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The Open Group Distributed System Management

Nick Stoughton <> reports on the September 1997 meeting in Boston, MA.

The IT DialTone, as I have reported previously, is the new Open Group initiative to cause the creation of a viable global information infrastructure that is ubiquitous, trusted, reliable, and as easy to use as the telephone. Work is now under way on phase one of this project. Phase one is intended to be a consolidation of what exists, trying to bring it all together into the common direction toward which we are aiming. To this end, a taxonomy of management services has been produced, and work is under way to revise the X/Open Manageability Guidelines (a document presented for other working groups to understand where and how to include management interfaces in the work they are producing).

Manageability is one of the key elements of the IT DialTone. Within the IT DialTone environment, management extends beyond the traditional confines of managing IT platforms and networks. Successful management for the IT DialTone must provide a comprehensive management capability that encompasses the full end-to-end viewpoint that is experienced by the application programmers and users of the environment. Besides managing the infrastructure itself, it is also necessary for management to include the applications themselves, allowing them to be incorporated as manageable elements within the overall environment.

The table below enumerates a set of management areas and describes the environments in which they are applicable (i.e., a Managing Environment or a Managed Environment). In some cases, additional functions will be required to complete the management process. These additional functions may include manual processing.

This taxonomy is intended to provide a checklist against which the list of managed services can be validated for completeness. There is not a one-to-one correspondence between the management areas identified in the taxonomy and the proposed management services. Several issues may be addressed by a single service, and some issues may be instantiated across several services.

Further details about the IT Dialtone can be found at <>.

Application of Taxonomy to Managing, Managed Environment and Additional Functions
Managing Managed Additional
Environment Environment Functions
Business Management:
Inventory Control Yes Yes Yes
Accounting Yes Yes Yes
Policy Administration Yes
Business Strategic Planning Yes
Process Management Yes
Information Services Management Yes
Organizational Planning Yes
Configuration Management:
Configuration Design Yes Yes
Environmental Planning Yes
Configuration Creation Yes Yes
Updating Configuration Yes Yes
Accessing Configuration Yes Yes
Software Administration:
Licensing Yes Yes Yes
Planning Yes
Distribution Yes Yes
Synchronization Yes Yes
Installation Yes
Activation Yes Yes
Testing Yes
Backout Yes
Monitoring and Tracking Yes
Operations Management:
Workload and Operations Planning Yes
Workload Control Yes Yes
Operations Control Yes Yes
Print Management Yes
Performance Management:
Performance Planning Yes
Performance Control and Monitoring Yes
Performance Execution and Measurement Yes
Problem Management:
Problem Process Planning Yes Yes
Problem Policy Planning Yes Yes
Problem Determination Yes
Problem Analysis Yes Yes
Problem Bypass and Recovery Yes Yes
Problem Assignment Yes
Problem Resolution and Verification Yes Yes
Security Management:
Authentication Yes Yes
Access Control Yes Yes
Non-repudiation Yes
Integrity Yes Yes
Confidentiality Yes Yes
Security Audit Yes Yes Yes
Key Management Yes


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First posted: 4th December 1997 efc
Last changed: 4th December 1997 efc
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