"The SNIA's Storage Management Initiative (SMI) was created by the Storage Management Networking Industry Association (SNIA) to develop and standardize interoperable storage management technologies and aggressively promote them to the storage, networking and end user communities. SMI-S is based on the Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) architecture and the Common Information Model (CIM), and pioneered by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF). As a SAN management interface, the SMI-S provides the following four features: (1) A common interoperable and extensible management transport; (2) A complete, unified and rigidly specified object model that provides for the control of LUNs and Zones in the context of a SAN; (3) An automated discovery system; (4) A new approach to the application of the CIM/WBEM technology..." [SMI home page]
Summary: The SMI-S specification [Version 1.0.1] "documents a secure and reliable interface that allows storage management systems to identify, classify, monitor, and control physical and logical resources in a Storage Area Network. The Technical Specification defines the a method for the interoperable management of a heterogeneous Storage Area Network (SAN). This Technical Specification describes the information available to a WBEM Client from an SMI-S compliant CIM Server. It describes an object-oriented, XML-based, messaging-based interface designed to support the specific requirements of managing devices in and through Storage Area Networks (SANs)...
Rationale: Storage Area Networks (SANs) are emerging as a prominent layer of IT infrastructure in enterprise class and midrange computing environments. Applications and functions driving the emergence of SAN technology include: (1) Sharing of vast storage resources between multiple systems, (2) LAN free backup, (3) Remote, disaster tolerant, on-line mirroring of mission critical data, (4) Clustering of fault tolerant applications and related systems around a single copy of data. To accelerate the emergence of SANs in the market, the industry requires a standard management interface that allows different classes of hardware and software products supplied by multiple vendors to reliably and seamlessly interoperate for the purpose of monitoring and controlling resources. The SNIA Storage Management Initiative (SMI) was created to develop this specification (SMI-Specification or SMI-S), the definition of that interface. This standard provides for heterogeneous, functionally rich, reliable, and secure monitoring/control of mission critical global resources in complex and potentially broadly distributed multi-vendor SAN topologies. As such, this interface overcomes the deficiencies associated with legacy management.
To achieve the architectural objectives and support the key technological trends [identified in the Introduction] this document describes an object-oriented, XML-based messaging based interface designed to support the specific requirements of managing devices in and through Storage Area Networks. To quickly become ubiquitous, SMI-S seeks to the greatest extent possible to leverage existing enterprise management standards like: (1) The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) authored Common Information Model (CIM) and Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) standards; (2) The standards written by ANSI on Fibre Channel and SCSI; (3) The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for standards on XML; (4) The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for standards on HTTP and SLP; (5) The standards emerging from the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) on volume and array management...
A messaging-based interface, rather than a more traditional procedure call interface, was selected so that platform and language independence could be achieved across the breadth of devices, clients, and manufacturers that may implement the interface. This messaging-based environment also eases the task of transporting management actions over different communications transports and protocols that may emerge as the computer industry evolves. An example fragment of an SMI-S CIM-XML message is provided...
The requirements for this [1.0.1] version of the SNIA Storage Management Initiative Specification are stated as a prioritized list of functional capabilities that are provided by the interface. A compliant WBEM Client must be able to:
- Receive asynchronous notification that the configuration of a SAN has changed
- Identify the health of key resources in a SAN
- Receive asynchronous notification that the health of a SAN resource has changed
- Identify the available performance of interconnects in a SAN
- Receive asynchronous notification that the performance of a SAN interconnect has changed
- Identify the zones being enforced in a SAN
- Create/delete and enable/disable zones in a SAN
- Identify the storage volumes in a SAN
- Create/delete/modify storage volumes in a SAN
- Identify the connectivity and access rights to Storage Volumes in a SAN
- Create/delete and enable/disable connectivity and access rights to Storage Volumes in a SAN
- Require the use of authenticated clients
Transport: The World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Extensible Markup Language (XML) was chosen for the language to express management information and related operations, as it meets the requirements... Communications protocols to carry the XML based management information are needed that can take advantage of the existing ubiquitous IP protocol infrastructures, can be made to traverse inter- and intra-organizational firewalls, and can easily be embedded in low cost devices. The Hyper Text Transport Protocol (HTTP) was chosen for the messaging protocol and TCP was chosen for the base transfer protocol to carry the XML management information for this interface as it meets the requirements...
In order to be successful, the expression of XML management information (messages) across this interface MUST follow consistent rules for Semantics and Syntax. These rules are of sufficient quality, extensibility, and completeness to allow their wide adoption by storage vendors and management software vendors in the industry. In addition, to facilitate rapid adoption, existing software that can parse, marshal, un-marshal, and interpret these XML messages should be widely available in the market such that vendor implementations of the interface are accelerated...'
Virtually the only existing industry standard in this area is the WBEM standards CIM Operations over HTTP and Specification for the Representation of CIM in XML as developed and maintained by the DMTF. The WBEMsource initiative is a collaboration of open source implementations, which can be leveraged by storage vendors to prototype, validate, and implement this interface in products. Specifically designed for transporting object model independent management information, the CIM-XML message syntax was chosen because it meets the requirements of the storage industry as enumerated above. This specification augments the capabilities of CIM-XML in the area of discovery to facilitate ease of management..." [excerpted from the Final v1.0.1 SMI-S document]
- SNIA Storage Management Initiative (SMI)
- Storage Management Networking Industry Association (SNIA)
- SNIA Standards Page
- SNIA Standards Portfolio
- SNIA Public Review Documents
- SMI-S Home Page
- SMI-S v1.0 and SMI-S v1.1
- SNIA Storage Management Initiative Specification. Version 1.0.1. By Steven Peters (Hewlett-Packard), Paul von Behren (Sun Microsystems), and Mike Walker (IBM). Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). 12-September-2003. 644 pages. Copyright (c) 2003, SNIA. "This specification documents a secure and reliable interface that allows storage management systems to identify, classify, monitor, and control physical and logical resources in a Storage Area Network. It describes an object-oriented, XML-based, messaging-based interface designed to support the specific requirements of managing devices in and through Storage Area Networks (SANs)." [cache]
- See also: "DMTF Common Information Model (CIM)."
[October 24, 2007] "A Standard That Leaves Out the Good Stuff?" By Bruce Hoard. From Computerworld (October 24, 2007). "The Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) is a lightning rod for controversy among both its supporters and detractors. It has been approved by the ISO international standards organization and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as a standard for interoperable storage management technologies. Yet detractors say SMI-S was overhyped and will never fulfill its original promise of integrating storage device management across the industry. Supporters continue to say SMI-S is opening storage resource management (SRM) doors that were previously locked by proprietary vendors. SMI-S, now in Version 1.02, grew out of the Storage Management Initiative (SMI), which was created by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) in 2002. SMI-S is criticized for not being more open to smaller SRM vendors and failing to help end user IT organizations establish centralized control over their heterogeneous storage infrastructures because larger vendors will not port the most sophisticated application programming interfaces (API) to the standard's framework. Many large members of the vendor trade group say that even though SMI-S implementations have lagged behind the rapidly evolving standard, both vendors and users are benefiting from it. The basic concept behind SMI-S is simple: Vendors translate product specifications into XML code for their specific storage management software, which creates a universal API that can be accessed by any other SMI-S-compatible products. SNIA says that about 450 products from 30 vendors have so far passed the SNIA Conformance Testing Program for SMI-S. Product types include storage networking components (such as arrays, switches and host bus adapters) and their associated management software, as well as client software..."
[December 16, 2003] "New Storage Management Specification Key to Managing Multi-Vendor SANs." By Shankar Subramanian. In CNETAsia (December 09 2003). "Storage management will take a major step forward this year when the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) completes work on the first version of the Storage Management Interface Specification, or SMI-S, a specification for a standardized interface for storage management applications. Managing multi-vendor Storage Area Networks (SANs) is a key concern for end-users and integrators alike. It typically requires the use of a several applications from multiple vendors. The applications are typically uncoordinated and unable to work together to deliver the functionality, distribution, security, and reliability to ensure the delivery of increased business efficiency. SMI-S specifies a protocol stack consisting of CIM-XML (object descriptions and management actions) over HTTP (session), over TCP (transport), over IP (interconnect). The ubiquity of the lower layers of this stack make it possible to manage components using in-band communications, out-of-band communications, or a mix of the two... SMI-S incorporates mechanisms for standards-based management of legacy devices with proprietary interfaces. Devices and subsystems can be integrated into an SMI-S network using software agents (one per device) or CIM object managers (CIMOMs -- one or multiple devices). Agents and object managers bridge to proprietary device management models and protocols and those of the SMIS. As higher-level abstractions than models developed specifically for individual components, SMI-S Object Models are applicable across entire classes of devices. Common abstractions make it feasible for software developers to implement policy -based management for entire storage networks... SMI-S [provides] a common interoperable and extensible management transport. SMI-S is the unifying factor between objects that must be managed in a storage network and the tools used to manage them. SMI-S is based on the Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) architecture and the Common Information Model (CIM) as pioneered by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF). The use of the CIM-XML over HTTP standard, an object independent management protocol, allows vendors to dynamically extend the features and functions of their products without redesign of the management transport. SMI-S will shift the industry development model relieving vendors of the tedious task of integrating incompatible and 'feature thin' management interfaces, allowing them to focus on building management engines that reduce the cost and extend functionality. Device vendors will be spared the expense of 'pushing' management interface functionality across an industry of management applications developers and empowered to build new features and functions into subsystems..."
[December 01, 2003] "SNIA Delays Certifications to Fix Glitches. The Standards Affected are CIM 2.8 and SMI-S 1.0." By Evan Koblentz. In eWEEK (December 1, 2003). "Storage administrators waiting for standards-certified products will have to wait a bit longer, a Storage Networking Industry Association official said last week. The relevant standards are CIM (Common Information Model) 2.8, which is a universal language that lets storage products intercommunicate, and SMI-S (Storage Management Initiative Specification) 1.0, which is the SNIA's implementation of CIM... As SNIA members work on fixing bugs, the ICTP scripts need to be adjusted to match the SMI-S profiles identically, he said. In addition to those issues, 'we're still trying to get the DMTF to close some holes in CIM-XML,' [Wayne] Adams said, while updating the Storage Networking User Group New England on SNIA activities, at a Waltham, Mass., meeting. DMTF is the Distributed Management Task Force, where the original CIM development came from. The issue with CIM-XML, which determines where to get information as storage or applications request it, is that third-party CIM object manager software must fully interoperate, Adams said. That, too, is taking longer than expected, he said. Besides delaying storage vendors from completing the inaugural ICTP round, SMI-S 1.1 will also be delayed until the second half of next year, from its original timing of early next year. SMI-S 1.1 will add control of host bus adapters, network-attached storage, tape storage and virtualization technology..."
[November 17, 2003] "Storage Management Standard Takes a Big Step Forward." By Paul Shread. In InternetNews.com (November 17, 2003). "The Storage Networking Industry Association's Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) is on a fast track to becoming an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard. The InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) has agreed to take SMI-S, which helps storage products from different vendors function together under one manageable interface, through the INCITS Fast Track process. The process is reserved for specifications that have already gone through rigorous technical review, and is expected to result in SMI-S becoming an official ANSI standard in the second quarter of 2004... SMI-S defines an open system standard application program interface (API), allowing applications to manage storage devices manufactured by all of the industry leaders. SMI-S 1.0 represents the first step of several planned iterations of the specification, steps that will go beyond standardizing management of SANs to include NAS, iSCSI, and other storage networking technologies. The Storage Management Initiative also includes extensive interoperability testing in SNIA's SMI-Lab, education programs and tools for developers, and demonstrations of the new technology..." See the announcement: "The SNIA Teams with INCITS To Standardize Storage Management Interface. Action Puts SNIA Specification on Fast Track to Status as American National Standard."
[November 12, 2003] "The SNIA Teams with INCITS To Standardize Storage Management Interface. Action Puts SNIA Specification on Fast Track to Status as American National Standard." - "The InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) and the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) today announced they have reached agreement to take the SNIA Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) through the INCITS Fast Track process. The process, reserved for specifications that have already gone through rigorous technical review, is expected to result in SMI-S becoming an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard in the second quarter of 2004. Sheila Childs, chair of the SNIA, said, 'Our organization views the strategic alliance with INCITS as a significant milestone. The Storage Management Initiative Specification directly addresses the needs of storage users throughout the world for greater interoperability and lower costs. Our partnership with INCITS is key to fulfilling our goal of standardization through a formal ANSI-accredited standards body, allowing vendors and users alike to adopt SMI-S compliant products with complete confidence.' Pat Morris, Executive Director of INCITS, said, 'The fundamental interoperability of multi-vendor components in storage networks has been a key concern for both vendors and end users. Work on the Storage Management Initiative Specification has been underway by a group of more than 30 companies and organizations through the SNIA for two years. It is time to use the INCITS Fast Track process so we will have an American National standard within months.' The Storage Management Interface Specification is the result of several years of collaborative effort by the SNIA members representing a cross section of storage manufacturers, integrators, OEMs and end users from around the world. The specification defines an open system standard application program interface (API), allowing applications to manage storage devices manufactured by all of the industry leaders. SMI-S 1.0 represents the first step of several planned iterations of the specification to extend from standardizing storage management of SANs, to NAS, iSCSI and other storage networking technologies. The SNIA's Storage Management Initiative includes extensive interoperability testing in the association's SMI-Lab, comprehensive education programs and tools for developers, and demonstrations of the new technology. These combined efforts have already resulted in a robust specification that has been extensively field tested..."
[November 05, 2003] "SMI-S: Storage Management Interface Spec." By Elizabeth Clark and Andy Dornan. In Network Magazine (November 05, 2003). "The promise of SMI-S is a common, standards-based management interface that network managers can use to enable storage devices from different vendors to work and play well with each other... SMI-S is intended to improve compatibility among different storage vendors' equipment (note that the term 'interoperability' isn't used here, for reasons we'll discuss later). During its formative years, SMI-S was known as Bluefin, but lost its seaworthy sobriquet in favor of a moniker more suitable for landlubbers. The spec is currently being formatted for submission to the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) International Committee for IT Standards (INCITS). One of SMI-S's primary components is the Distributed Management Task Force's (DMTF) Common Information Model (CIM), an object-oriented framework that defines the physical and logical structure of system components. CIM is in turn part of the broader Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) specification. Under WBEM's covers lies an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based encoding specification, as well as a mechanism for accessing modeled objects using the HTTP protocol. This CIM/WBEM combination is what packs a great deal of SMI-S's punch. The promise of SMI-S is a common, standards-based management interface that network managers can use to enable storage devices from different vendors to work and play well with each other... SMI-S 1.0 focuses primarily on basic device discovery and enumeration, including the ability to obtain information on logical elements such as data paths, mappings, Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs), and storage pools. According to the SNIA's roadmap, version 1.0-compliant products will include capabilities such as LUN masking, volume creation, and zoning for switched Fibre Channel fabrics. For version 1.1 of the spec, the SNIA is targeting the inclusion of capabilities such as low-level device discovery for Host Bus Adapters (HBAs) and support for multipathing, more detailed performance statistics, and some elements of policy-based management. It's also expected to contain some command and control functions, such as those pertaining to making snapshot copies, remote mirroring, and data migration. Also on the agenda is support for Network-Attached Storage (NAS) and storage over IP..."
[October 27, 2003] "SNIA Unveils Storage Management Specification. Former Bluefin Spec Achieves Broad Industry Backing." By Scott Tyler Shafer. In InfoWorld (October 27, 2003). "Signaling the arrival of storage management nirvana, the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) this week will demonstrate a set of open interfaces backed by the likes of Hewlett-Packard, Veritas, EMC, and IBM. SNIA will use its biannual Storage Networking World conference as a coming out party for SMI-S (Storage Management Initiative Specification), once known as Bluefin. Five years in development, the set of interfaces permit the control of heterogeneous storage by third-party storage management software packages. SMI-S will allow storage administrators to create and delete zones and volumes, as well as monitor switches, array controllers, and host bus adapters. Enterprises will now have the ability to manage all of their storage capacity -- independent of the manufacturer -- with a single management framework. HP, Veritas, EMC, and IBM have reported they will implement SMI-S interfaces in hardware and software offerings that will be available next year. According to Larry Krantz, president of SNIA's Storage Management Forum (SMF), SMI-S is also an initiative -- not just a set of interfaces. SNIA has established an interoperability lab in Colorado Springs, Colo., for vendors to test their products with those of other vendors. But the association is also developing compliance tests as part of its ICTP (Interoperability Compliance Testing Program). The tests will ensure that storage components such as arrays, tape libraries, and switches have properly applied the SMI-S standard... Steve Jerman, SMI-S lead architect at HP, said the company has been using the Distributed Management Task Force's WBEM (Web-Based Enterprise Management) standard, which -- together with CIM (Common Information Model) -- makes up the framework for the SMI-S interfaces..."
[October 15, 2002] "Storage Vendors Announce CIM Product Rollout and Joint Interoperability Testing." Four storage vendors have announced a new coordinated effort "dedicated to the promotion and progress of SNIA's Common Information Model (CIM), Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) technology, and Storage Management Initiative (SMI) specifications for Storage Area Network (SAN)-based storage management. As part of this effort, the four companies are also announcing their individual plans to roll out CIM/WBEM-based products in calendar year 2003. CIM/WBEM has been endorsed by SNIA as the technology to help enable simplified multi-vendor management of storage networks. Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, Sun, and VERITAS are active members of SNIA and contributed to drafting the SNIA-adopted Bluefin/SMI specifications. These specifications define how CIM technology is used to manage storage environments. The companies are also actively encouraging all other storage vendors to join them in supporting CIM/WBEM standards. Participating companies would be expected to: (1) Ship CIM/WBEM based storage management software commercially in calendar year 2003; (2) Support the emerging SMI specifications endorsed by SNIA; (3) Make their CIM Providers (SMI Agents) available to others for testing; (4) Conduct joint interoperability testing and qualifications; (5) Support the CIM/WBEM interface as specified by SNIA's Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF). The CIM specification is the language and methodology for describing management data; the CIM XML schema includes models for Systems, Applications, Networks (LAN) and Devices."
[July 16, 2003] "What the SMI-S Standard Can and Cannot Do." By Jim Geronaitis and Ash Ashutosh (AppIQ). In InfoStor (July 2003). ['SNIA's SMI-S standard promises to simplify management of heterogeneous storage environments, but it won't solve all issues.'] "To some proponents, the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) will solve all storage management problems. Detractors, on the other hand, are extremely skeptical about the promises of SMI-S. The truth is somewhere in between. The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has spent significant resources developing SMI-S, which is designed to reduce the cost of storage administration. SMI-S is based in part on the Common Information Model (CIM), which was developed by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF). CIM is a standard that defines the physical and logical structure and behavior of any object to be managed. CIM/XML is a standard method for accessing the modeled objects using the HTTP protocol. Together, the two standards are called Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM). Vendors such as Microsoft and Sun have been shipping CIM-based system management solutions for years as integral parts of their operating systems. Microsoft's WMI and Sun's WBEM Server for Solaris are used to model objects like CPU, memory, processes, applications, and file systems so that management software can interface with and manage operating systems and components consistently. SNIA used CIM as the basis for modeling storage infrastructures. Using the CIM object and access model, profiles for modeling storage subsystems, switches, host adapters, logical paths, volumes, and security, etc., were created. This storage-specific subset of CIM is SMI-S. Storage is an integral part of the IT infrastructure and needs to be managed in conjunction with servers, applications, and networks. With SMI-S, users will have CIM-based management solutions for all IT components: servers, networks, and storage... SMI-S started out at the bottom of the storage management pyramid: device management. In effect, SMI-S allows for a 'Web-services-like' interface to all devices in the storage infrastructure, providing users with a consistent mechanism for device discovery, configuration, event, and status information. In addition, SMI-S provides information about the logical components in the infrastructure: paths, volumes, pools, LUNs, and mappings, etc... As with any standards, it is more important to define what the specification cannot do, as much as what it can do. SMI-S defines the structure and behavior of individual devices in the storage infrastructure. It helps in the process of discovery, configuration, event, and status management of individual devices and logical paths between devices. SMI-S does not solve the problem of hardware incompatibility between devices from different vendors. Compatibility of devices on a storage network is the domain of other standards bodies such as the FibreAlliance and Fibre Channel Industry Association. SMI-S is evolving, and there are certain areas of storage management that are not covered by the current specification, such as backup and remote replication. While individual device performance capabilities are available, a comprehensive performance management capability will not be available until a later release of the standard..." [sub URL]
[June 30, 2003] "Management Standards: Keeping an Open Mind." By Denise Dubie. In Network World (June 30, 2003). "Customer demand for open software is driving countless vendors, such as HP, IBM and Microsoft, to work more closely with industry organizations to develop common protocols, languages and industry standards for network and systems management. Management standards, such as SNMP and Common Information Model (CIM) -- now in Version 3 and 2.7, respectively -- came into being years ago. Yet widespread excitement over standards work has remained lackluster - until recently. In the past two years, the poor high-tech economy and demand for new Web-based technologies caused the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) and its peer standards groups to stir the pot a bit and start working on multipurpose standards that could help network executives get control of today's distributed applications. Several industry organizations work with corporate end users as well as their member vendor companies and developers to create a means to an end - the end being open, interoperable and manageable information systems. 'Many technologies can make up a standard, and there are a lot of variables we need to consider,' says Patrick Gannon, president and CEO of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). 'But ever since the dot-com bust, end users have been more particular about where they spend their money, and using standards-based products can increase the value of their current and future IT investments'... Microsoft, IBM and VeriSign last year published a proprietary specification for Web services specifically, while OASIS continues to work on an open standard for Web services security. The Global XML Web Services Architecture is a framework that Microsoft and IBM are developing (along with BEA Systems, RSA Security, SAP and VeriSign), to give Web services higher-level abilities for security and reliability. Last summer some 17 vendors submitted the code-named Bluefin specification to the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA), which is expected to announce Version 1.0 of the newly named Storage Manage Initiative Specification (SMI-S) next month. SMI-S proposed to give storage customers a way to manage multiple storage appliances from different vendors. Before the proposed specification, enterprise storage managers would have had to manage each storage appliance with vendor-specific tools and work to integrate the disparate information manually. 'Customers want interoperability, and vendors on their own can't deliver that,' says Ray Dunn, marketing manager for SNIA's Storage Management Forum. 'Today, vendors are willing to work together to create a baseline for interoperability and then add their differentiation on top for a competitive advantage.' But unlike one of the oldest -- and probably most ubiquitous -- management standards, SNMP, the specifications under development today can't be called simple by any means..." See related references in: (1) "DMTF Common Information Model (CIM)"; (2) "XML-Based Provisioning Services"; (3) "Management Protocol Specification."
[May 23, 2002] "SNIA Announces Bluefin SAN Management Specification Using WBEM/MOF/CIM." The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has acknowledged receipt of a draft specification for a "proposed common interface for SAN [Storage Area Network] management that can reliably identify, classify, monitor and control physical and logical resources across the enterprise using a common transport for communication. The specification, code-named 'Bluefin,' employs technology from the Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) initiative that uses the Managed Object Format (MOF) to describe system resources based on a Common Information Model (CIM). Bluefin introduces new technology for security, locking, and discovery for SAN management. The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) and SNIA have been in close collaboration for several years in anticipation of driving improved storage management interoperability. DMTF has developed WBEM, a standard set of web-based enterprise management tools that unify management of enterprise computing environments. WBEM includes a data model, the Common Information Model (CIM), an encoding specification based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), and a transport mechanism based on Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP). CIM is an object-oriented information model that provides a conceptual view of physical and logical system components. Taken together, these technologies provide the tools to build reliable, scalable, multi-vendor SAN management solutions."