Today’s IT environment is composed of various products that are intended to store, protect, secure and make available the information used by businesses and business processes. These products encompass elements used in both the data path and control path between the user and the eventual location of that information. Standards exist and are emerging for interoperability between these elements, however, what is missing is a comprehensive description of where interoperability is needed and where standards can best be applied.
This paper sets out a model of these elements that describes a logical view of their functions and capabilities using a descriptive taxonomy. The purpose of this model is to form a basis upon which industry efforts can be organized, needed standards identified and vendor products can be described by vendor independent terminology.
When discussing management technology and standards, it is important to distinguish the types of things that are being managed from the types of management that are applied to those things. We call the categories in each of these spaces, Domains. We also define Resource Domains to be: the categories of things that are being managed, and Management Domains: the categories of management applied to those things.
Another important concept explored in this paper is the concept of Services. We categorize services into Data Path Services and Control Path Services. Of course any given storage industry product can contain any number of these services, but by describing these services in a common fashion, we hope to better understand their interrelationship.
A service is itself an abstract notion, useful in describing what functions are being performed and allowing for the easy categorization of those functions. A disk drive for example, essentially offers a Data Path Service for storing and retrieving blocks of data. All services have a Service Interface through which their functions are offered to consumers of the service. The focus is on services, rather than devices, as the resources that need management because any given device or storage product can provide any number of the described services.
With this terminology as a foundation, we describe taxonomy of these services that can be used to describe the functions of any storage industry product or solution. We identify existing standards where appropriate and identify areas where new standards might be needed. It is our hope that, with this model, we can better focus the efforts of the storage industry on the problems that affect our customers.
Mark Carlson presented a talk on the model that you can watch:
You might also want to download the iPod version for offline viewing.
You can download the Paper or Slides of the model and follow along.