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Standards group to define storage management API

Posted: 17 Jun 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:API? application programming interface? management software? storage networks?

A standards group has kicked off work on an effort to define an application programming interface for management software running on a storage switch. The interface could become a key standard in the hotly competitive area of managing storage networks.

The T11.5 task group under the International Committee for Information Technology Standards voted to launch an effort to define a Fabric Application Interface Standard (FAIS). The group hopes to define a stable proposal before the end of the year and complete its work by June 2004.

The group will meet in early July and again in August to define its call for proposals. Engineers from Brocade Communications Inc. and rival Andiamo Systems, a division of Cisco Systems, were named to lead the FAIS effort.

Brocade has also announced it will submit its XPath technology for consideration in the standards effort. Brocade is the market leader in Fibre Channel storage switches. Its XPath technology is based on the switch applications processor it acquired last year from startup Rhapsody.

Both Brocade and Cisco made presentations at the early June T11.5 meeting on the technical issues behind creating an intelligent switching API for storage networks. Those presentations will ultimately be posted on the T11 Web site.

"The process is moving along rapidly, and I expect many fabric layers including applications software companies to submit proposals," said Tony Di Cenzo, director of industry marketing at Brocade.

Cisco's Andiamo unit launched its first Fibre Channel switch late last year and is developing its own switching management hardware and API. Both companies are vying with a wide variety of storage hardware and software vendors to define how users will manage storage devices, applications and data.

"Brocade's decision to submit its XPath API technology to the T11 standards body is a positive step for the storage industry since this technology provides a set of higher order primitives that are hardware agnostic," said John Webster, senior analyst with the Data Mobility Group in a prepared statement from Brocade.

- Rick Merritt

EE Times

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