What is XAM?
XAM refers to the technology and
not an implementation. XAM means “eXtensible Access Method”.
A joint storage industry proposal
to establish standard interfaces coordinating information metadata between
applications and storage systems.
XAM is a project underway for a
standardized storage interface targeted initially for fixed content created
by IBM and EMC in concert with other industry leading companies.
As a project it is subject to
revision and expansion by SNIA as it progresses towards a standard.
Who is leading
The founding XAM-team consisted of
EMC and IBM as contributing sponsors of the IP and the initiative and
Hitachi Data Systems, HP and Sun as endorsing sponsors. All sponsors have
received respective executive commitment and committed resources to support
Now that the proposed spec has
been contributed to the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and
accepted by the Technical Council (TC) as a good starting point, the XAM-team
continues to support this initiative in their capacity as members of the
SNIA, the SNIA Data Management Forum (DMF), and the Fixed Content Aware
Storage Solutions (FCAS) Technical Work Group (TWG).
The submitting sponsors believe
that application developers want one way to speak to multiple
content-centric devices and customers want easy migration between vendors’
Why was XAM
To initially facilitate wide adoption
of fixed content or reference information storage platforms by storage vendors
and consuming applications.
Why do we need
a new storage standard?
By assigning standard metadata,
‘fixed, or reference’ information can benefit from being stored in a
different way than we do ‘active and changing’ information.
- Application, ownership, or
other types of record metadata enables storage transparency and
- Requirements for performance,
availability, security, privacy, authentication, integrity, access audits,
distribution, location, retention period, disposition, long term online
archive and migration, etc. can be set and managed via the metadata
empowering ILM-based practice automation.
from the XAM?
As an industry standard, the XAM
will benefit application developers, customers, systems integrators,
services developers, and storage vendors.
How will the
initiative be implemented and maintained?
The standard will be developed
within the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and the ratified
by an international standards body. The Fixed Content Aware Storage
Technical Working Group with SNIA, FCAS-TWG, is progressing the technical
standard and the Data Management Forum is charged with market development.
specifications be created?
Yes. The current specification
proposal is the starting point of a standardization process. We envisage
many revisions and extensions to the spec as part of this process.
We envision the XAM-Interface will
define a set of key deliverables such as a XAM-API, XAM-SDK, XAM-reference
specifications be public?
Yes. SNIA’s practice is to make
these public once ratified.
How long will
This is a proposal and it is not
certain how long this will take. The Fixed Content Aware Storage (FCAS)
Technical Work Group will dictate the timeline.