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Solaris OE Enterprise Management Systems Part I: Architectures and Standards

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The first in a two-part series focused on managing services in Service Driven Networks (SDNs), this article presents a summary of typical architectures and a clarification of the standards to help the reader better understand the implementations of various third-party vendor EM Systems solutions.
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Enterprise Management Systems (EM Systems) are Network Management Systems (NMSs) capable of managing devices, independent of vendors and protocols, in Internet Protocol (IP)-based enterprise networks. Element Management Systems (EMSs), on the other hand, are NMSs that are designed to manage a particular device, often implemented by the device manufacturer. A summary of typical architectures and a clarification of the myriad of standards are presented to help the reader better understand the implementations of various third-party vendor EM Systems solutions. The architectures of two enterprise management software products, Sun™ Management Center (Sun MC) 3.0 software, an EMS solution, and AdventNet WebNMS 2.3, a standards-compliant development environment are presented.

This article is the first of a two-part article that describes how to manage services in Service Driven Networks (SDNs). This article provides an introduction to EM Systems and provides the reader with a good understanding of the fundamental architectures of both software products. These products solve the problem of managing complex heterogeneous SDN environments. Enterprise Management Systems Part II: Enterprise QoS Provisioning due in the May 2002 issue continues to build on this knowledge, describing how these products are integrated to provide a complete solution that can effectively manage a multivendor environment, and describes how to provision end-to-end services.

This article details the following:

  • Introduction to EM Systems
  • Overview of architectures
  • EM Systems standards
  • Sun MC 3.0 software architecture
  • AdventNet WebNMS 2.3 architecture

Introduction

This article defines EM Systems as NMSs capable of managing devices, independent of vendors and protocols, in IP-based enterprise networks. This method is in contrast to NMS for Carrier Networks, which have different architectures and are not covered in this article. EM Systems are software solutions that allow systems administrators to manage a vast set of heterogeneous devices in their data centers.

In the last two decades, we have witnessed three major phases of evolution in enterprise networking technology. The first phase moved from a centralized mainframe and dumb terminal architecture to a distributed architecture. A distributed architecture was composed of islands of departmental local area networks (LANs). The second phase involved linking all these disparate departmental LANs and creating an enterprise-wide network. This configuration had two major implications. First, the complexity of managing the enterprise-wide network increased profoundly. Second, a heterogeneous environment emerged from this integrated architecture. The third phase arose as a result of Web-based enterprise services. This changed the enterprise traffic patterns and increased the dependency on mission-critical enterprise services and infrastructures.

EM Systems have tried to keep pace with these changes. In the early days, proprietary systems were created mainly by vendors of computer equipment; however, these systems could not interoperate with other vendor's systems or devices. This conflict created the need for standards. In 1988, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) was created to address some of the interoperability issues. However, as the requirements for more intelligent management systems arose; the limitations of SNMP were soon discovered. Two recent NMS initiatives, Java™ Management extensions (JMX™) and Solaris™ Web-based Enterprise Management (WBEM) Services, attempt to address these concerns.

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