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Aperi Storage Community to Propose Open Source Project to Eclipse; Novell to Join Nine Storage Leaders

Fujitsu, IBM and McDATA to Contribute Software Code to Storage Industry Effort, Now One Million Lines of Code Strong

OTTAWA - 28 Jun 2006: The Aperi community of leading storage vendors today announced it has proposed an open source project to the Eclipse Foundation, home to one of the industry's largest open source communities. This is the latest step in Aperi's efforts to give customers more choices for deploying open storage infrastructure software -- based on an industry-standard platform developed by the open source community.

Aperi also announced that Novell has joined the community, bringing the total number of Aperi members to 10 companies. Novell joins other industry leaders including Brocade Communication Systems, Cisco Systems, CA, Emulex, LSI Logic, Fujitsu Limited, IBM, McDATA, and Network Appliance.

Formed in October 2005, Aperi -- derived from the Latin word for "to open" -- is an open source community of leading storage industry vendors working to give organizations greater flexibility in the way they manage their storage environments and improve their access to stored information -- regardless of what storage hardware or software they are using. Members of the Aperi community are working together to build and evolve a common, open platform for managing all brands of storage systems, which will be available free-of-charge. The open source collaboration model -- which has already been used to accelerate adoption of industry standards around datacenter automation and Web services -- has proven itself to be an effective way to bring open standards to different systems and achieve a non-proprietary technology environment.

To advance the development of the Aperi framework, Fujitsu, IBM and McDATA today announced they intend to contribute storage management software code to the Eclipse Aperi project. IBM plans to contribute more than one million lines of code from its TotalStorage Productivity Center software to the proposed Eclipse project.

The Aperi platform will provide a range of benefits to customers that grapple with storage complexity and staff shortages and lack a standard way to manage information through its lifecycle. By using open, standards-based storage systems and management software, customers can choose from a greater range of storage products and eliminate the need to "rip and replace" storage management software. This lowers the cost of managing storage technology and reduces training requirements for storage operations teams.

Large contributions of software code are the hallmark of many successful open source efforts, such as Eclipse, Linux and Firefox Mozilla. Such contributions of intellectual assets jump-start open source projects, since developers can access code and immediately begin collaborating with thousands of other developers worldwide who are using, refining and adopting the platform.

Companies participating in Aperi will work closely with the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) to drive existing standards and develop new ones while carrying out open source software development under Eclipse. The Aperi framework will comply with the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) and will be certified at the latest SMI-S levels so that vendors that have invested resources in creating SMI-S compliant storage offerings will see their investments increase further with the Aperi framework.

While SMI-S is the open standard specification that SNIA members support and drive, Aperi is the open source implementation of that standard. By providing a tested implementation of SMI-S, which standardizes storage management technologies for storage hardware interfaces, Aperi will drive greater industry support and wider adoption of SMI-S.

By developing a storage management platform as an open source-based framework, the Eclipse Aperi project will continue growth of the Eclipse ecosystem with a new community of storage management applications and increase collaboration and innovation across the storage industry. Technology vendors can enable their offerings to the common Aperi framework or contribute code to the open source project, or both.

Eclipse.org is among the industry's most influential open source communities and includes major technology vendors, start-ups, universities, research institutions and individuals. With more than 135 member companies, tens of millions of downloads and 1,000 third-party plug-ins, the Eclipse community works to extend, complement and support open source development and gives developers freedom of choice in a multi-language, multi-platform, multi-vendor environment. Eclipse has many successful projects including Project Higgins (enables people to gain more control over their digital identities), the Ajax Toolkit Framework (simplifies the browsing experience and make it easier for users to shop, work, plan, correspond and navigate online), and the BIRT project (business intelligence and reporting software tools that help customers analyze and track mountains of business data).

"Aperi is working to simplify the management of storage environments through a standards-based, open source software framework. With Eclipse Foundation's history of hosting successful open source projects -- including those for communications, collaboration, identity, database and device management -- we're very excited about the Aperi community coming to Eclipse and using the Eclipse Public License," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director, Eclipse Foundation. "The Aperi framework can thrive in a vibrant open source community and help expand the greater Eclipse ecosystem."

"The SNIA SMI-S industry standard enables IT end users to establish an interoperable, storage management environment that simplifies manageability and improves investment protection when adding, changing, upgrading, and retiring storage components", said Wayne M. Adams, Chair, SNIA Board of Directors. "SNIA's planned relationship with Aperi will include interoperability programs for SMI-S, the use of SNIA facilities for Aperi interoperability programs, and advancing current and new storage standards. The IT industry will benefit from Aperi helping to drive SMI-S implementations, storage technologies and open standards."

For more information about the Eclipse Foundation, visit www.Eclipse.org.

Brocade

"Brocade is committed to the standardization of storage management interfaces to simplify storage infrastructure. We believe in providing customers with a common storage management platform that accelerates the number of applications, and the kinds of capabilities customers can use to manage their storage environment," said Dan Crain, Chief Technology Officer at Brocade. "We are pleased to lend our expertise and mindshare towards the Aperi project to accelerate the development of open standards."

Cisco

"Cisco remains committed to participation in the Aperi project, in the expectation that the formation of the open source community under Eclipse will simplify management and advance industry standards," said Ed Chapman, vice president, product management, Data Center and Switching Business Unit, Cisco.

CA

"Standards-based interoperability is the key to enabling customers to streamline management of heterogeneous storage resources across the enterprise and reduce their technology ownerships costs," said Sam Greenblatt, senior vice president, innovation at CA. "CA's active participation in Aperi, SNIA and other key collaborative organizations underscores our commitment to ensuring that this interoperability is appropriately defined and provisioned."

Emulex

"Emulex has a longstanding tradition of developing solutions based on open standards that help simplify management and provide enhanced interoperability for storage networking environments," said Mike Smith, executive vice president of worldwide marketing, Emulex. "We look forward to participating in ongoing efforts that support standards and open source initiatives to benefit the broader industry and our customers."

LSI Logic

"As a founding member, LSI has seen Aperi make significant progress in less than a year toward delivering on its promise of driving an open source storage management software platform," said Phil Bullinger, senior vice president, Engenio Storage Group, LSI Logic. "Users benefit from the Aperi community both by having participating vendors work together and through the collaboration of Aperi with other standards bodies such as SNIA. LSI is continuously working to ease management issues and we feel that Aperi will go a long way in making that happen."

Fujitsu

"Fujitsu has a long history of providing customers with storage, server and software solutions and contributing to the establishment of open standards in the IT industry. We strongly support the work of the Aperi community to establish an open source framework for storage management software in multi-vendor environments, as we believe this will both benefit the customer and serve to spur the growth of the industry as a whole," said Mitsuhiro Hashimoto, President, Platform Technology Development Unit, Fujitsu Limited. "We believe that the success of Aperi in achieving this goal is of critical importance, as this will also serve as a foundation for autonomic system management and other innovative data center solutions."

IBM

"As a long-standing SNIA member, IBM is committed to the development of open standards. Through our experience with numerous open source projects -- Apache, Linux, Eclipse, Ajax, and Higgins, among others -- we have found that open source not only complements but also accelerates open standards," said Laura Sanders, vice president, System Storage products and solutions, IBM. "Open source projects such as Aperi are a proven vehicle for advancing the adoption of open standards. Through today's announcement with Eclipse, Aperi is making a giant leap towards giving customers an open storage management framework that is built through collaboration and innovation."

McDATA

"As a leader in storage networking, McDATA is committed to enhancing the interoperability and ease-of-use of advanced storage networking management solutions," said McDATA Senior Vice President of Engineering Michael Frendo. "We are committed to applying our expertise to Aperi as well as standards and open source efforts that will bring these benefits to our customers."

Network Appliance

"The availability of a common open source framework for storage vendors will drive the development of rich storage management applications for customers," said Patrick Rogers, vice president of Products and Partners, Network Appliance. "NetApp has traditionally been a proud supporter of open standards, and participation in the Aperi community under Eclipse reinforces our commitment to help customers focus on value-add storage management functionality rather than infrastructure. A common framework for management across heterogeneous storage systems will help drive the development of a common shared storage management platform, allowing customers to focus on managing their data needs instead of their infrastructure needs."

Novell

"An open source storage management framework that implements the SNIA SMI-S standard will help advance the industry to a level of greater interoperability and advanced functionality," said Hal Bennett, vice president of alliances for Novell. "Novell believes the Aperi project framework will ultimately help customers derive maximum value from their storage environment, as well as promote innovation of new storage platforms and tools. We're firm backers of CIM based management and the SMI-S standards for storage, both of which plug nicely into Aperi."

Contact(s) information

Meredith Hannon
IBM Media Relations
512-286-3992
merhannon@us.ibm.com

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