If you are a decision-maker in the storage industry, you really ought to be in San Diego this week.\u00a0 And if you are there, you should have registered for and be attending SNIA's Storage Management Summit, running Dec. 9-11.\u00a0SNIA is organizing the affair, but the fact that the key sponsors ("storage visionary sponsors," in SNIA's market-speak) are such disparate industry powerhouses as EMC, Hitachi, HP and LSI Logic Storage Systems the indications are good that the rest of the vendor community is taking this meeting pretty seriously.The meeting sessions are divided into three tracks, Engineering, Advanced Engineering, and Management.\u00a0 (Note that in this case, "management" mostly seems to mean "marketing", and engineering management is likely to feel shortchanged if these presentations are dumbed-down too much. They may be better served by the two technical tracks.)One thing vendors will hopefully come away with is an understanding of how to develop business strategies based on the effect SMI-S is going to have on storage management solutions.\u00a0 These effects are going to be profound, and are certainly going to include:\u00a0* The expectation on the part of technology allies that SMI-S will be strictly adhered to in order to facilitate interoperability at the most optimal economic levels.* The expectation on the part of IT managers that their new software investment will interface cleanly with the rest of their storage assets, so that the value of existing investments will be preserved.* The ability to streamline product development through use of SMI-S, and thus to reduce both the cost and the time required for key phases of the development cycle.* Accelerated turn times for each phase of the product life cycle, and the consequent impact on every vendor's product roadmaps.For the engineers, there are plenty to choose from in both engineering tracks.\u00a0 They should certainly make sure to check out the resources of the SMI Developer's Network.\u00a0 Also, SNIA has sessions on virtualization and on NAS management.\u00a0 Let's hope everyone there pays attention to those.Finally, for the futurists among you, there is a session titled "The Road to Embedding SMI-S."\u00a0 Interoperability on a chip, anyone?