Distributed Management Task Force

Distributed Management
Task Force (DMTF)
Abbreviation DMTF
Formation 1992
Type Standards Development Organization

Developing management standards and promoting

interoperability for enterprise and Internet environments
Broadcom Inc., CA Technologies, Dell Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hitachi, Ltd., HP Inc., Intel Corporation, Lenovo, NetApp, Software AG, Vertiv and VMware
Website www.dmtf.org

The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) is a computer software trade group which works to simplify the manageability of network-accessible technologies.


The DMTF creates open manageability standards spanning diverse emerging and traditional IT infrastructures including cloud, virtualization, network, servers and storage. Member companies and alliance partners worldwide collaborate on standards to improve the interoperable management of information technologies.

The DMTF board of directors is led by technology companies including: Broadcom Inc., CA Technologies, Dell Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hitachi, Ltd., HP Inc., Intel Corporation, Lenovo, NetApp, Software AG, Vertiv and VMware.[1]


DMTF standards include:

  • Cloud Infrastructure Management Interface (CIMI)  a self-service interface for infrastructure clouds, allowing users to dynamically provision, configure and administer their cloud usage with a high-level interface that greatly simplifies cloud systems management. The specification standardizes interactions between cloud environments to achieve interoperable cloud infrastructure management between service providers and their consumers and developers, enabling users to manage their cloud infrastructure use easily and without complexity.
  • Common Information Model (CIM)  the CIM schema is a conceptual schema that defines how the managed elements in an IT environment (for instance computers or storage area networks) are represented as a common set of objects and relationships between them. CIM is extensible in order to allow product specific extensions to the common definition of these managed elements. CIM uses a model based upon UML to define the CIM Schema. CIM is the basis for most of the other DMTF standards.
  • Common Diagnostic Model (CDM)  the CDM schema is a part of the CIM schema that defines how system diagnostics should be incorporated into the management infrastructure.
  • Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM)  defines protocols for the interaction between systems management infrastructure components implementing CIM, a concept of DMTF management profiles, that allows defining the behavior of the elements defined in the CIM schema, the CIM Query Language (CQL) and other specifications needed for the interoperability of CIM infrastructure.
  • Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware (SMASH)  a DMTF Management Initiative that include management profiles for server hardware management. SMASH 2.0 allows for either WS-Management or SM-CLP (a command line protocol for interacting with CIM infrastructure). SM-CLP was adopted as an International Standard in August 2011 by the Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC 1) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).[2]
  • System Management BIOS (SMBIOS)  defines how the BIOS interface of x86 architecture systems is represented in CIM (and DMI).
  • Alert Standard Format (ASF)  defines remote control and alerting interfaces for OS-absent environments (for instance a system board controller of a PC).
  • Desktop Management Interface (DMI)  the first desktop management standard. Due to the rapid advancement of DMTF technologies, such as CIM, the DMTF defined an "end of life" process for DMI, which ended March 31, 2005.
  • Redfish[3]  DMTF's Redfish API is an open industry standard specification and schema designed to meet the expectations of end users for simple, modern and secure management of scalable platform hardware. Created by the Redfish Forum (formerly the Scalable Platforms Management Forum, SPMF), Redfish specifies a RESTful interface and utilizes JSON and OData to help customers integrate solutions within their existing tool chains.
  • Web Services Management (WS-MAN)  The DMTF’s Web Services Management (WS-Man) provides interoperability between management applications and managed resources, and identifies a core set of web service specifications and usage requirements that expose a common set of operations central to all systems management.A SOAP-based protocol for managing computer systems (e.g., personal computers, workstations, servers, smart devices), WS-Man supports web services and helps constellations of computer systems and network-based services collaborate seamlessly.
  • Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH)  a management standard based on DMTF Web Services for Management (WS-Management), for desktop and mobile client systems. WS-Management was adopted as an international standard by ISO/IEC in 2013.[4]
  • Configuration Management Database Federation (CMDBf)  facilitates the sharing of information between configuration management databases (CMDBs) and other management data repositories (MDRs). The CMDBf standard enables organizations to federate and access information from complex, multi-vendor infrastructures, simplifying the process of managing related configuration data stored in multiple CMDBs and MDRs.
  • The Cloud Auditing Data Federation (CADF)  The Cloud Auditing Data Federation (CADF) standard defines a full event model anyone can use to fill in the essential data needed to certify, self-manage and self-audit application security in cloud environments. CADF is an open standard that addresses this need by enabling cross-vendor information sharing via its data format and interface definitions.
  • Platform Management Components Intercommunication (PMCI)  a suite of specifications defining a common architecture for intercommunication among management subsystem components. This suite includes MCTP, PLDM and NC-SI specifications. The Platform Management standard was adopted as a national standard by ANSI in 2013.[4]
  • Virtualization Management Initiative (VMAN)  a suite of specifications based on DMTF’s CIM that helps IT managers: Deploy virtual computer systems, Discover/inventory virtual computer systems, Manage lifecycle of virtual computer systems, Create/modify/delete virtual resources and Monitor virtual systems for health and performance. VMAN was adopted as a National Standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) in June 2012.[5]
  • The Network Management Initiative (NETMAN)  addresses today’s complex data center and network environments. The initiative will lead the industry toward the unification of network management across traditional, cloud and software defined data center (SDDC) environments with the development of integrated standards to address physical, virtual, application-centric and software defined networks. While cloud, virtualization and software defined networking have eased the use of network functions for consumers, the challenges of deploying and managing the network supporting these infrastructures have magnified. Addressing the current complexity and abstraction, DMTF’s NETMAN will provide the necessary standards-based management models and interfaces to enable consistent, unified and automated provisioning, deployment, configuration, and monitoring of network environments. To learn more click here.

Within the VMAN initiative, there are several specifications and profiles:

CIM related standards are also developed outside of the DMTF. Some examples are:

CIM and WBEM are supported by a large number of products and open source projects.

Incubators and work groups

  • Open Cloud Standards Incubator.[7] The Open Cloud Standards Incubator was a DMTF group focused on standards for facilitating management interoperability between private clouds within enterprises and between private, public and hybrid clouds. Initial priorities include cloud resource management protocols, packaging formats and security mechanisms to help enable interoperability. The group developed a set of documents. The group completed its chartered deliverables in August 2010.[8] DMTF's cloud standards development work is now being handled by the Cloud Management Workgroup,[9] the Cloud Auditing Data Federation Workgroup[10] and the System Virtualization, Partitioning, and Clustering Work Group.[11]
  • Software Entitlement Working Group (SEWG).[12] The Software Entitlement Working Group is working to develop white papers which focus on challenges to enabling the industry to manage licensed software products and product use. The SEWG employs key leaders in the IT management space, and also has representation from end user organizations such as JP Morgan Chase. The group developed a whitepaper titled "Software Identification and Entitlement Usage Metrics",[13] completed in 2012. This white paper describes a representative set of use cases for cloud, data center, virtualization, and on-premises needs. It also provides recommendations on technology standards to consider to sufficiently identify licensed software products, and to trace and gather the use of the software and other entitlement usage metrics across the span of deployments.


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