3PAR, the leading provider of Utility Storage, announced today that it successfully demonstrated native support and interoperability with the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) at Storage Networking World in Orland, Florida. Through the use of open standards, Utility Storage enables heterogeneous enterprise management software and storage resource management (SRM) software to manage a virtualised storage pool without deployment of dedicated SAN-based virtualisation appliances, a tremendous cost savings for customers.

"3PAR believes that core virtualisation functions are best implemented in the array, and that heterogeneous management should be done by customers' existing enterprise management or SRM software. SMI-S is the key enabler for this," said David Scott, President and Chief Executive Officer of 3PAR. "The combination of SMI-S enabled Utility Storage and enterprise management software eliminates the need for complex and brittle SAN-based virtualisation appliances."

In the absence of standards, one of the few contributions of the new breed of SAN-based virtualisation appliances is heterogeneous LUN management. Unfortunately, the use of these appliances brings with it additional layers of complexity and results in a brittle storage infrastructure. SMI-S support and interoperability enables heterogeneous LUN management without dedicated virtualisation appliances that add significant cost.

"Storage utilisation is a huge problem. While there are a lot of vendors out there pushing their own virtualisation solutions to address this, only a few are going to win in the long term. The type of implementation that 3PAR brings to the market is one that has legs," said Steve Duplessie, Founder and Senior Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "With this SMI-S announcement, 3PAR shows how its customers can get heterogeneous LUN management of their virtualised storage without having to rely on the additional management and interoperability headaches of dedicated appliances."

At last month's Storage Networking World conference, 3PAR demonstrated SMI-S interoperability with CreekPath, a leading SRM solution, and IBM/Tivoli, a leading enterprise management software solution. Critical discovery capabilities will allow a customer to monitor the 3PAR InServ Storage Server within a heterogeneous storage environment using SMI-S compliant storage management platforms.

3PAR's SMI-S provider represents a second-generation approach to SMI-S development. It is integrated directly within the storage array, as opposed to many first-generation solutions that require a separate proxy server to convert legacy APIs to SMI-S. First generation approaches can also create a single-point-of-failure and greater complexity in a customer's storage management environment. Conversely, native implementations are simpler, more robust and offer more efficient options for custom extensibility of the SMI-S standard.

3PAR is a member company of the Storage Networking Industry Association
(SNIA) and is committed to the support of open management standards. The company is also a participant in the Storage Management Initiative Lab 5, which focuses on the interoperability testing of SMI-S based client and provider products.

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