Get online with WSDM

I like scheduling calls for my morning drive to the office. It is a good time for me, I’m alert, I can be focussed on two things at once, and despite the complaints about the traffic in and around Austin, I can make from my downtown SoCo house to the IBM Office on Burnet Road in north Austin comfortably in 30-mins, usually 20-mins.

This mornings call was with Trevor to go over a number of virtualization related topics, including things like partition migration, hosting partitions or as a prefer to call them, service partitions, virtualization management, blade virtualization and more. I pointed him to the Virtualization white paper, and before I knew it I was sitting in the building 045 parking lot.

What we didn’t get to discuss was WSDM and its use to manage and monitor virtualized enviornments including partition, virtual machines and service partitions. Mike Baskey, another Distinguished Engineer and I used to work together in the on demand team, Mike has now moved over to SWG and is leading the Infrastructure Solutions, Networking and Management Standards effort. He is also the current chair of the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF).

Mike and I had a long conversation about WSDM last night and recent developments, plans etc. It reminded me of a number of customer related projects and how WSDM is a great solution to expose all sorts of system information via a vendor independent way. WSDM can be implemented easily, it can expose native resources or can be used with a WS-CIM bridge which allows existing CIM instrumented resource to by exposed and managed through WSDM.

If the industry gets behind WSDM it would be great. No more proprietary interfaces to hardware and software for management. The ability to manage and monitor devices, servers, storage and virtualised resources irrespective of platform or vendor. Management apps can be built in a modular fashion by linking services, in fact this is a key way that operating systems and systems management products can be built as independant services, much like a service oriented architecture for infrastructure.

When I had a few minutes this evening, I went away to find a good source of education, and some samples and examples of WSDM that I can have a refreshed on over the weekend. I found this excellent page on IBM Developerworks.

Written by Dan Jemiolo, an advisory software engineer at IBM, it looks like a great place to start. If you are involved with more than one systems platform, have systems from multiple vendors including IBM and Cisco it might well be worth taking a look at this and installing the samples and creating a WSDM server interface for an HTTP server with Apache Muse.

Let me know how you get on, or if you have any comments.

ps. Tomorows drive and talk is with an account team on how their customer can exploit the IBM Dynamic Infrastructure for mySAP and their System p servers.

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About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I'm an information technology optimist.


I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

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