SNIA Cloud Data Management Interface Specification Earns ISO/IEC Designation as an International Standard

For Release: 
Designation To Accelerate Industry Adoption and Implementation


SNW Fall 2012, Oct. 16, 2012 - The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) today announced that its Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) specification, the first industry-developed open standard specifically for data storage as a service as part of cloud computing, has been designated an International Standard (IS) by the Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC 1), a joint effort of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for the purpose of standardization in the field of Information Technology.  The specification received the necessary support from participating National Members under the JTC 1 Publicly Available Specification (PAS) Process and has been designated ISO/IEC 17826.

“There is strong demand for Cloud Computing standards and to see one of our most active consortia partners contribute this specification in such a timely fashion is very gratifying,” said Karen Higginbottom, Chair of ISO/IEC JTC 1.  “The standard will improve cloud interoperability and is a great result of the cooperation that exists between JTC 1 and SNIA.”

Michael Hogan, of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and co-chair of NIST's public Cloud Computing Standards Roadmap Working Group, stressed the importance of the international voluntary consensus standards to the U.S. Government stating, “A high priority to further USG cloud computing technology adoption is the availability of international voluntary consensus-based standards for interoperability, performance, portability, security, etc..  We’re glad to see the JTC 1 PAS Transposition process working as intended to quickly gain consensus and approval of an international voluntary consensus standard.”

The use of the CDMI standard by cloud computing and cloud storage providers enhances the types of storage services they can offer their customers and allows interoperability and portability between service providers.  Based on a RESTful HTTP protocol, CDMI provides both a data path and control path for cloud storage and standardizes a common interoperable data exchange format for securely moving data and its associated data requirements from cloud to cloud.  The standard is applicable to public, private and hybrid deployment models for storage clouds.

The CDMI standard and a CDMI Reference Implementation (CDMI RI) are developed by the SNIA Cloud Storage Technical Work Group (TWG) which today includes more than 230 members from more than 60 different organizations around the world.  The SNIA Cloud Storage Initiative promotes the standard to advance the adoption and educates the IT communities about cloud storage.  CSI member companies represent a variety of segments in the IT industry and include Basho Technologies, CA Technologies, Cisco Systems, Cleversafe, EMC, Evaluator Group, Hewlett Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, Huawei, IBM, LSI Corporation, Mezeo Software, NetApp, Oracle, Scality, Sepaton, SpectraLogic, SwiftTest, Terremark Worldwide, XIO, Xyratex, and ZTE Corporation.

Mark Carlson and Alex McDonald, co-chairs of SNIA's Cloud Storage Initiative added, “Recognition by the ISO/IEC community is confirmation that the many thousands of hours put into development of CDMI by SNIA member volunteers has produced a high quality international specification on which vendors and customers can depend.  We are pleased storage vendors and cloud providers have already announced implementations and we expect recognition as an ISO/IEC standard will further accelerate adoption.”

Well regarded in the industry, SNIA standards provide an array of benefits to both vendors and end users.  Vendors gain the benefits of quicker time to market, reduced costs, and greater customer acceptance than if each company were to attempt to create its own unique process for every technical interaction, while end users of products that comply with SNIA standards enjoy greater interoperability, reduced training, and ultimately lower total cost of ownership.

Ben Woo, Managing Director of Neuralytix, a New York City-based strategy consultancy specializing in the information industry added, “Standards from industry consortia such as SNIA are absolutely key to removing the roadblocks that customers are seeing in cloud computing.  CDMI makes it not only possible for customers to move data from one cloud to another, it makes it secure and easy.  Adoption of the CDMI standard by Cloud Storage service providers should pick up significantly now that ISO and IEC have adopted it.”

The standard will be available for purchase from the ISO Store website when JTC 1 completes its administrative and publication processes.  For more information on the CDMI standard please visit the SNIA web site at /cdmi.

About the SNIA Cloud Storage Initiative

The SNIA Cloud Storage Initiative (CSI) fosters the growth and success of the market for cloud storage for vendors, service providers, and users. Members of the CSI work together to advance the adoption of the SNIA Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) standard, educate the IT communities about cloud storage, perform market outreach that highlights the virtues of cloud storage, and collaborate with other industry associations on cloud storage technical work. CSI member companies represent a variety of segments in the IT industry and include Basho Technologies, CA Technologies, Cisco Systems, Cleversafe, EMC, Evaluator Group, Hewlett Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, LSI Corporation, Mezeo Software, NetApp, Oracle, Scality, Sepaton, SpectraLogic, SwiftTest, Terremark Worldwide, XIO, Xyratex, and ZTE Corporation. For more information on SNIA’s Cloud Storage activities, visit and get involved in the conversation at or

About the SNIA

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is a not–for–profit global organization, made up of some 400 member companies spanning virtually the entire storage industry. SNIA’s mission is to lead the storage industry worldwide in developing and promoting standards, technologies, and educational services to empower organizations in the management of information. To this end, the SNIA is uniquely committed to delivering standards, education, and services that will propel open storage networking solutions into the broader market. For additional information, visit the SNIA web site at

Industry Support for the CDMI Standard

.Dennis Martin, Demartek:

“Since starting the storage cloud work less than a year ago, the SNIA has delivered a string of very important educational and technical assets to the industry. Being able to deliver the Cloud Data Management Interface specification in such a short amount of time will reset the market dynamics for current and emerging service providers. By establishing this concise standard within the industry, the SNIA continues to deliver both the technology and the education to help accelerate the acceptance and adoption of Cloud Storage.”

Joseph Martins, Data Mobility Group:

“The SNIA has delivered on its promise, made a year ago, to deliver a Data Storage as a Service standard. With the availability of the CDMI specification, providers and storage vendors can augment their current interfaces to enable data portability across clouds. Cloud customers should now start demanding their cloud vendors and equipment providers show plans for implementing this important SNIA standard.”

Arun Taneja, Taneja Group:

“The SNIA CDMI enables the development of rich storage clouds and realizes those benefits in a standard fashion. Anytime a standard such as this is utilized, the winner is the end user, as the functionality and added value can be the differentiating factor among providers. With broad CDMI adoption, the cloud market can reach its fullest potential.”

Lauren Nelson, Analyst, Forrester Research:

"CDMI is off to a good start. SNIA, well-known storage SDO, began developing CDMI in 2009 with the support and collaboration from its impressive list of key storage and cloud vendors. Earlier this year, representatives from the major open source initiative, OpenStack, decided to roll CDMI into its storage initiatives and today, the International Standards Organizations (ISO) accepted CDMI as an international standard.", said Lauren Nelson, Analyst with Forrester Research. "The support from both of these influential communities bodes well for the long term success of this standard and is also a substantial step towards cloud-to-cloud interoperability and consistency."

Geoffrey Moore, noted author of 'Crossing the Chasm' and 'Dealing with Darwin':

“SNIA’s Cloud Data Management Standard CDMI is playing two key roles in the storage industry. It tackles the complex data stores surrounding multiple decades of systems of record, streamlining their management and making them more amenable to cloud environments. At the same time, CDMI looks forward to next–generation systems of engagement, whose data store requirements are orders of magnitude larger than conventional systems but need much simpler interfaces. As more and more enterprises find themselves committed to both architectures, appreciation and support for CDMI can only grow.”

Richard Soley, Executive Director, Cloud Standards Customer Council:

“Cloud standards will increase adoption, interoperability and portability of cloud solutions.  Recognition by ISO of SNIA's important work in cloud computing is a recognition of the importance of open, neutral, international standards for end-user adoption.”

Russ Kennedy, Vice President of Product Strategy, Marketing and Customer Solutions, Cleversafe:

“Cloud for storage represents a vast opportunity. CIOs and IT managers are trying to survive the avalanche of new data being created by users and companies and they need more cost effective solutions.  The adoption of the CDMI standard by the International Standards Organization represents a significant milestone in our industry.  We strongly believe in and are committed to supporting industry standards that further the growth of cloud solutions for storage.”

Russ Fellows, Senior Partner, Evaluator Group:

“The SNIA has been actively driving standards for nearly a decade. They have gained a reputation for vendor neutral collaboration, while developing and promoting standards that benefit the entire storage community.  The release of the CDMI specification provides a critical building block for the cloud storage industry. This specification provides the interoperability needed to enable vendors and users alike to take the next step towards widespread cloud computing.”

Todd Moore, Director of Infrastructure Standards and Partnerships. IBM:

“With CDMI reaching the significant milestone of becoming an ISO standard, implementations appearing in the Cloud community (e.g. support for Openstack's Swift), we're seeing the momentum of Cloud standards for interoperability continuing to build.  As customer demands for interoperable and portable solutions increase, specifications such as CDMI are playing a crucial role in meeting their needs.”

John Eastman, CTO, Mezeo Software:

“Mezeo Software’s vision has always been to support open, industry standard interfaces – which is one of the reasons we selected CDMI for our cloud storage and data management platform two years ago.  Mezeo is pleased to see the recent adoption of the CDMI standard by other leading software and hardware vendors.  The formal acceptance of CDMI as an international standard begins the next phase for enabling service providers and enterprises to seamlessly implement a non-proprietary industry standard interface, allowing them to benefit from interoperability and a variety of leading partners and solutions.”

Gary Lyng, Senior Director, Product Management, NetApp:

“Using the CDMI open standard, NetApp enables end-users to reduce risk, drive efficiencies in the cloud, and realize data as a business asset. When NetApp released StorageGRID 9.0 earlier this year, we became the first major storage management company to implement CDMI and reaffirmed our commitment to providing standard access to, and interoperability with, Cloud based data. NetApp believes that CDMI will become the standard protocol for Big Data and enable our customers to manage extremely large data sets across distributed and cloud environments.”

Philippe Nicolas, Director of Product Strategy, Scality:

“Scality is a true supporter of SNIA CDMI since the launch of the CSI Initiative a few years ago. As a company, we believe that such a standard is the missing piece to boost the massive adoption of the Cloud and deliver real interoperability.  We see more and more mentions of CDMI in the field, this is confirmed by the recent presence of large vendors at the CDMI plugfest.  Scality integrates CDMI as a fundamental piece of our Open Cloud Access strategy with server, clients and various tools available.”