Storage Management Initiative Specification

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What Does Storage Management Initiative Specification Mean?

Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) is a universal standard for managing data devices within an enterprise on a storage area network (SAN) that can encompass multiple devices from multiple vendors. SMI-S is based on the Common Information Model (CIM) as well as Web-Based Enterprise Management standards as defined by the Distributed Management Task Force.


SMI-S is principally designed to provide broad interoperability among heterogeneous (widely dissimilar) storage vendors’ systems.

SMI-S was previously known as Bluefin.

Techopedia Explains Storage Management Initiative Specification

Put simply, SMI-S standardizes storage management into a common set of tools that address the every day tasks of the IT environment.

SMI-S is a standard that defines attributes for each data storage component in an SAN. It is platform independent and is extensible, which means that new devices may be easily added to the SAN. Managers can also access and control all aspects of a network remotely.

Other SMI-S functions include automated discovery (a process that relies on collecting data over time) and resource locking (a synchronized methodology for putting limits on a resource, in this case a storage solution).

At a very basic level, SMI-S entities can be classified into two categories: clients and servers. Clients manage software applications residing anywhere on the SAN, but they must have a communication link to providers (sources of data). Servers are managed devices like host bus adapters, switches, disk arrays, virtualization engines and magnetic tape drives.

SMI-S was developed in 2002 and is maintained by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA).


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.