Technology firms release new specification to simplify IT management

Common Goal to Provide Standard for Describing System Information in XML Formats

REDMOND, Wash., July 31, 2006 -- BEA Systems Inc., BMC Software Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Dell Inc., EMC Corp., HP, IBM Corp., Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. today announced they have published a draft of a new specification that defines a consistent way to express how computer networks, applications, servers and other IT resources are described -- or modeled -- in extensible markup language (XML) so businesses can more easily manage the services that are built on these resources.

As a result of collaboration, the open, industrywide specification defines a common language for expressing information about IT resources and services. Called the Service Modeling Language (SML), the specification enables a hierarchy of IT resource models to be created from reusable building blocks rather than requiring custom descriptions of every service, thus reducing costs and system complexity for customers. The group plans to submit the draft specification to an industry standards organization later this year.

SML addresses a growing industry need as a result of the numerous methods of representing the same IT resource. Besides being inefficient, the use of different formats leads to two problems. First, because the tools and management applications use different formats, they don't speak the same language. Therefore the information must be translated, which can lead to the loss or misinterpretation of technical details. Second, the use of different formats may require IT architects to use written descriptions or sketches to convey information about resources. Such descriptions must then be translated into a form that tools and management applications can consume, which is a manual, error-prone process.

SML has two unique properties that make it well-suited for modeling IT resources and services: support for rich constraints and alignment with XML message exchange architectures. SML allows developers to build modeling information for applications, devices and services that can be used during all stages of the application or service life cycle, such as configuration, problem, change and release management. They are also useful for tactical processes such as management of service levels, availability and capacity. The SML specification will provide simplicity, integration and compatibility throughout this life cycle for all components of an IT environment.

This common modeling language is an important step in simplifying IT management in multivendor environments, providing a way for information to be shared across diverse tools and applications. Constructing a complete picture of the IT environment out of a series of reusable building blocks rather than requiring a fully customized description of every service is crucial. It reduces the cost and complexity associated with delivering the levels of service and responsiveness businesses need from IT today while increasing a business's IT agility and its ability to adapt its IT in time to meet changing needs.

In addition to the publication of the SML specifications, the companies also announced their intent to explore development of a library of core models to describe generic resources such as network elements, operating systems, storage devices, desktops, server systems, Web servers and a directory service. With an agreed-upon standard library of definition for this core set of resources and services, every vendor would be able to establish the generic nature of, and relationship between, every component of a specific IT service without prior knowledge of the objects that make up that service.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

NOTE: Microsoft, Windows and Visual Studio are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Quote Sheet

    "BEA is excited to be a contributor to this joint effort to define a
common modeling language for IT services that could provide the necessary
interoperability to simplify the management of IT services that are enabled
by a host of underlying and complex enterprise IT assets. Employing a
standards- based approach is consistent with our view that common
specifications and collaborative efforts such as these can speed the
delivery of important innovation and new technology to the marketplace."
    -- Zulah Eckert
       Senior Principal Technologist
       Office of the CTO
       BEA Systems
    "As IT environments continue to grow in complexity, this SML
collaboration provides significant benefit to customers across all of our
organizations and is a unified effort to advance the industry as a whole.
BMC continues to lead customers closer to their Business Service Management
(BSM) goals by developing innovative IT management solutions and
participating in efforts, such as this, that increase efficiency and
simplify management across all IT environments."
    -- Tom Bishop
       Chief Technology Officer
       BMC Software
    "The network as a platform connects and enables all components of the
IT infrastructure. A common language helps heterogeneous management
standards converge, allowing customers to manage IT assets interconnected
across a distributed network. Cisco views SML as a significant step forward
for model- based management and as an enabler of next-generation network
services in a Web services environment."
    -- Nino Vidovic
       CTO Network Management Technology Group
       Cisco Systems
    "As the industry-standards leader, Dell is pleased to actively
participate in the definition of SML. Customers prefer single-click systems
management across their enterprise. SML helps enable the merger of Common
Information Model (CIM)-based hardware instrumentation with OS- and
application-based instrumentation. With these implementations, customers
will be able to manage a broad variety of systems and software from a
single console."
    -- Winston Bumpus
       Systems Management Architecture and Standards
    "EMC is participating in the SML working group to help accelerate and
elevate this work to the level of acceptance and adoption by a leading
technical standards body. EMC believes that model-based management
solutions represent the new paradigm to successfully manage the highly
complex, multidomain IT infrastructures emerging in today's enterprises. As
many EMC products are developed in accordance with industry standards such
as the CIM and Storage Management Initiative-Specification (SMI-S), the
multivendor SML effort is reflective of EMC's own strategy to ease
heterogeneous product interoperability and management in customer
    -- Jeff Nick
       Senior Vice President and CTO
    "The development of SML is an important milestone in HP's effort to
help customers transition to next-generation, service-based data centers.
HP plans to use SML to provide direct customer benefits through
enhancements to its comprehensive management portfolio, including unified
infrastructure management and automation as well as application,
service-level and business process management."
    -- Greg Astfalk
       Chief Scientist
       Office of Strategy and Technology
    "This is an important step in IBM's effort to collaborate with other
industry leaders to bring open frameworks into IT management solutions on
behalf of our customers. As a leader in open standards-based software, we
intend to embrace SML in IBM server, Tivoli and Rational portfolios to
extend modeling and self-managing capabilities within multivendor IT
    -- Ric Telford
       Vice President
       Autonomic Computing
    "We have been actively working with other industry leaders to further
expand management services in a service-oriented industry. The SML
specification is an important step to drive significant, cross-platform
business modeling improvements for IT professionals and their business
    -- Robert B. Crooke
       Vice President and General Manager
       Business Client Group
    "We are delighted to offer the work initiated by Microsoft on the
System Definition Model (SDM) to create this joint specification with our
partners. SDM has been a key element of our Dynamic Systems Initiative
(DSI) and we'll continue our DSI work using SML. SDM will be renamed SML,
and the supporting infrastructure will be referred to as the SML platform,
in support of our full implementation of this specification in Windows(R),
System Center, Visual Studio(R) and eventually all Microsoft product
offerings. This is a great day for our customers operating in heterogeneous
environments, with this effort facilitating deep integration across
heterogeneous environments and tools based on a common modeling language."
    -- Kirill Tatarinov
       Corporate Vice President
       Windows and Enterprise Management Division
    "As SML will provide an industry-agreed foundation for model-based
management, it holds the promise for rich heterogeneous interoperability
and composability up and down the stack, which translates to customer
choice. Leveraging the adoption of industry-standard WS-Management
protocols will further accelerate availability of this technology to the
market. Sun views open industry standards as fundamental enablers of
heterogeneous IT systems, and we're pleased to join forces to bring SML to
an industry standards body, following which Sun will appropriately use SML
technology within its product portfolio."
    -- Bill Smith
    Director of Business Alliances
    Sun Microsystems

DSS Home |  About Us |  Contact Us |  Site Index |  Subscribe | What's New
Please Tell 
Your Friends about DSSResources.COM Copyright © 1995-2021 by D. J. Power (see his home page). DSSResources.COMsm was maintained by Daniel J. Power. See disclaimer and privacy statement.