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ARMONK, N.Y. - 25 Oct 2005: Brocade Communication Systems, Cisco Systems, Inc., Computer Associates International, Inc., Engenio Information Technologies, Fujitsu Limited, IBM Corporation, McDATA Corporation, Network Appliance, Inc. and Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced their intent to form a new open source community, initially working under the project name Aperi, to give customers more choices for deploying open-standards-based storage infrastructure software. The organization plans to develop a common storage software management platform that will give customers greater flexibility in the way they manage their storage environments.
Aperi - derived from the Latin word for "to open" -- will take an open approach to build a common platform for managing all brands of storage systems, with community members contributing code and taking advantage of a common platform for building storage software applications.
Previous storage industry group initiatives have focused on establishing standards but not collaborating to develop an open source-based platform to manage storage devices.
Members of the community, which will be managed by an independent, non-profit, multi-vendor organization, will work together to evolve the platform, which will be available free-of-charge. The consortium soon will announce details about the organization, including the multi-vendor board of directors.
At first, IBM, Sun and the other partners plan to donate part of their storage infrastructure management technology to the open source community. Other members will have the option to also donate a portion of their intellectual property, so that collectively the group can advance the platform and encourage developers to write storage management software based on the platform.
Providing more flexibility for storage management provides a range of benefits to customers, who face storage complexity and staff shortages and lack a standard way to manage information through its lifecycle. By standardizing on a common software infrastructure platform, customers will be able to choose from a greater range of storage management products. In addition, doing so could help eliminate the need to "rip and replace" storage management software when purchasing new hardware or applications, and reduce training requirements for storage operations teams.
Similarly, the community will help customers by enabling storage vendors to efficiently develop a management platform within an open source-based consortium framework, while focusing on developing new capabilities that enhance their own storage products.
The community will build upon existing open storage standards, including the Storage Networking Industry Association's (SNIA) Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S), which develops and standardizes interoperable storage management technologies for storage hardware interfaces.
More information can be found at www.ibm.com/storage/community.
"Brocade has a history of leadership in developing industry standards and a commitment to interoperability in SAN infrastructure," said Dan Crain, Chief Technology Officer, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. "The new open source community for storage applications developers will build on and validate the success of organizations such as SNIA and SMI-S. We envision that in the long run, the result will be more powerful tools to reduce cost and complexity in the data center."
"Cisco is committed to supporting and furthering industry efforts that create more flexibility and choice, reduce costs, simplify management, and advance industry standards," said Tom Edsall, Vice President and General Manager, Data Center Switching Business Unit, Cisco Systems, Inc.
"CA has a strong track record of support for the cooperative development of storage industry standards and enterprise-class open source business solutions," said Sam Greenblatt, senior vice president, technology, at CA. "This new initiative will provide sorely needed open source standards for managing storage resources across the enterprise - where burgeoning volumes of data and complex, heterogeneous infrastructure present IT organizations with an increasingly daunting challenge."
"The formation of the Open Source Storage Community and establishment of a common storage software management platform is a win-win for both customers and vendors," said Phil Bullinger, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Engenio. "Storage companies are now free to focus all of their resources on developing innovative storage management solutions based on a common platform. The interoperability of solutions from the leading storage companies provides customers with freedom of choice and peace of mind to know that they have complete flexibility when managing their storage environments."
"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 open source 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, Senior Vice President, Software Unit, Fujitsu Limited. "We believe that the success of the open source community 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 has a long history in promoting open standards across both hardware and software," said Andy Monshaw, General Manager of Storage, IBM. "This new open source community for the storage industry will help customers to dramatically lower the complexity involved in implementing storage solutions by providing customers more choices in selecting and deploying best storage products, regardless of vendor."
"Interoperability and open systems are fundamental pillars upon which McDATA has built its business - evident by our founding roles and decades of involvement in SNIA, FCIA and other standards organizations," said John Kelley, chairman, president and CEO, McDATA. "We support the community as it will allow customers a high degree of choice and interoperability when it comes to their storage requirements."
"This community is designed to help customers by enabling vendors to focus their development on value added storage management functionality rather than competing management platforms," said Patrick Rogers, Vice President of Products and Partners, Network Appliance. "NetApp has been a big advocate of open, standards-based storage for a long time--our pioneering work in NFS, CIFS, NDMP, and other technologies attests to that history, as does our product line which has been developed over the years with heterogeneous storage support as a top priority. Participating actively in this community will help us continue to focus on customer priorities--ease of data management and unmatched simplicity that deliver superior ROI and lower costs."
"As a leader in driving Open Source communities, Sun is very interested the development of open source storage and data management solutions and intends to participate in a community that is dedicated to this type of development," said Randy Kerns, VP Strategy and Planning, Data Management Group, Sun Microsystems. "Sun will be working with all of its partners to move toward standards based and open source solutions."
State Street Global Advisors
"Developing on the SMI-S foundation, the community has the opportunity to deliver the best of breed instrumentation, heterogeneity, and value that the end user community has been seeking for storage based (SAN and NAS) solutions." said Tom Dever, Senior Storage Engineer, State Street Global Advisors. "Furthermore, this initiative may help close the gap between today's hardware and maturing storage services such as ILM, virtualization, and CDP."
University of California, Berkeley
"Storage vendors have taken a significant step forward today to unite under a common goal of providing flexibility, simplicity, efficiency and common standards for customers," said David Patterson, Pardee Professor of Computer Science at U.C. Berkeley and President of the Association of Computing Machinery. "Collaboration at this level is the only way we will manage and overcome the information explosion we are seeing today."
Storage software, tape and disk innovations