By Zachary Shess
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) last month announced the formation of a network-attached storage (NAS) working group in an effort to standardize technology and terminology. "The group's objective is to standardize and to get IT managers and vendors focused on what NAS is, and to help clarify existing products and terminology," says SNIA technical director Andrea Westerinen.
The NAS working group plans to contribute to SNIA's effort to submit a Common Internet File System (CIFS) protocol specification proposal to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The working group also plans to define a NAS management information base (MIB) for SNMP support, and to establish a defined group of managed objects to include within the Common Information Model (CIM).
In addition to establishing NAS standards, the group's formation reflects the NAS market's maturation. Westerinen says the industry could have used a working group a few years ago, but there was not an appropriate organization or enough NAS vendors to build a consensus to accomplish the objectives. With many NAS vendors recently emerging, Westerinen believes this is a good time to start defining NAS terms in order to help IT managers make apples-to-apples product comparisons.
"When an IT manager reads marketing brochures from three different companies, it would be nice if all the companies use the same terminology," she says.