The SNIA receives proposed new storage interface standard

The Storage Networking Industry Association has received and reviewed a proposed new spec for an application/storage interface from a consortium of storage providers.

The proposed standard, eXtensible Access Method or X-Access Method, is intended to be an interface for information that is independent from any specific storage system technology, vendor solution, or the location of a storage system or data. Reference information—data that changes infrequently once written—is growing at an exponential rate each year.

"There is significant user and industry interest in a methodology such as XAM that would allow for long-term archiving, access and management of scalable stores of reference information," says David Black, co-chairman of the SNIA's Fixed Content Aware Storage--Technical Work Group (FCAS-TWG). "Simultaneously with this growth," Black added, "there is a need for timely access to this data for business and regulatory reasons and for this data to be location-independent, facilitating transparent media and technology refresh cycles in long-term archives."

The FCAS-TWG sees the possible implementations of the XAM consortium contribution to be several types of interfaces between applications and storage systems that coordinate metadata to achieve interoperability, storage transparency, and automation for ILM-based practices, long-term records retention, and information assurance (security).