By Sheila Childs
The Storage Networking World (SNW) conference and exhibition, which is endorsed by the Storage Networking Industry Association, opens next week (Oct. 27 to 30) in Orlando. For end users and storage integrators, the show provides an opportunity to hear about user case studies and view live demonstrations of new storage standards and solutions.
The goal of SNW is to eliminate confusion through informative sessions, education, and solution demonstrations. For example, for about a year now, users have been hearing about products based on the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) standard. SNW provides an opportunity for storage professionals to see SMI-S products in action. In addition, attendees can get hands-on experience with storage networking through SNIA-endorsed interoperability demonstrations, education programs, and certification courses.
Speakers will provide attendees with insight into storage management best practices, applications, and real-world standards-compliant product deployment.
Primers on new architectures and trends will kick off SNW's opening day. Tuesday's sessions will open with a presentation by Major General Dale Meyerrose, CIO and director of Command Control Systems, Headquarters North American Aerospace Defense Command.
Panels, sessions, and tutorials will focus on the "how-to" aspects of storage and will address issues such as regulatory compliance, automation processes, new certification requirements, and business continuity.
Track sessions will tackle topics such as security, storage virtualization, data sharing, Fibre Channel, and storage area network (SAN) infrastructure design. MasterCard International, Turner Entertainment, United Parcel Service, America Online, Guardian Life, and others will present user case studies. For the complete SNW program, visit www.storagenetworkinworld.com/orlan do_2003/agenda/.
As have previous SNW shows, the fall conference will feature an Interoperability and Solutions Demo (ISD) designed to demonstrate hardware and software interoperability. The SNW ISD lab will include demonstrations such as the following:
Hosted by the SNIA Storage Management Forum, the SMI-Lab3 will feature the SMI-S standard. The lab is a reference implementation of network storage and management products that uses SMI-S to simplify storage management. SMI-Lab3 is an extension of the CIM-SAN-2 demonstration, where 20 participating companies integrated 35 products with 160 points of interoperability.
The SMI-Lab3 will also include the application of SNIA's new Interoperability Conformance Testing Program (ICTP), a foundation for validating compliance to the SMI-S 1.0 interface. The ICTP enables users, developers, and integrators to assess conformance of products to the SMI-S standard.
Switch Interoperability Demonstration
The SNIA Supported Solutions Forum (SSF) will conduct two SAN demonstrations at SNW in the ISD area, with an emphasis on multi-vendor switch-to-switch interoperability.
In addition to Fibre Channel switches, hardware in the demos will include blade servers with "fibre-down" technology that integrates Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) and switches into servers. The servers will be connected directly to the multi-vendor SAN, demonstrating that IT administrators can now deploy heterogeneous, interoperable switched fabrics. Advanced levels of interoperability, such as zoning conformance to the Fibre Channel Industry Association's SANmark test, will also be demonstrated.
The ISD will also display storage virtualization solutions. The SNIA SSF will demonstrate multiple virtualization products operating in a heterogeneous environment, making use of the ISD's SAN blueprint for connectivity to shared storage.
Other SNW themes include designing, building, and managing storage networks; securing and protecting data; emerging technologies; standards-based storage management; IP-based storage networks; and conformance testing.
For more information regarding the ISD and exhibiting companies, visit www.stor agenetworkingworld.com/orlando_2003/io SolutionsDemo/.
Sheila Childs is the chairperson of the Storage Networking Industry Association (www.snia.org).
Upcoming SNIA activities
Developers of storage networking technologies can attend SNIA's Developers' Courses at the SNIA Technology Center, in Colorado Springs. The five-day courses are designed to provide the education and skills needed to leverage the SMI-S standard.
Attendees will learn best practices for the development of WBEM-based storage "clients" and "providers." The fundamentals of CIM modeling are covered and complemented with hands-on development opportunities. The courses will prepare participants to efficiently integrate storage systems and management applications based on SMI-S. For more information, visit www.snia.org/tech_center/SMISdeveloperscourse3/.
The IP Storage Roadshow, hosted by the SNIA IP Storage Forum, is a multi-city event planned for the end of 2003 and early 2004. IP Storage Forum members will demonstrate new applications of the IP-based iSCSI, FCIP, and iFCP standards. For more information, stay tuned to www.snia.org/tech_activities/ip_storage.