XAM Initiative

XAM Mission and Goals

The SNIA XAM Initiative drives the adoption of the eXtensible Access Method (XAM) specification. The Initiative builds and serves a XAM community that includes storage vendors, independent software and application developers, and end-users to ensure that the specification fulfills market needs for a reference-data interface standard. These needs include interoperability, information assurance (security), storage transparency, long-term records retention and automation for Information Lifecycle Management (ILM)-based practices. For more detail on "

Why XAM" review the papers and documents in the 'Knowledge Center'.


XAM Initiative Goals

  • Ensure the adoption, implementation, and deployment of the XAM programming interface(s) by applications concerned with reference data management and storage systems including SAN, NAS, and CAS
  • Cultivate both a SNIA community and an industry-at-large ecosystem for vendor product XAM standard implementations, driven by end-user demand
  • Develop and implement XAM product interoperability programs; XAM developer programs; XAM standard product conformance programs, and industry education materials

The XAM Initiative is a fee-based activity for SNIA members to conduct programs to achieve these goals. The Initiative is structured with a governing board and dedicated committees. There are many opportunities for leadership roles on the board and committees to develop the market, develop conformance and interoperability programs, develop and deliver education, and showcase solutions to the marketplace.

XAM Standard Benefits

Here are some typical examples of how XAM as a standard access method and metadata container benefits storage vendors, application developers, and the end-user community. Much more is available on this topic in the Solutions Guide section of this website.

  • Interoperability: Applications can work with any XAM conformant storage system, allowing information to be migrated and shared
  • Compliance: Integrated record retention and disposition metadata is controlled right in the information object
  • ILM Practices: An extensible metadata container providing a standard framework for classification, policy management, and implementation methods
  • Migration: Ability to automate migration process to maintain long-term readability
  • eDiscovery and Litigation Support: Control retention, preservation, and achieve application-independent structured discovery of the data and the metadata, avoiding application obsolescence and reducing the cost of discovery
  • Preservation and Digital Archive: XAM information objects with their extensible metadata fields provide the container for a preservation object allowing full deployement of preservation services with information portability

To see examples of XAM implementations, explore the XAM Solutions Guide