Storage systems are rapidly increasing in both complexity and size. There is a general consensus among both researchers and practitioners that self-management is a critical next step in their evolution. Self-managing storage systems will automatically adapt to changes in the operational environment and the application workload characteristics, to meet administrator-specified system goals. However, such systems are extremely hard to build and deploy correctly due to the complexities of the programming environment itself - the operating system, as well as the poorly understood behavioral, correctness, and interaction properties of self-management extensions. As a consequence, the pace of innovation of reliable, self-management extensions is far from adequate to meet current needs. The Active Block Layer Extensions (ABLE) project develops a library of core block layer primitives, a reasoning engine that analyzes individual and collective service behavior, and accompanying reasoning, testing, and configuration tools. The ABLE project also develops self-management solutions targeting power management, performance, scalability, and security, that serve as development examples and help refine the software infrastructure. The project will produce an OS infrastructure API and several self-management extensions as software artifacts. These will simplify and standardize block layer service development and deployment by reducing developer error, accelerating the development cycle, and providing reasoning and configuration tools to the administrator that aid robust deployment. The ABLE project will also provide cutting-edge research experience to students at Florida International University, a minority institution. All ABLE software will be open-source and made available through the project web-site.