Over the next few months, you`ll be hearing a lot about storage area networks (SANs) and network-attached storage (NAS).

Actually, the concepts aren`t new. SANs have been de rigeur in the mainframe world for years, and NAS was pioneered years ago by vendors such as Auspex and Network Appliance. Now, however, storage networks are starting to filter into the open-systems mainstream. The problem is that there aren`t any standards.

Enter the Storage Networking Industry Association. Spearheaded by Michael Peterson, president of Strategic Research Corp. in Santa Barbara, CA, the goals of SNIA are to:

- Create standards and infrastructure for networked storage, including SANs, SAN-attached storage, and NAS.

- Accomplish interoperability of networked storage systems across SANs, LANs, and WANs.

- Engage in market development to help customers and channel partners understand the benefits and implementation methods for these architectures.

- Work cooperatively with existing standards bodies to bind their work into high-level interoperable systems solutions.

SNIA is primarily vendor-based, but is open to all companies. The last meeting was at Comdex. For more information, contact Strategic Research at (805) 569-5610. Detailed information and conference proceedings are available at www.sresearch. com/snia.--DS

This article was originally published on December 01, 1997