Monday, February 18, 2019

New SNIA Swordfish Specification Enables Easy-to-Use Storage Management Solutions for the Modern Data Center

BWW News Desk
September 19, 2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - The Storage Networking Industry Association's (SNIA) Storage Management Initiative (SMI) today announced the completion of Version 1.0 of the SNIA Swordfish storage management specification. This specification extends the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) Redfish application programming interface (API) to handle the management of storage equipment and storage services found in modern data centers.

By extending the DMTF Redfish API protocol and schema, 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. The same easy-to-use RESTful interface is used, along with JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) and Open Data Protocol (OData), to seamlessly manage storage equipment and storage services in addition to servers.

"SNIA Swordfish is designed to integrate with the technologies used in cloud data center environments and can be used to accomplish a broad range of storage management tasks from the simple to the advanced," said Don Deel, chair of SNIA's Storage Management Initiative. "SNIA Swordfish is easier to understand and implement than legacy standards, which will accelerate its adoption and use by storage equipment vendors and management application vendors."

SNIA Swordfish has been designed around management use cases that focus on what IT administrators need to do with storage equipment and storage services in a data center. As a result, the API provides functionality that simplifies the way storage can be allocated, monitored, and managed. For example, the API is able to associate different classes of service with storage systems having different levels of performance in a data center. Once this has been done, an IT administrator can allocate storage to servers or virtual machines by specifying the storage class of service needed, without worrying about many of the details associated with finding or configuring a particular storage system with the desired performance characteristics. The API defined by the specification also supports having value-add, vendor-specific functionality alongside standardized functionality, to accommodate future storage-related capabilities.

Defined by the SNIA Scalable Storage Management Technical Work Group, the SNIA Swordfish specification is the result of a broad industry collaboration involving the leading companies in the storage industry.

Jeffrey Snover, technical fellow, Microsoft, commented, "Microsoft is an active participant in the SNIA Technical Work Group developing SNIA Swordfish to make sure the most important scenarios for this specification will work well with our products. Because SNIA Swordfish is an extension of Redfish that will be widely adopted in virtualized environments, vendors will no longer need to produce versions for any one particular operating system."

Jeff Hilland, president, DMTF, added, "By extending DMTF's groundbreaking Redfish standard, SNIA Swordfish brings the ability to manage storage and storage services in a way that is consistent with how servers and fabrics are managed. This is the type of approach needed for the management of today's hyperscale and cloud infrastructures."

Storage management industry experts are presenting more information on SNIA Swordfish at the SNIA Storage Developer Conference this week in Santa Clara, California, including:

  • Introduction and Overview of Redfish
  • Overview of Swordfish: Scalable Storage Management
  • Swordfish Deep-dive: Scalable Storage Management

The SNIA Swordfish team members will also be on hand during the Storage Developer Conference to answer questions. Details on SNIA Swordfish can also be found here.

About the SMI
The Storage Management Initiative (SMI) is a Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) group that unifies the storage industry to develop and standardize interoperable storage management technologies. The SMI provides funding and resources that support the ongoing development of the new SNIA Swordfish specification and the existing Storage Management Initiative-Specification (SMI-S). SMI programs include the SMI-S Conformance Testing Program (SMI-S CTP) and SMI-Lab, which accelerates the development of interoperable implementations of the specifications supported by the SMI. More information about the SMI and how to participate can be found at

About SNIA
The Storage Networking Industry Association is a not-for-profit global organization, made up of member companies spanning the global storage market. SNIA's mission is to lead the storage industry worldwide in developing and promoting standards, technologies, and educational services to empower organizations in the management of information. To this end, the SNIA is uniquely committed to delivering standards, education, and services that will propel open storage networking solutions into the broader market. For more information, visit

Ecosystem Quote Sheet

Storage Management Initiative (SMI) SNIA Swordfish 1.0 Specification

Supporting Company   Executive Quote
Broadcom   Richelle Ahlvers, Principal Storage Management Architect, Broadcom
"SNIA Swordfish defines a RESTful API which provides an extremely scalable storage management platform for file and block storage provisioning, volume mapping and masking, replication, and capacity and health reporting tools. Swordfish simplifies storage management and allows original equipment manufacturers to easily differentiate their products."
Dell   Jon Hass, Distinguished Engineer, Dell
"Dell is fully committed to Redfish, and we have enabled our PowerEdge servers and other product lines with embedded Redfish Services. SNIA Swordfish expands Redfish even further by abstracting the intricacies of storage infrastructure and will enable customers to more readily handle their day-to-day storage needs."
EMC   George Ericson, Distinguished Engineer, EMC Core Technologies
"EMC is committed to implementing standard interfaces to help customers reduce their total cost of ownership. EMC is actively participating in the development of SNIA Swordfish, which provides simple, scalable, service oriented storage management."
HPE   Doug Voigt, Distinguished Technologist, Storage, HPE
"Redfish is a very important standard for managing systems in a modern, uniform way. SNIA's SSM Technical Working Group has been very progressive in recasting storage management into the Redfish paradigm with SNIA Swordfish. This will be a giant step towards the kind of application centric virtual system creation capability needed for nimble datacenter management."
Intel   Jim Pappas, Marketing Director, Intel, Vice Chairman, SNIA Board of Directors
"Open standards developed by and for multiple vendors and the open-source community are critical for fostering innovation and supporting broad adoption of new technologies, which is why Intel plays an active role in the development of SNIA Swordfish. As an extension to DMTF's Redfish, SNIA Swordfish will enable interoperable management of heterogeneous storage vendor systems, helping to further the ease of deployment and use of Intel Architecture-based storage solutions."
Microsoft   Jeffrey Snover, Technical Fellow, Microsoft
"As part of our commitment to datacenter standards based management, Microsoft is working with DMTF and SNIA and its member companies on developing the Redfish and SNIA Swordfish specifications. These emerging specifications will provide IT administrators a unified approach for managing servers, network switches, fabrics and storage."
NetApp   David Dale, Director Industry Standards, NetApp
"SNIA Swordfish is an important next-generation storage management standard aimed at meeting the requirements of emerging Third Platform data center environments, where scalability, ease-of-management, agility, and compatibility with DevOps tools are essential.
NetApp is actively involved in the development of SNIA Swordfish, as it is clearly in the interests of our customers who look to us to enable their use of cloud services while retaining control over their data assets."
VMware   Murali Rajagopal, Senior Product Strategist, VMware
"As data center managers have realized the strong benefits that virtualization brings to the data center, they will also see the upside SNIA Swordfish offers through the development of more efficient data storage management implementations in scale-out environments."


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