WBEM/CIM is currently a hot topic in a number of areas, including:
The Storage Network Industry , which has adopted the standards enthusiastically ”see, for example, the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) Web site ( http://www.snia.org/home ). Roger Reich, a Director of SNIA, has said, "The SNIA has set a goal that all new storage networking products will utilize the SMI-S standard in 2005. Our recent announcements demonstrate that the SNIA is accelerating down the path to making this goal a reality."
SMI-S, which used to be known as Bluefin, is an implementation of the WBEM/CIM architecture.
The Global Grid Forum , concerned with the establishment of standards for Grid Computing, has defined CIM models for its services: see their Web site (http://www.globalgridforum.org/1 _GIS/CIM.htm ).
The Electrical Power Supply Industry (a different sort of grid computing?). The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an international body with the mission of "providing science and technology-based solutions of indispensable value to its global energy customers by managing a far-reaching programme of scientific research, technology development, and product implementation," has developed a CIM-based model of electrical power distribution. This has been implemented by a number of electrical power utilities and is in the process of being adopted by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as an energy management system standard (IEC 61970-301).
The Telecommunications Industry , which appears to be adopting CIM models for services and devices to facilitate better interworking and conformity at the management interface. Naturally, much of this is arising in the products where storage area networks meet telecommunications: for example Cisco Systems' MDS9000 product family. It is possibly a leaking of the WBEM technology from the storage area network into the associated telecommunications network which will drive WBEM deeper into telecommunications.
There is another piece of evidence supporting the view that a move is being made within the telecommunications industry towards WBEM: the announcement of formal ties between the DMTF and two bodies from the telecommunications industry, the TeleManagement Forum (TMF) and the Service Availability Forum (SAF).
The TeleManagement Forum is a nonprofit group of over 300 companies related to the telecommunications industry including service providers, computing and network equipment suppliers, software solution suppliers, and their customers. It is dedicated to providing architectures to improve the management of information and communications services (see http://www.tmforum.org/). The forum has devised an architecture, known as New Generation Operations Systems and Software (NGOSS), which is an integrated framework for developing, procuring and deploying [management] systems and software. The following was contained in a joint TMF/DMTF press release in June 2003.
"The TM Forum and DMTF have traditionally been major players in the telecommunications and enterprise industries, respectively, and both have recognized the industry trends and drivers toward convergence [... ] They are now collectively working on the potential for integration of these shared information models to also support the essential need for telecommunications/enterprise convergence.
Examples of converged services include voice over IP (VoIP) and the integration of other forms of traditional connection-based and connectionless services. These new generation services are increasing the need to manage computing and storage resources in the telecommunications environment, and to operate telecommunications and enterprise hardware and software in an integrated fashion," said Winston Bumpus of Novell, president, DMTF. [...]
"The line between the enterprise and telecom is becoming irrelevant as customers seek to have end-to-end management of devices, services and applications," said Martin Creaner, vice president and CTO, TM Forum. "Although TM Forum and DMTF approach the development environment differently [... ] both organizations are working on the same basic areas ” that of systems, physical entities, software and applications, services, statistics and policies. Both organizations also have embraced an object-oriented design approach, with extensibility by both the organization and vendors as a key goal. [... ]"
Whether this DMTF/TMF marriage has resulted from genuine affection or is a marriage of convenience remains to be seen.
The SAF (see http://www.saforum.org/home) is a also a coalition of communications and computing companies working to create and promote open interface specifications. Its raison d'tre lies in the traditional difference between "Enterprise" grade systems and the more highly-available "Carrier" grade systems. Increasingly, techniques common in the enterprise but previously unknown in the carrier market are beginning to impinge on carriers . In particular, the transition to packet-based, converged, multi-service networks means that carrier-grade infrastrucure techniques need to be applied to these networks. This requires interoperable hardware and software building blocks, management middleware, and applications implemented with standard interfaces.
It appears that the SAF has decided to embrace the WBEM standards as part of its management strategy. This may be the necessary opening for WBEM to find its way out of the enterprise and into the carrier's world.
The Desktop Computing Industry. This is where CIM started life and the predominant desktop operating systems, Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, and Microsoft Windows, all have CIM models, WBEM interfaces and providers. Various commercial products, such as LANDesk, previously supported by Intel and now owned by LANDesk Software, Inc. are available to manage desktop computers containing WBEM servers.
Microsoft uses the term "Windows Management Instrumentation" (WMI) for its implementation of WBEM. Unfortunately, although Microsoft's implementation does conform to the DMTF schema definitions, it does not interoperate with other CIM technologies because it uses Microsoft's COM/DCOM interface rather than the standard CIM-XML. Mappers do, however, exist to permit interworking. In particular, Vintela has released a product known as VMX (effectively a provider) which allows the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) to manage UNIX and Linux systems.
IBM has released its "Standards Based Linux Instrumentation for Manageability" (SBLIM: pronounced "sublime") which is "intended to enhance the manageability of GNU/Linux systems." The goal, apparently achieved, is to enable the practical management of Linux systems using WBEM technologies.
Sun Microsystems has also announced its adoption of WBEM and its accompanying standards (CIM, XML, etc.) for Solaris and has said that "WBEM is part of Sun's long-term strategy for system management." This is reflected in its release of a WBEM Software Development Kit (SDK).