Storage Industry Leaders to Form Open Source Community

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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.

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