DEN initiative moves forward

The DEN (Directory-Enabled Networks) initiative last week added some new schemas to its list of specifications, pushing along its goal of interoperable directory services for networks.

Three documents were released by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF): a set of guidelines for mapping CIM (Common Information Model) objects into LDAP objects, for mapping the CIM core schema into LDAP, and for mapping the physical CIM schema into LDAP. These mapping guidelines will present a common description of information, users, applications, and other objects to streamline directory-enabled networking.

"We're using and positioning the CIM information model as the core and key to the interoperability between the directory-enabled management services of DEN and the Web-based management systems of WBEM [Web-Based Enterprise Management specification]," said Raymond Williams, vice president of technology for the DMTF.

With directory-enabled networks, enterprises can decrease systems management times by sending out configurations to directory-enabled routers or switches rather than configuring everything manually. Also, directory-enabled networking allows administrators to address QoS (quality of service) issues by allotting network resources based on who is using the network at what time.

"We're taking the inherent knowledge of the directory within the network and merging that with information from actual end-user applications themselves," Williams said.

Williams said that the DMTF expects to release a policy schema in the next few weeks and is working on an event-driven schema. The group also formed an alliance with the IT SMF (Service Management Forum) and will be using some of the WBEM standards "to provide standardized interchange mechanisms between the IT SMF's processes," Williams explained.

Michael Hoch, an analyst at Aberdeen Group, in Boston, said it takes time to reach agreements on standards.

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