Javascript Navigation Menu

XAM - Vision Statement

XAM-Interface Vision

The first deliverables from the SNIA's standardization work on XAM technology will be a specification from which SNIA plans to oversee development of a reference implementation and SDK. The objective is to bring several forms of XAM-interfaces into the market, beginning with APIs so that the XAM-Interface will become the ubiquitous interface between applications and storage. All leading application developers are invited to participate.

What the XAM-Interface does is to create a tight 'handshake' between the application and the storage medium. This standard enables interpretation of application metadata with the annotation of information, data, and security services metadata whereby policy-based decisions can be instrumented relative to record placement, retention, protection, distribution, movement, migration, security, authentication, compliance, and disposition independent of the application. The ability to manage metadata in a standard fashion is what we are missing for important new services such as ILM and Grid, therefore the benefits will be profound and are summarized in this statement. Here are some key examples:

  • This coordinated “handshake “ between the application and the storage medium enables interpretation of application metadata with the annotation of information, data, and security services metadata whereby policy-based decisions can be instrumented relative to record placement, retention, protection, distribution, movement, migration, security, authentication, compliance, and disposition independent of the application.
  • The XAM-Interface enables ILM-base practice automation.

What the XAM-Interface Impacts

Fixed Content Aware Storage Systems that store inactive, unchanging, reference information, compliance records, archives, etc.

  • Interoperability via standard interfaces
  • Application integration becomes defacto

Information Lifecycle Management Automation (which requires knowledge of the information metadata and service requirements)

  • Metadata services to instrument the automation of standard Data Services, Information Services, & Information Assurance (Security) Services

Enterprise Grids

  • Solves the new information mgmt requirements and will empower Grid adoption

XAM-Interface and Fixed Content

The XAM-Interface gives each individual content object (a package of data and related metadata) its own persistent & unique external name which accompanies it throughout its lifetime.

  • The XAM-Interface solves the out-of-control custom application-API problem of today’s many proprietary solutions. The XAM-Interface leads to interoperability and interchangeability of information.
  • The power of location-independence and persistent naming, facilitates transparent media and technology refresh cycles in long-term archives – a critical problem today.

XAM-Interface and ILM

XAM-Interface’s metadata instruments automation of ILM-based practices.

  • Metadata can be used for classification and by services to act upon the content objects according to standard policies.
    • Automates data, information, and security services.
    • Reduces the cost of operations and simplifies ILM-based practices.
  • Provides a single access method that transparently spans multiple storage devices.
    • Empowers simplification and consolidation of tiered storage.

XAM-Interface and Grid

The object oriented and location and technology independent approach empower the shift towards Enterprise Grids and Data Grids and when coupled with ILM-based practices, provides a new information management model that is needed for Grid adoption.

  • By tying content objects to a globally unique name, XAM-Interface can efficiently manage the content without application concern as to a specific physical location of that content or technology it resides on.

Why the XAM-Interface is Strategic

Here are some of the important attributes of this large domain of information retained online that XAM will affect:

‘Fixed Content’ has a long shelf life.

  • e.g. regulations routinely require 7-20 years, 50+ years is not uncommon.

Storage technology is transient.

  • Content needs to be able to transcend physical, geographical, technological, organizational boundaries.

Content needs to be preserved in a self-describing way.

  • Recognize a “record” as a storage type.
  • Encapsulate data+metadata into a “record”.

Enable applications to “migrate” across storage devices.

  • From different vendors, across different technologies for long term archive.

Enable “records” to migrate between storage devices.

  • From different vendors, across different technologies, or for long term storage.

Enable “records” to migrate between applications.

Manage billions if not trillions of “records” over time.

 

XAM Development - How To Participate

Ongoing Programs

Application Developers or Storage System Developers Participate by:

  • Monitor and provide input to standards development and participate in XAM market development by joining the Data Management Forum.
  • Participate in the standard development underway in the SNIA’s FCAS-TWG by joining SNIA.
  • Participate in definition of a reference implementation and SDK development next year after the specification is defined and agree-to by monitoring this site and the project activities by participating in DMF.

Recent Press Articles

A State of Data Independence - by Chris Mellor, Techworld.com, Mar. 10, 2006

Tech Closeup: Content-addressed Storage -- Future Directions - by Stephen J. Bigelow, SearchStorage.com, Jan. 12, 2006

New Storage Standard Proposed - by Deni Connor, NetworkWorld.com, Dec. 20, 2005

Storage Vendors Propose New Standard - by Joseph F. Kovar, CRN, Dec. 20, 2005

The SNIA Receives Proposed New Storage Interface Standard From Industry Consortium - Dec. 20, 2005

 

 

 

XAM (Extensible Access Method) - Building a New Standard-Introduction and Technical Overview:

XAM is an application to storage interface which empowers meta-data to instrument the automation of information-based management. This new interface will give applications a standard interface and metadata to communicate with object storage devices such as those characterized as "Fixed Content Aware Storage" to achieve interoperability, storage transparency, and automation for ILM-based practices, long term records retention, and information assurance (security). This presentation describes the joint storage industry proposal. As this proposal progresses towards a standard, it is subject to revision and expansion by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). SNIA wants to engage you in this effort to make sure that what is developed as a standard meets the requirements of the greater community that will ultimately implement it.

What is XAM?

XAM refers to the technology. The acronym stands for “eXtensible Access Method”. XAM is a technology in standardization within SNIA. Its implementations are expected to be several types of interfaces between applications and storage systems that coordinates metadata to achieve interoperability, storage transparency, and automation for ILM-based practices, long term records retention, and information assurance (security).

What is the XAM-Interface?

The XAM-Interface is an application-level interface coordinating information metadata between applications and storage systems which is in standardization within SNIA. This new interface (initially APIs) gives applications a standard interface and metadata to communicate with object storage devices such as those characterized as “Fixed Content Aware Storage” to achieve interoperability, storage transparency, and automation for ILM-based practices, long term records retention, and information assurance (security).

*FCAS, Fixed-Content Aware Storage, TWG is the technical working group charted by SNIA to develop standards around ‘fixed-content aware storage’ including the XAM-Interface.

Vision Statement Download Adobe Reader

Position Statement Download Adobe Reader

Frequently Asked Questions

XAM Genesis

Copyright 2006, SNIA Data Management Forum. All rights reserved.