised customers' needs for interoperability among products from multiple vendors.
John Webster, an analyst at Data Mobility Group, said a standard would give users a common way to manage storage devices and for management applications and storage devices to interact with one another.
Bluefin has been presented to the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), a trade group comprised of 300 companies and individuals. SNIA said it is committed to delivering standards for multivendor storage networks.
IBM spokesman Chris Andrews said his company has been a long-standing supporter of efforts to develop an interoperability standard for SAN devices.
"It will lead to a better environment for customers," he said. "It will reduce costs and make storage-area networks more efficient."
Don Swatik, EMC's vice-president of Global Alliances and Information Sciences, said the successful development of open industry standards would go far to reduce the time, effort and cost of delivering management tools for heterogeneous networked environments.