About the Storage Management Initiative

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

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:

The adoption of SMI-supported standards speeds the deployment of interoperable storage networks, expanding vendors' addressable markets. It also allows them to 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 also promotes interoperability testing with storage equipment from multiple vendors, and this helps 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 can be 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 Organization

The Storage Management Initiative (SMI), like SNIA, is primarily a volunteer organization and depends on its membership in order to drive and facilitate its work. SMI, as well as each group which falls under it, has officers voted in by the voting members of SMI. Click here to learn more about SMI volunteer roles. If you are interested in becoming a member please visit Join SMI.

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: smiboard-Chair@snia.org,

2020 SMI Governing Board

Richelle Ahlvers

Richelle Ahlvers
Principal Architect, Broadcom Inc. 
SMI GB Vice Chair, SMI Conformance Committee Chair

Richelle Ahlvers is Storage Management Software Architect at Broadcom Inc., where she defines storage management integrations, solutions, and standards strategies for the Data Center Storage Group and on the SNIA Board of Directors.
Richelle has spent over 25 years in Enterprise Storage R&D teams in a variety of technical roles, leading the architecture, design and development of storage array software, storage management software user experience projects including mobility, developing new storage industry categories including SAN management, storage grid and cloud, and storage technology portfolio solutions.  
Richelle has been engaged with industry standards initiatives with SNIA and DMTF for many years. She served as the SNIA Technical Council Chair and has been engaged across a breadth of technologies ranging from storage management, to solid state storage, cloud, and green storage. She is on the SNIA Board of Directors and leads the SSM Technical Work Group developing the Swordfish Scalable Storage Management API.

Don Deel

Don Deel
Senior Standards Technologist, NetApp
SMI GB Chair, SMI Technical Development Committee Chair

Don Deel is a Senior Standards Technologist at NetApp and has been actively involved with the Storage Networking Industry Association in several different volunteer roles since the year 2000. He participated in the development of the original Bluefin specification which later became SMI-S when it was contributed to the SNIA, and he continues to play an active role in the ongoing development of SMI-S today. He is also currently involved in the development of the SNIA Swordfish specification, which handles the management of storage and servers in hyperscale and cloud infrastructure environments. His standards development experience stretches back into the mid-1980s, and includes work on the Fibre Channel and HIPPI standards.

Within the SNIA, Don has been active in a number of leadership positions since the early days of the association, and he has been recognized for his contributions several times. He is currently serving as the Storage Management Initiative Governing Board chair, the SMI Technical Work Group chair, and the Scalable Storage Management Technical Work Group co-chair.

Barry Kittner

Barry Kittner
Technology Initiatives Manager, Intel
SMI GB Member-at-Large, SMI Marketing Committee Chair

An industry veteran with over 35 years of experience, Barry brought early industry sales and support knowledge to Intel Corporation where he led a young team to Intel’s first major milestone in networking sales. He continues to add extensive experience in corporate sales, technical management, marketing, and server platform management. Barry is currently managing several activities within Intel’s industry initiative team, working to align Intel’s standards definition and compliance efforts with that of the broader industry. Barry led a team that defined a new and modern data center storage form factor and continues his efforts in support of the DMTF Redfish® and SNIA Swordfish™ standards.

Join SMI today!