Storage Management Initiative – Specification
SMI, or the Storage Management Initiative, is a storage standard developed and maintained by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). It has also been ratified as an ISO standard. SMI is based upon the Common Information Model and the Web-Based Enterprise Management standards defined by the Distributed Management Task Force, which define management functionality via HTTP. The most recent approved version of SMI is available at the SNIA.
The main objective of SMI-S is to enable broad interoperable management of heterogeneous storage vendor systems. The current version is SMI-S V1.6.0. Over 75 software products and over 800 hardware products are certified as conformant to SMI-S.
SMI defines CIM management profiles for storage systems. The complete SMI Specification is categorized in profiles and subprofiles. A profile describes the behavioral aspects of an autonomous, self-contained management domain. SMI includes profiles for Arrays, Switches, Storage Virtualizers, Volume Management and many other domains. In DMTF parlance, a provider is an implementation for a specific profile. A subprofile describes part of the domain, which can be a common part in many profiles.
At a very basic level, SMI entities are divided into two categories:
- Clients are management software applications that can reside virtually anywhere within a network, provided they have a communications link (either within the data path or outside the data path) to providers.
- Servers are the devices under management. Servers can be disk arrays, virtualization engines, host bus adapters, switches, tape drives, etc.
- 2000 – Collection of computer storage industry leaders led by Roger Reich begins building an interoperable management backbone for storage and storage networks (named Bluefin) in a small consortia called the Partner Development Process.
- 2002 – Bluefin donated by the consortia to the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and later renamed to Storage Management Initiative – Specification or SMI-S. SMI-S 1.0 publicly announced by the SNIA.
- 2003 – The Storage Management Initiative launches formal industry wide specification development, interoperability testing and demonstrations programs, as well as conformance testing systems and certifications. Work proceeds in the SMI Technical Steering Committee and related TWGs.
- 2004 – SMI-S 1.0.2 becomes an ANSI standard. Initial development of SMI-S 1.1.0 started.
- 2005 – SMI-S 1.0.2 submitted to ISO.
- 2006 – SMI-S 1.0.3 accepted as an ISO standard. SNIA Technical Position of SMI-S 1.1.0 released. Working Drafts developed for SMI-S 1.2.0.
- 2007 – SMI-S 1.2.0 published as a SNIA Technical Position. Working Drafts developed for SMI-S 1.3.0 and SMI-S 1.4.0.
- 2008 – SMI-S 1.1.1 published as an ANSI standard  and submitted to ISO for consideration as an ISO standard. SMI-S 1.3.0 published as a SNIA Technical Position.
- 2009 - SMI-S 1.4.0 published as a SNIA Technical Position. Working Drafts developed for SMI-S 1.5.0.
- 2010 – SMI-S 1.5.0 published as a SNIA Technical Position. Working Drafts developed for SMI-S 1.6.0.
- 2011 – SMI-S 1.1.1 published as an ISO standard, ISO/IEC 24775:2011. SMI-S 1.3.0 published as an ANSI standard: INCITS 388-2011. Development continues on SMI-S 1.6.0 and 1.6.1 in SNIA Technical Work Groups. Discussions are being conducted re a possible SMI-S V2.0.
- 2012 - SMI-S 1.6.0 published as a SNIA Technical Position.
- 2013 - SMI-S 1.5.0 is currently in the ISO submission process.
Open source projects
- StorageIM SMI-S monitor client for SMI-enabled Arrays, Switches, HBAs and Storage Libraries.
- SBLIM Umbrella project for a collection of systems management tools to enable WBEM on GNU/Linux.
- CIM — Common Information Model
- WBEM — Web-Based Enterprise Management
- SNIA — Storage Networking Industry Association
- SCVMM System Center 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager
- SMI-S (SNIA SMI-S website)
- SNIA SMI-S homepage provides good material both at the overview and detail level.
- SMI Specification (SMI-S) Approved specifications of the SMI.
- SMI Developers Group provides information to assist developers working with SMI.
- SMI-Lab Program homepage provides information on the SMI-Lab program, including dates for SMI-Lab plugfests.
- SNIA Conformance Testing Program (CTP) homepage describes how SNIA validates that a member company's products (software or hardware) conform to a particular version of SMI-S.
- DMTF standards contains a list of published DMTF standards.