Sun Microsystems Corp. is backing a new architecture designed to control storage resources across the enterprise in order to address problems caused by proprietary and incompatible storage applications and hardware.
According to Jeff Allen, vice-president of marketing for Sun's network storage division in Newark, Calif., the challenge faced by many vendors today is that applications are being built independent of each other.
"And if you think about where these applications live…each one of these boxes has its own unique environment, and they have their own management interface," he said. "You have no idea how to allocate resources to one application or the other. In many cases, you don't even know how much performance you are going to need, or how much storage is going to be needed when a request comes in."
The Sun-backed initiative, code-named Project StoreX, will help with overall storage management by making individual applications "more aware of each other," Allen said.
StoreX is a Java-based, network storage management standard that would link storage products from vendors such as Oracle, Veritas, Legato, Seagate Technology, Quantum, and StorageTek and allow developers and OEMs to build management objects that are connected to any of these applications.
Both management services and data services will benefit from the Project StoreX framework, Allen said. Initially, management services will include SNMP connectivity, distributed management capabilities and platform independence through Java technology. Data services include platform-specific storage software with dedicated functions, well-defined APIs that specify how components interact with each other and integration with operating system components such as drivers.
"Now anybody in the industry can start building applications and can plug-and-play with the different environments out there. You no longer have to have 11 different interfaces for each platform. So, as a developer, you only have to write something once," Allen said.
John Sawler, solutions marketing manager for Oracle Corporation Canada Inc., in Mississauga, Ont., said it is important to make storage accessible to every device on the network.
"But to do that, you have to have some sort of standard. With StoreX, the storage applications are aware of each other, are less likely to compete for the same resources and thus are less likely to fail," he said.
"Oracle has always placed a lot of emphasis on open systems. We've been pitching this concept of network computing, which is basically all about lowering your management cost. StoreX fits very well in that strategy because it allows you to build an architecture to consolidate and network your data, and allows users wider access to data."