SNIA’s Swordfish Is Better Than The Film

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 13.  My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day and Pure Storage. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

 

SNIA presented on Swordfish, amongst other things, at Storage Field Day 13 recently. You can see videos of their presentation here, and download my rough notes from here.

 

Swordfish

What is SNIA Swordfish?

It’s not the John Travolta movie that I love and hate so much. So what is it? Well, SNIA are looking to:

  • Refactor and leverage SMI-S schema into a simplified model that is client oriented;
  • Move to class of service based provisioning and monitoring;
  • Cover block, file and object storage; and
  • Extend traditional storage domain coverage to include converged environments (covering servers, storage and fabric together).

 

How do make Swordfish?

SNIA are leveraging Redfish heavily for Swordfish by:

  • Leveraging and extending DMTF Redfish Specification (focuses on hardware and system management – you can read an introduction on it here);
  • Building using DMTF’s Redfish technologies (RESTful interface over HTTPS in JSON format based on Data v4); and
  • Implementing Swordfish as a seamless extension of the Redfish specification.

 

Conclusion

SMI-S originally delivered the capability to identify storage device properties and attributes and has since been significantly extended to provide all types of management capabilities. It was a fantastic idea that was let down at times by various vendor interpretations of the implementation. Storage in the data centre also looks a lot different to what it did 15 years ago. It’s not just the hyperscalers who needs tools to manage their environments in a consistent fashion, it’s cloud folks as well. These environments lean heavily on automation as a key construct within their management capability, and the development of Swordfish on Redfish certainly provides a large part of this capability.

Managing infrastructure resources can be hard at the best of times. At the worst of times there’s usually a whole bunch of things that are (figuratively) on fire and it’s hard to know where to look for resolution. Ultimately, we’re all looking for simple ways to allocate, manage and monitor storage that integrates easily into our existing operational framework and processes. It feels like Swordfish provides this in theory, and SNIA have certainly put a lot of thought into how this experience can be improved and modernized when compared to SMI-S. I’ll be watching to see just how this plays out in reality, and just how well the vendors take to this new standard.

I’ve previously waxed lyrical about the role that SNIA plays in the industry. Initiatives like Swordfish prove once again how important SNIA is to the industry, with key people from various vendors coming together for the common good. If you do nothing else today, go check out SNIA’s website and, if you’re in the industry, get involved. It’s good for all of us.

SNIA Know What Time It Is

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 12.  My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

 

Here are some notes from SNIA‘s presentation at Storage Field Day 12. You can view the video here and download my rough notes here.

 

SNIA Know What Time It Is

SNIA gave a fantastic presentation towards the end of Storage Field Day 12. It covered the world of Hyperscalers primarily. Storage and Hyperscalers is pretty wild stuff. The hyper bit of Hyperscalers means that they’re doing things that your traditional enterprise probably doesn’t, and coming across problems that you or I may not. I won’t go into what was covered in the presentation here though. Instead I urge you to check the video and my notes for more on that.

I’ve thought a lot over the last few weeks about what I saw and heard during SNIA’s presentation, and about what I knew about them from previous interactions at the odd industry event in Australia. And while I’d love to talk about Hyperscalers in this article, I think it’s more important to use this as an opportunity to fly the flag for SNIA, so to speak. What I really want to draw your attention to, my three weary but loyal readers, is the importance of an association like SNIA to the storage industry. It might be self-evident to some of us in the industry, but for your average storage punter SNIA may seem like a bit of a mystery. It doesn’t have to be that way though. There’s a tonne of extremely useful information available on the SNIA website, from the Dictionary, to tutorials, to information on storage industry standards. That’s right, whilst it may appear at times that the storage industry is the high tech wild west, there are a lot of people from a range of vendors and independents working together to ensure standards are coherent, documented and available to review. They also present at various events (not just the storage ones) and have published a whole heap of extremely interesting white papers that I recommend you check out.

Industry associations sometimes get a bad rap, because some people find themselves in charge of them and start using them for personal gain (I’m not referring to SNIA in this instance), or because members sign up to them and don’t see immediate benefits or increased sales. But not all associations have to be a fiasco. I believe SNIA have proven their value to the industry, and I think we should all be making more of an effort to promote what they’re doing and what they’re trying to achieve. And if, for whatever reason, you’re not happy about something that’s happening or something they’re doing, get in touch with them. The only way the industry can get better is to, well, be better. And SNIA seem to be doing their bit. Or at least they’re trying to.