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Saturday, November 3, 2007

SNIA Demonstrates Extensible Access Method (XAM) Interoperability

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) recently announced
successful interoperability demonstrations of the Extensible Access
Method (XAM) specification at the Storage Networking World Solutions
Center. Four distinct information management applications based on the
XAM specification are provided by EMC, HP, Sun Microsystems, and
Vignette. The demonstration illustrates XAM's ability to protect end
user information from technology lock-in by decoupling storage systems
from data applications. The three-part Extensible Access Method (XAM)
specification addresses the problem of preserving and managing reference
information, also called fixed content. Fixed content, as distinct from
transactional content, "consists of data such as digital images, e-mail
messages, presentations, video content, medical images and check images
that don't change over time. Unlike transaction-based data, whose
usefulness is short, fixed content data must be kept for long periods
of time, often to comply with retention periods and provisions that
government regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 have
specified" [NetwordWorld]. According to several estimates, most data
born digital is now fixed content, and is rapidly gaining prominence
over transactional data. The XAM (Extensible Access Method) Interface
specification defines a standard access method (API) between Consumers
(application and management software) and Providers (storage systems)
to manage fixed content reference information storage services. XAM
defines an XML-based XSet Canonical Format to support interoperability.
XAM features globally unique names for objects, metadata as a first
class object, pluggable storage architecture, and a standard XAM
storage provider interface. XAM includes metadata definitions to
accompany data to achieve application interoperability, storage
transparency, and automation for ILM-based practices, long term records
retention, and information security. More Information

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