A group of 10 large enterprise IT vendors has published a draft for a new Service Modelling Language (SML) that aims to define a common way to describe IT building blocks.
The group is made up of BEA, BMC, Cisco, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems. The companies plan to submit the language to a standards body later this year.
The XML-based language will provide a standard way to describe IT resources such as computer networks, applications and servers and allow them to exchange information like security requirements and performance status.
The standard will benefit system management applications by allowing them to exchange data and manage systems from any vendor and without the need for any special software agents. It will offer application developers a standard way to communicate with the network, for instance allowing it to request additional servers.
The language is based on the System Definition Model that was developed by Microsoft, which is currently supported in the Visual Studio 2005 developer tool.
At a later stage the group plans to develop a library of core models describing resources such as network elements, operating systems, storage devices, desktops, server systems, web servers, and a directory service.
Such information would allow any vendor to create a suite to manage heterogeneous networks without having to know which elements are in it, the group claimed.
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