Hoping to spur adoption of a fledgling industry standard for storage management, Hewlett-Packard Co. introduced Wednesday a new development program offering technical and marketing support to company partners working to make their products compliant with the Storage Management Interface Specification (SMI-S).

Formerly known as Bluefin, SMI-S aims to foster interoperability among storage management products from multiple vendors. The specification, currently in draft form, is expected to be finalized shortly by the Storage Networking Industry Association. In addition to HP, vendors backing SMI-S include Computer Associates International Inc., EMC Corp., IBM Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Veritas Software Corp.

HP’s SMI-S Developers Program, free to the company’s partners, is intended to jump-start the development of SMI-S-compliant storage management applications that will the be able to interoperate with HP’s storage arrays. HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is now shipping the pre-release SMI-S 1.0 interfaces with its StorageWorks Disk Array XP and VA products, the company said.

A software development kit offered to program participants includes early versions of array providers and device management software, supplementary documentation, and sample code. Companies signed up for the program include Veritas, BMC Software Inc., AppIQ Inc. and CReekPath Systems Inc., HP said.