Open Distributed Systems Management

SYSMAN - 7026

Keywords distributed systems architectures, distributed systems, ANSAware, OSI, OSF, distributed systems management

Start Date: 1-OCT-92 / Duration: 36 months

[ contact / participants ]


SYSMAN aims to develop an integrated open architecture for the management of cooperative information processing applications in a heterogeneous distributed environment (ie, "distributed systems"). An integrated set of tools will be developed to support the key aspects of management, and will be demonstrated in industrial applications. In parallel with the project, but not funded by it, commercial products will be developed within the project timescale to provide management functionality for commercial open distributed processing products.

Three major issues converge in this project: Distributed Systems Management (DSM), Open Distributed Processing (ODP), and Configuration Management. These components are well recognised individually, and are already the focus of European collaborative research projects. (The term Distributed Systems Management (DSM) is ambiguous, but is commonly used to describe the management of cooperative information processing applications in a heterogeneous distributed environment.)

SYSMAN will extend the Advanced Network Systems Architecture (ANSA) to support the management of distributed applications in an ODP environment. It will extend the ANSAware implementation to provide integrated services for configuration management, management control, and security management; and also to non-OSI non-ODP systems integration. It will develop a generalised monitoring service for management services, and provide a generic user interface to domains and policies, extending this to individual management applications and automated management agents. Demonstrator applications will address significant market segments to validate the architectural extensions and tool design. By its relationship to the parallel Esprit project IDSM (6311), the project will develop an implementation able to work over the OSF DCE platform and to provide a common human interface for management over ANSAware and the OSF/DME.

The final aim of the project is to produce a package of management tools which, as well as performing their functions, is sufficiently reliable, well-documented and generalised to be commercialised with a minimum of effort.


There are four main avenues for the exploitation of SYSMAN's results:

  1. The involvement of end-users ensures that the results will be put directly to use during the lifetime of the project, in demonstrator projects meeting real business requirements and where the leading edge of SYSMAN technology will be of commercial benefit. All partners have firm plans to apply what is learnt from SYSMAN involvement in their own application areas.
  2. All project partners place a high emphasis on developing maintainable commercial products within the lifetime of the project. Those partners whose core business includes the development, marketing and support of end user products (the "exploiting partners") will be looking to transfer SYSMAN technology into their development programmes at an early stage. Project sponsors will be involved from the beginning of the project, will check that the SYSMAN developments are consistent with their market analysis, and will ensure that SYSMAN results are incorporated into their product life cycles.
  3. The project aims to contribute very strongly to standards-making both through partners' participation in official standards bodies and by their membership of the de facto industry standards groups.
  4. Those SYSMAN partners who are also members of the ISA (2267) consortium (ICL LTD, AEG, AA-E RC) will promote the adoption of SYSMAN results within ANSA and ANSAware. These partners will continue to promote ANSA-based standards through their sponsorship of APM, and of ISA and its successor phases. While the rights of ISA members to products developed from this work are protected, the ISA member agreement will ensure accessibility to SYSMAN results for wide exploitation outside the immediate project members. This process is an essential part of the rationale of the project from the point of view of large users such as BP and Voest-Alpine (the parent company of AA-E RC), who need the insurance of commercially supported products for management of open distributed systems.


Mr Klaus Eckert
AEG/ATM Computer Gmbh
Bücklestr. 1-5
D - 78467 KONSTANZ
tel: + 49 / 7531-807 475
fax: + 49 / 7531-807280



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SYSMAN - 7026, December 1993

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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook