More than 50 vendors have come together to try and define a standard for Web-based systems, desktop, and network mangement. The initiative was led by BMC Software Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Compaq Computer Corp, Intel Corp and Microsoft Corp, with other notable networking backers including 3Com Corp, Attachmate Corp, Bay Networks Inc, Cabletron Systems Inc, […]
More than 50 vendors have come together to try and define a standard for Web-based systems, desktop, and network mangement. The initiative was led by BMC Software Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Compaq Computer Corp, Intel Corp and Microsoft Corp, with other notable networking backers including 3Com Corp, Attachmate Corp, Bay Networks Inc, Cabletron Systems Inc, DEC, Eicon Technology Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co, Netscape Communications Corp, Network Managers Inc, and Tivoli Systems Inc. Conceptually, the idea is that equipment using existing enterprise network management technologies (such as SNMP and the Desktop Management Interface) should be manageable via regular Web browsers, with communications via the Web’s hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). Development of two new technologies is proposed to cover management-specific requirements not already catered for: the HyperMedia Management Schema (HMMS), which is designed to provide data modeling and manipulation capabilities, and which the group hopes the Desktop Management Task Force will define and develop; and the HyperMedia Management Protocol (HMMP) – already under consideration within the Internet Engineering Task Force – which is designed to allow HMMS to run over HTTP. A third component – a C++ implementation of a HyperMedia Object Manager – is also intended, although no mention was made of any plan to submit this to a standards body. The suspicion is that it is a Microsoft-backed technology, loosely based on its DCOM distributed OLE technology, that will not find much favor within the rest of the industry. Compatability with Java-based web management tools is also promised, although no details were forthcoming on how this will be achieved. The first systems conforming to the proposed standard are expected next year. One company that seems to have backed the wrong horse is UB Networks Inc, whose name was notable by its absence from the list of supporters, although its parent company Tandem added its support. UB announced in March plans to integrate the Java application development language into its NetDirector and EMPower network management product lines in order to provide Web-based management (CI No 2866). Ironically, when he was asked at the time if UB was putting too much faith in Java emerging as the standard for Web-based management, Mark Powell, UB’s UK marketing manager commented that The risk factor is minimal really…even if Java is not the language of tomorrow it will certainly have a reasonable customer base and marketshare. With 50 of the top players now supporting a different standard, he may now want to reassess that opinion. Nobody at UB was available for comment at press time.