Cloud Device Giveaway

An article in today’s ComputerWorld says that Apple’s new iPad is driving cloud storage. How appropriate then that the Cloud Storage Initiative is giving one away Tuesday night at the Birds of Feather Session.


To get in the drawing, visit the Tuesday SNW Cloud Pavilion or the CSI “taste” booth at the Monday opening reception., then come by the BOF Tuesday April 15, 8:30pm, St. John’s Rooms 32-33 – MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!

Enabling Cloud Service Brokerage

One of the most interesting use-cases for the pending SNIA CDMI Cloud Storage standard involves Cloud service brokerage.  Cloud Storage services in particular. The Peering capabilities enabled via CDMI will further facilitate the emergence of a new business category in Cloud Computing – The Cloud Broker.

Recently advocated by leading analyst firms, this role would mitigate key risks around the federation of various Cloud services.  Even the US Federal CIO has recently spoken out regarding this key characteristic of upcoming Government Cloud services and related NIST Cloud Computing standards.

Data integration, integrity, portability and security are among the many issues Cloud Brokers are tackling on behalf of Enterprise Cloud customers. See this diagram for some of the useful Cloud Storage relationships enabled by CDMI for configurations which would address these issues.

Members of the SNIA CDMI technical working group and Cloud Storage Initiative will be at SNW Orlando this week. (1. presenting vendor-neutral tutorials, 2. staffing the Cloud Storage pavilion in the Exhibit Area, 3. assisting the service providers in the Cloud Hands-on-Labs and 4. leading a Birds of a Feather (BoF) session on Cloud Storage)  See 2 posts below for full details.

Please drop by and share your thoughts with us on the role of Cloud Brokers – and any other Cloud Storage topic of interest to you!

Cloud Data Management Interface Overview

Lots of people are wondering what CDMI offers, but don’t have time to read the actual specification to understand all it’s features in depth.

Here is a short (20 min) overview of the CDMI features and architecture that should get you started.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

You can also download the overview presentation for viewing offline.

Join the CSI at SNW – April 12-15 in Orlando FL

Take advantage of educational SNIA Tutorials on Cloud, a Pavilion devoted to Cloud Storage Solutions, a “Birds-of-a-Feather” session on Cloud standards, and a Lab where you can go “hands-on” to explore disaster recovery, backup, and archive solutions that run in the cloud. Learn more at and at


WAN Optimization and Cloud Computing Monday, April 12, 1:00pm-1:55pm, Gatlin A2. Learn how WAN optimization is one of the key–and often overlooked–technology component necessary for the adoption of cloud computing.

Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) – the Cloud Storage Standard Monday, April 12, 1:55pm-2:40pm, Gatlin A2. Get an overview of the SNIA published CDMI cloud storage standard overview of the standard and learn how interoperability between clouds is achieved.

Sunshine User Base Accountability With Your Cloud Storage Monday, April 12, 4:05pm-4:50pm. Now more than ever with the onset of cloud storage and the difficulty in making business more accountable for the storage they use, you need tools to calculate and communicate the storage costs to your user base.

Cloud Storage: Where Does it Fit into Tomorrow’s IT? Tuesday, April 13, 4:00pm – 4:55pm, Gatlin E3. Explore the various facets of Cloud Storage and learn about the potential of the Cloud evolution.

Well-Grounded Approach to the Cloud Tuesday, April 13, 4:55pm-5:$0pm, Gatlin E3. Learn about the five pillars on how storage enables the cloud, and how to successfully deploy a service-oriented infrastructure for your cloud environments – private and public.

Cloud Archiving Thursday, April 15, 8:30am – 9:15pm Conway. This tutorial reviews various architectures on how a cloud archive can be built, from private to public and hybrid models, using an organization’s existing information management resources.

Cloud Storage Security Introduction Thursday, April 15, 10:20am-11:05am, Gatlin A4. Learn about techniques to mitigate threats rising from the introduction of computing and data services in a virtualized and service provider context.

Cloud Storage Securing CDMI Thursday, April 15, 11:15am – 12:00pm, Gatlin A4. This session will overview the security of the new CDMI standard, which includes protective measures employed in the management and access of data and storage.


Tuesday April 15, 12:15pm-3:00pm & 5:40pm-8:40pm, Wednesday, April 15, 12:00pm-3:00 pm, Gatlin C. Visit the Pavilion to learn how Cloud Storage Initiative members are transforming the way companies implement the cloud:

Bycast – Protecting and preserving digital assets over their lifetime

Cleversafe – a storage and retrieval system that provides massive scalability, reliability and security

CloudOptix- a cloud virtualization software company that develops MeghaWare software products and solutions

EMC –a multi-tenant storage environment to build on-premise cloud services or leverage a public cloud to deliver content and information services anywhere in the world

Mezeo – providing a software platform for the deployment of cloud storage by service providers

NetApp – providing IT as a Service (ITaaS) with proven technologies for secure multi-tenancy, service automation, data mobility, storage efficiency, and integrated data protection.

Sun Oracle – deploying and backing up Oracle software in the cloud

Monday April 12 – Wednesday April 14, 9:00am-5:00pm & 7:30pm-9:30pm, Gatlin D

“Learn before you leap” into some of the latest cloud storage technologies from cloud providers Asigra, Consonus, and Terremark at this lab open to all IT end user SNW attendees!

Tuesday April 15, 8:30pm, St. John’s Rooms 32-33

Join CSI members and fellow Cloud aficionados in a lively discussion of “all things cloud storage”.

SNIA Cloud Storage Initiative at Cloud Connect

If you’re in the Bay Area this week, come see the SNIA CSI at the Cloud Connect Event at the Santa Clara Convention Center March 15-18. Kingman Tang, Greg Kleiman, Ray Clarke, and Marty Foltyn of the CSI will be in Booth 504 with the latest information on the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) specification and CSI white papers on public, private, and hybrid clouds. We’ll also be checking out the conference tracks – stay tuned for any interesting findings.

Draft 1.0 Cloud Storage Specification Available

The SNIA has released a final working draft of the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) version 1.0. The folks that have put this specification together in record time include:

Company – Individual
Bycast Inc. – David Slik
Cisco Systems – Mike Siefer
Hitachi Data Systems – Eric Hibbard
Iron Mountain – Chris Schwarzer
NetApp Inc. – Alan Yoder
NetApp Inc. – Lakshmi N. Bairavasundaram
Olocity – Scott Baker
Oracle – Mark Carlson
QLogic – Hue Nguyen
Individual – Rich Ramos

Thanks as well for the comments from lots of folks outside of the SNIA. These have all been incorporated into this latest public review draft.

The specification is now in front of the SNIA membership for a vote to become a SNIA Architecture industry standard. It will also become both a National (ANSI) and International (ISO) standard down the road.

I have heard lots of FUD around standardization of cloud interfaces, including the notion that standards take “too long” and that they cannot evolve quickly enough to accommodate the rapid evolution of this new industry. The SNIA Cloud Storage TWG that created this specification was formed last April and has produced a robust 1.0 version of a cloud standard in less than a year – record time for a standards body.

The CDMI standard is extensible by vendors to cover the complete functionality of their cloud and can also be “shrink to fit” for clouds that don’t have all the bells and whistles of the full specification. These extensions are expected to be candidates for future version of the specification as multiple vendors implement them.

Storage and Cloud vendors who have putting off implementing CDMI until 1.0 was available, now no longer have an excuse! Customers of public and private clouds can now start asking their vendors to show adoption of the standard in their roadmaps. Tools and common API libraries can now proceed to add support for a standard cloud storage interface.

To get the Draft 1.0 CDMI specification, go here:

SNIA Release new draft of Cloud Storage Standard

The SNIA announced that version 0.9 of the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) is available for download.

This version incorporates comments received from the initial public review back in September, as well as some new features. One feature is the ability to access specific byte ranges of a data object. Another important feature is the ability to access specific metadata elements individually. These features will help reduce the bandwidth required to perform certain operations.

We have also incorporated feedback suggesting better conformance to HTTP and the principles of REST. The document is easier to read and better explains the concept behind the interface. One of those is the notion of tagging the containers and data objects with Data System Metadata. Table 14 in chapter 16 now goes into much more detail on the various metadata tags that are standardized:


By tagging a data object or container of data objects with this metadata, specific data requirements are expressed to the cloud. If the cloud provider can deploy data services to meet these requirements, they can charge more as a result, leading to cloud storage that is better than the typical “best effort” services offered today.

For each of these elements, there is a corresponding “billed” value that the cloud provider supplies indicating how well the data requirement has been met. The better the service provided, the more they can charge as a result. This metadata is preserved in the serialized data format that is also standardized by CDMI so that as you move data from one cloud to another (Public<->Public, or Private<->Public), the data requirements can be interpreted interoperably by the new cloud.

There are many other new features in this version of CDMI, including a new security writeup. Please download and review this version and provide feedback over the next month so we can have a robust version 1.0 early next year.

Cloud Storage for Cloud Computing

Gary Mazzaferro and I have created a whitepaper that discusses the coordination going on between two early cloud standards. OCCiLogo.jpg The first is the Open Cloud Computing Interface, or OCCI for short. OCCI is a standard, RESTful interface to control a cloud computing infrastructure in an interoperable manner. It is being developed by the Open Grid Forum (OGF) and early drafts are available on the OCCI Web site.

The second standard is called the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI). CDMI in a similar manner allows for the interoperable access to and control of a cloud SNIAandCloud.jpgstorage infrastructure. CDMI is being developed by the Storage Networking Industry Association. CDMI is also RESTful in design and allows for both a data path and a control path to cloud storage. But CDMI can also be used as the control path for cloud computing storage needs if you couple it with a cloud computing standard such as OCCI.

To learn more about SNIA’s Cloud Data Management
Interface (CDMI) standard, and how it works with Cloud Computing
standards such as the OGF Open Cloud Computing Interface (OCCI) please
download the whitepaper from one of the following locations:

OGF Site

Cloud Storage Standards are looking up

The SNIA has released early drafts of a couple of documents created in the new Cloud Storage TWG. The Cloud Storage Reference Model sets out a model of cloud storage elements that describes a logical view of their functions and capabilities using a descriptive taxonomy. The purpose of the model is to form a basis upon which industry efforts can be organized, needed standards identified and vendor products can be described by vendor independent terminology. In addition, the model is used to describe standard interfaces for cloud storage.


The SNIA will create a new interface called the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) that will serve as both a functional interface to store data in a cloud, and as a management interface for the data that is stored there.

SNIA is soliciting feedback on the model and use cases in order to shape this interface work. If you would like to get involved, there is a Google Group you can join.

Update: original Sun Blog post: 6/9/09