The Storage Management Initiative (SMI)

The SNIA's Storage Management Initiative (SMI) was created by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) to develop and standardize interoperable storage management technologies and aggressively promote them to the storage, networking, and end user communities.

This initiative is supported by many groups within the SNIA organization, such as SNIA's Technical Working Groups (TWGs) and the SMI-S Conformance Test Programs (SMI-CTP). The SMI will drive the SNIA activities in the following areas:

  • Technology development
  • Conformance testing of products
  • Outbound marketing, education and training

An Introduction to SNIA Storage Management Initiative

The SMI drives the SNIA activities in the following areas:

Technical Working Group Support – SMI provides funding and technical writing resources to Technical Work Groups (TWGs) including the SSM TWG, responsible for developing the SNIA Swordfish specification, and the recently dissolved SMI TWG, which saw the SMI-S technical specification through to its designation as an ISO/IEC standard in 2021.

Storage Management Lab Program (SM Lab) – accelerates the development and implementation of SMI-S and Swordfish-based Client and Provider products from SNIA member companies in a collaborative environment. It also provides important feedback for specification authors. SM Lab plugfests are held several times each year to ensure interoperability of implementations. 

SNIA Swordifish™ Conformance Test Program (Swordfish CTP) – provides conformance testing built on an open source framework for Swordfish service implementations, which manage components of the storage environment using the Swordfish Scalable Storage Management API Specification.

SMI-S Conformance Test Program (SMI-S CTP) – manages and develops test suites that validate conformance to the SMI-S specification. SMI-S CTP is an integral step towards bringing third party standards conformance to the marketplace.

Education – SMI strives to educate the industry about storage management technologies through published articles, blogs, webcasts, Wikipedia pages, social media posts and news items and by supporting developer groups.

Key Objectives

In order to support the adoption of this initiative within the Storage and Networking industry, key objectives are:

  • Enable and streamline the integration of multi-vendor storage networks
  • Leverage the development of powerful management application
  • Encourage management consolation
  • Provide a common interface for storage vendors to incorporate in the development of new product for the industry

Why is SMI important for the Storage Industry?

For Storage Equipment Vendors:

The SMI Initiative helps implement products that conform to SMI-supported standards, providing increased reliability, security and manageability. The SM Lab program supports interoperability testing with equipment from multiple vendors, and this assists in reducing time-to-market.

For Storage Management Software Vendors:

SMI-supported standards speed deployment of interoperable storage networks, expanding addressable markets. It allows focus on developing value-added functionality at a level higher than simple interconnectivity. Equipment from multiple vendors can be quickly and reliably managed because the SMI-supported standards make them look and behave alike, resulting in lower development and testing costs, shorter time to market, and higher satisfaction for both IT and end users. The SM Lab program promotes interoperability testing with storage equipment from multiple vendors, helping reduce time-to-market. 

For Storage End Users:

The use of SMI-supported standards results in lower total cost of ownership and the ability to integrate multi-vendor enterprise resources so they can be shared and more efficiently used. Storage equipment from multiple vendors are quickly and reliably managed because they look and behave alike. SMI-S Conformance Test Program (SMI-S CTP) results on the SMI website provide verification that an implementation has passed basic interoperability hurdles.

SMI Governing Board

The SMI Governing Board sets the SMI’s business and strategic direction, assures its fiscal health, and oversees the operations of its subcommittees and projects. The SMI Governing Board is empowered to adopt rules and regulations governing the actions of its subcommittees and projects. The SMI Governing Board is also responsible for the SMI Strategic Plan Overview, the overall budget for SMI and all business conducted by the Initiative.  Contact:,

Please take a moment and view the photos and bios of the SMI Governing Board.

Join SMI today!