What is the XAM Standard

The XAM (eXtensible Access Method) Interface specification defines a standard access method (API) between "Consumers" (application and management software) and "Providers" (storage systems) to manage reference information storage services. XAM includes metadata definitions to accompany data to achieve application interoperability, storage transparency, and automation for ILM-based practices, long term records retention, and information security. XAM will be expanded over time to include other data types as well as support additional implementations based on the XAM API to XAM conformant storage systems.

The SNIA is advancing the XAM Specification to become an ANSI standard and then an ISO standard.  Its status is this:

  •  XAM v1.0.1 is a SNIA Architecture and is expected to be released as an ANSI standard by the end of May 2010. 
  • For those interested in developing around XAM, the XAM v1.01 spec and SDK are available through this website. 

SNIA Mission for XAM Standards Activities

  • Develop interface(s) to standardize the connection between the application and the storage medium
  • Give applications a standard interface and metadata to communicate with storage devices enabling storage interoperability
  • Enable the interpretation of application metadata with the annotation of storage services metadata whereby by policy-based decisions can be instrumented

Current working groups:

  • The FCAS, Fixed-Content Aware Storage, TWG is the technical working group chartered by SNIA to develop standards around 'fixed-content aware storage' including the XAM-Interface. This TWG is currently inactive as its core work is complete. It will be reactivated if needed. 
  • The XAM SDK TWG is the technical working chartered by SNIA to develop a XAM software reference implementation and supporting developer tools to accelerate the adoption of XAM and to improve consistency of an implementation for better interoperability.

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