The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) this week announced the formation of the Cloud Storage Initiative (CSI) to help bring clarity and consensus on issues such as terminology, technical specifications and standards for the burgeoning cloud storage industry.
The CSI will coordinate educational efforts for the vendor and user communities and perform market outreach promoting the benefits of cloud storage for enterprise customers as well as universities and other data-rich organizations, SNIA officials said.
“The industry is closely monitoring the growth of cloud storage offerings as well as making predictions about this technology’s future,” Vincent Franceshini, vice chair of the SNIA, said in a statement.
“Drawing from the experience and expertise of its existing and new SNIA members as well as the work from the Cloud Storage Technical Working Group, the new Initiative will set programs to advance the knowledge and acceptance of cloud storage and drive the adoption of the Cloud Data Management Interface standard,” he added.
SNIA officials said the CSI will complement the ongoing technical development efforts made by the Cloud Storage Technical Working Group, which is comprised of more than 140 members including commercial vendors, service providers and educational institutions.
The main objective of the group is create the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI), an application programming interface to which storage software vendors can write management software code that makes it possible to access and share data stored in multiple cloud storage environments.
It will also disseminate information to customers looking to build public cloud service like Amazon’s S3 offering as well as private cloud architectures in the datacenters.
The growing popularity of cloud-based storage services has forced all of the major on-site storage software and data management vendors to embrace this new delivery model in order to retain share and offer a blend of on-demand and on-premise storage options to enterprise customers.
AT&T in May announced it would team up with EMC to offer cloud-based data storage service from two datacenters based in the U.S.
Market research firm Gartner predicts cloud-based storage and backup services will generate more than $400 million in sales this year, up more than 22 percent from 2008.
“The advent of cloud computing and SaaS is affecting the overall storage services marketplace,” Gartner analyst Adam Couture wrote in an August research report. “While creating new service opportunities for consulting and managed services, SaaS and cloud computing have the potential to negatively impact or even disrupt other storage services such as hardware and software support and implementation services.”
Founded in 1997, the San Francisco-based SNIA is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to promoting standards, technologies and educational services for the storage industry.