NetApp is a big proponent of industry associations and support their ability to work with technology leaders to develop standards that help improve quality, functionality and performance, as well as reduce the costs of IT solutions. I currently chair the Storage Network Industry Association Ethernet Storage Forum (SNIA ESF). We have just expanded our charter and I think it is pretty exciting stuff. At least, as exciting as these things get, anyway.
The SNIA ESF is focused on marketing and promoting Ethernet as a storage interconnect in all of its various uses. The ESF has historically included two special interest groups (SIG) focused on NFS and iSCSI solutions respectively. With this new charter, the NFS SIG is now renamed the File Protocols SIG and will expand its role to also include Server Message Blocks (SMB) and its various flavors (i.e. CIFS). The iSCSI SIG will be renamed the Storage over Ethernet SIG and will include the breadth of storage protocols that run over Ethernet, such as NFS, CIFS, FCoE, and iSCSI, as examples.
The reason for the charter changes is that we (the ESF) see two dominant trends in modern data centers, the expanded use of file protocols for business applications such as databases, and the growing adoption of Ethernet as a converged data center fabric with the introduction of FCoE. The broad discussion around these topics appears to be missing among the industry associations and so we are intending to fill the voids. As a result, the ESF will deliver education materials focused on the applications and solutions as well as best practices and business value associated with these two trends. We are not looking to define any protocol, as that activity is handled in other standards bodies, such as the FCIA for FCoE. Rather, we will complement the efforts of existing standards bodies and associations to develop educational materials that incorporate the higher level considerations of IT professionals when they look to architect their IT infrastructure.
Whether you are an end user, a technology vendor, or a reseller, I would encourage you to take a look at what is happening with this Forum, and ideally choose to participate as a member.
As this charter change is hot off the presses, so we are just beginning to update our collateral and web content. Expect to see a lot more in the coming months.
You can find more information about SNIA and the ESF below, including how to join, as well as video training found on BrightTalk.com.
And let me know what topics you would like to learn about and we will add those to our marketing plan for 2013.