Swordfish from SNIA: Simplifying Storage Management in the Data Center

Dec 11, 2018 | Tech Blog

Because products and services for data center and cloud environments continue to play a big role in AMI’s development efforts, past Tech Blog posts have looked at open standards and specifications such as the Redfish™ specification from the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) and Intel® Rack Scale Design (RSD). Today we will look a similar open specification developed for hyperscale data centers and cloud infrastructure environments: the Swordfish™ specification from the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA).

About SNIA

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is a non-profit organization made up of member companies spanning the entire information technology sector. According to its website, its mission is to “lead the global storage industry in developing and promoting vendor-neutral architectures, standards, and educational services that facilitate the efficient management, movement, and security of information.”

What is the SNIA Swordfish Specification?

In the words of SNIA, the SNIA Swordfish specification “helps to provide a unified approach for the management of storage and servers in hyperscale and cloud infrastructure environments, making it easier for IT administrators to integrate scalable solutions into their data centers.”

It is designed to integrate with the full complement of storage management technologies used in cloud data center environments to accomplish a broad range of storage management tasks. SNIA Swordfish is focused on what IT administrators need to do with storage equipment and storage services in a data center, with an API that simplifies the way storage can be allocated, monitored, and managed.

What is the Connection with Redfish and Other Open Standards?

In April of this year, DMTF announced the formation of a new three-way alliance between itself, SNIA and NVM Express, Inc. to coordinate standards for managing solid-state drive (SSD) storage devices. In conjunction with this alliance, it is important to also note that SNIA Swordfish is an extension of the DMTF Redfish specification, “making use of the same user-friendly RESTful interface along with JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) and Open Data Protocol (OData) to seamlessly manage storage equipment and storage services as well as servers.”

Based on announcements and news surrounding this new alliance, the primary driver was the synergy between SNIA’s Swordfish and DMTF’s Redfish. However, the alliance’s collaborative work will include additional standards, such as NVM Express™ (NVMe™), the NVM Express™ Management Interface (NVMe-MI™), DMTF’s Management Component Transport Protocol (MCTP), Platform Level Data Model (PLDM), and PLDM for Redfish Device Enablement (RDE).

According to the April press release from DMTF on this topic, “DMTF and SNIA have worked together as part of the DMTF’s Alliance Partner program for many years. Most recently, SNIA’s Swordfish™ standard is building upon DMTF’s Redfish® API to address enterprise storage services. NVM Express® is an open collection of standards and information to fully expose the benefits of non-volatile memory (NVM) in all types of computing environments from mobile to data center. The three-way alliance will work on scale-out management for SSDs, helping enable a holistic management experience.”

Are you familiar with the SNIA Swordfish standard or other open-source standards from industry groups in this space? What are your thoughts and experiences with them? Drop us a line via social media or our Contact Us form and let us know and as always, thanks for reading!

Swordfish™ is a trademark of the Storage Networking Industry Association in the US and other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

About AMI

AMI is Firmware Reimagined for modern computing. As a global leader in Dynamic Firmware for security, orchestration and manageability solutions, AMI enables the world’s compute platforms from on-premises to the cloud to the edge. AMI’s industry-leading foundational technology and unwavering customer support have generated lasting partnerships and spurred innovation for some of the most prominent brands in the high-tech industry. AMI is also a critical provider to the Open Compute ecosystem and is a member of numerous industry associations and standards groups, such as the Unified EFI Forum (UEFI), PICMG, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Cybersecurity Excellence Partnership (NCEP), and the Trusted Computing Group (TCG).

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