Supporters of the Bluefin draft standard for managing storage area networks (Sans) say it will shrug off opposition from EMC's rival Widesky standard.
Bluefin builds on a string of existing standards, especially the common information model (CIM) that describes the entire computing infrastructure, and is extensible as user needs change.
The wide-ranging standard manages host bus adapters (HBAs), SCSI controllers, management appliances, fabric topology, switches, routers and hubs, disk arrays and tape libraries among others.
Potential benefits to customers are lower costs, less vendor lock-in, greater certainty that what they buy will work with what they already have, and improved compatibility with management applications.
Last week the draft was submitted to the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA), and most of the big-named storage vendors have now pledged their support - including the often aloof EMC.
"Customers want something that is easy to implement and to remove vendor lock-in," said Paul Talbot, managing director of storage reseller HPS and a member of the SNIA governing committee. "A good standard offers the best chance."
But Dr Guy Bunker, Veritas chief scientist and a member of SNIA, said there werestill roadblocks to be overcome.
"There is a need for everything to work with everything else - but nobody wants to work with anybody else. There is also a need for a standard to validate against, but there are already too many standards," he said.
But now that the draft standard is with SNIA, most of the big-named companies had fallen behind it and compliant products were already being prepared for release early next year, Bunker added.
One possible cloud on the horizon is EMC's Widesky standard initiative, which overlaps with Bluefin.
But Chris Atkins, Sun's UK storage product marketing manager, said: "Widesky will not succeed. Partners want ownership of the specifications but EMC only exposes the features that are special."
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