The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), through its Technical Council (TC), today announced the creation of the Cloud Storage Technical Work Group (TWG) aimed at developing SNIA Architectures and best practices related to cloud storage technology. Additionally, at Storage Networking World Spring 2009, attendees will be able to learn more about Cloud Storage by attending the SNIA-sponsored Cloud Computing Summit on Monday, April 6, SNIA Tutorials on Monday, April 6 and SNIA’s Birds-of-a-Feather information session on Tuesday, April 7 at 8 p.m.
The SNIA Cloud Storage TWG will be the primary technical entity for the Association to identify, develop and coordinate system standards and interfaces for cloud storage. The initial TWG charter includes the focus to produce a comprehensive set of specifications and to drive the consistency of interface standards across the various cloud storage related efforts. “Cloud storage is a very hot topic within the IT community because of its potential to reduce IT costs and lessen complexity, while enabling unprecedented resources and services scalability to be accessed through global IT infrastructures and the Internet,” said Wayne M. Adams, Chair of the SNIA. “In order for the Cloud Storage market to deliver the promised value to the industry, there must be collaboration within the storage industry and among industry service providers to enable unfettered data migration between different Cloud Storage vendors as well as secure expansion of enterprise data centers. We are confident that the Cloud Storage TWG will help SNIA members, alliances, developers, service providers and end users by reducing risks associated with the deployment of new technology and accelerating adoption.”
The TWG is also soliciting proposals for standard interfaces and is looking to engage the Cloud Storage community, which includes Cloud Storage vendors, traditional storage vendors and possibly other Cloud industry parties in its efforts. The group plans to release a reference model for Cloud Storage with associated terminology definitions to aid in further work on the standards. Cloud service and storage interface definitions are expected in draft form later this year and anticipated to be adopted starting in 2010.
“The SNIA’s efforts to facilitate an industry-wide collaboration on Cloud Storage is timely and necessary,” said Simon Robinson, Research Director, Storage, for The 451 Group. “By addressing the challenges of Cloud Storage and establishing a collective definition, industry education and standards, the SNIA’s new technical work group will help foster consistency and cooperation throughout the industry."
"A number of vendors are rushing to offer cloud storage services either as a focused storage offering or as part of a compute cloud,” said Gene Ruth, Senior Analyst, Burton Group. “Confusion over definitions, positioning and concerns over service delivery are slowing acceptance. The Burton Group believes that a strong industry association can provide a focal point to bring the many cloud players together. SNIA's efforts to define what cloud storage is and how it fits into the cloud compute paradigm will help spur its acceptance."
The Cloud Storage TWG will assist and collaborate with other SNIA TWGs and plans to do the same with external industry associations and standards bodies to help with their efforts surrounding Cloud computing initiatives. The SNIA has a strong track record with gaining industry consensus around creating standard Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for storage and storage management, submitting these standards into ANSI and ISO for accreditation. Vendors and research organizations committed to participate in the Cloud Storage TWG include ActiFio; Bycast, Inc.; Calsoft, Inc.; Cisco; The CloudStor Group at the San Diego Supercomputer Center; EMC Corporation; GoGrid; HCL Technologies; Hitachi Data Systems; HP; IBM; Intransa; Joyent; LSI Corporation; NetApp; Nirvanix; Patni Computer Systems Ltd.; QLogic Corporation; The Storage Systems Research Center, Jack Baskin School of Engineering, UC Santa Cruz; Sun Microsystems; Symantec; VMware; and Xyratex.
For more information on SNIA’s Cloud Storage activities, please visit http://www.snia.org/cloud or get involved in the conversation at www.twitter.com/SNIACloud or http://groups.google.com/group/cloudstorage.