There may be a variety of reasons proposed for their ultimate lack of staying power, but let's cut to the chase. From the DTMF specification: "CIM is a conceptual model that is not bound to a particular implementation." From a companion document, WBEM is described as "an industry initiative to provide management of systems, networks, users, and applications across multiple vendor environments. WBEM simplifies system management, providing better access to both software and hardware data that is readable by WBEM compliant applications."
The CIM document goes on to provide a chart of merely four of the possible ways CIM can be implemented. Extending these to all of the possible combinations and permutations would probably make the 1994 National HealthCare organizational chart look simple in comparison. WBEM, thankfully, has no chart. The explanation itself, however, brings to mind an old saying about what course of baffling action should be taken "if you can't dazzle them with brilliance..." So we come to Bluefin as an alternative.
As little as a year ago, Bluefin was only an over-fished species of tuna. Oddly enough, that also describes the situation concerning the proprietary APIs that currently abound for each vendor's storage solution, and goes far to explain why interoperability between different brands is practically non-existent. You can only address your competitor's storage device if you've signed a non-proliferation treaty to share API information or spend the resources to reverse engineer them. It's not a happy situation.
Bluefin transitioned into a storage management specification, using elements of CIM, through the efforts of 16 companies, including Computer Associates, Dell, EMC, HP, Hitachi, and IBM. These are heavyweights, each with its own agenda, but reality has a way of making strange bedfellows. In this case, reality came in the form of lost revenues. Proprietary APIs limit customer choices and buttress customer doubt about storage expansion in general--especially in cases where conflict may have arisen with the original vendor. The incentive to buy is generally diminished if you must trash what you already own.
Bluefin is an uber-API of sorts, a commonality that will orchestrate the CIMs and WBEMs of the world, letting you plug any storage solution into your SAN environment and seamlessly blend it with any others you might be using. Actually, Bluefin will become those things at some point. According to a commentary in ByteandSwitch, the 16 involved companies weren't quite satisfied with the rate of progress made by the Storage Networking Industry Association and spent 18 months (and about a half million dollars) developing the first draft of the standard on their own. First drafts are valuable reference points but they're hardly operational stalwarts.
When will Bluefin have some positive impact on the market? In a previous interview, Ken Steinhardt, director of technology analysis at EMC, who claims that EMC has "engineers who are tight--tight, tight, tight--in terms of the actual work that creates this stuff," indicated that EMC's Content Addressed Storage technology and Bluefin will dovetail during phase III of CAS implementation (they're currently at Phase I), "when Bluefin is ready." With a year and a half to first draft, it's entirely possible that it may even happen in this decade.