Solaris WBEM Services Administrator's Guide

Chapter 1 Overview

This chapter provides an overview of Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) and Solaris WBEM Services, software that makes it easier for software developers to create management applications that run on Solaris and make the Solaris operating environment easier to manage.

This chapter covers the following topics.

About WBEM

Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) is an industry-wide initiative that includes standards for web-based management of systems, networks, and devices on multiple platforms. This standardization enables system administrators to manage desktops, devices, and networks.

WBEM is designed to be compatible with all major existing management protocols, including Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Distributed Management Interface (DMI), and Common Management Information Protocol (CMIP).

WBEM encompasses the following standards:

The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), a group representing corporations in the computer and telecommunications industries, is leading the effort to develop management standards. The goal of the DMTF is to develop an integrated approach to managing networks across platforms and protocols, resulting in cost-effective products that interoperate as flawlessly as possible. For information about DMTF initiatives and outcomes, see the DMTF web site at

About the Common Information Model

This section provides a brief introduction to basic CIM terms and concepts as they are used in the Solaris WBEM Services product. For more information on CIM, see Appendix A, Common Information Model (CIM) Terms and Concepts.

CIM is an object-oriented information model for describing managed resources such as disks, CPUs, and operating systems. A CIM object is a representation, or model, of a managed resource, such as a printer, disk drive, or CPU. CIM objects can be shared by any WBEM-enabled system, device, or application.

Basic CIM Elements

CIM objects with similar properties and purposes are represented as CIM classes. Properties are attributes that describe a unit of data for a class. An instance is a representation of a managed object that belongs to a particular class. Instances contain actual data. For example, Solaris_ComputerSystem is a CIM class that represents a computer running the Solaris operating environment. The Solaris software running your workstation is an instance of the Solaris_OperatingSystem class. ResetCapability and InstallDate are examples of properties of the Solaris_ComputerSystem class.

CIM classes are grouped into meaningful collections called schemas. A schema is a group of classes with a single owner. A class must belong to only one schema. Schemas are used for administration and class naming. All class names must be unique within a particular schema. The schema name is the determining factor in differentiating classes and properties from others that may have the same name. The naming of schema, class, and property follow this syntax:


The CIM Models

The Common Information Model categorizes information from general to specific. Specific information, such as a representation of the Solaris environment, extends the model. CIM consists of the following three layers of information:

Collectively, the Core Model and the Common Model are referred to as the CIM Schema.

The Core Model

The Core Model provides the underlying, general assumptions of the managed environment--for example, that specific, requested data must be contained in a location and distributed to requesting applications or users. These assumptions are conveyed as a set of classes and associations that conceptually form the basis of the managed environment. The Core Model is meant to introduce uniformity across schemas intended to represent specific aspects of the managed environment.

For applications developers, the Core Model provides a set of classes, associations, and properties that can be used as a starting point to describe managed systems and determine how to extend the Common Model. The Core Model establishes a conceptual framework for modeling the rest of the managed environment.

The Core Model provides classes and associations to extend specific information about systems, applications, networks, devices, and other network features through the Common Model and extensions.

The Common Model

Areas of network management depicted in the Common Model are independent of a specific technology or implementation but provide the basis for the development of management applications. This model provides a set of base classes for extension into the area of five designated technology-specific schemas: Systems, Devices, Applications, Networks, and Physical.

CIM Extensions

Extension schemas are built upon CIM to connect specific technologies to the model. By extending CIM, a specific operating environment such as Solaris can be made available to a greater number of users and administrators. Extension schemas provide classes for software developers to build applications that manage and administer the extended technology. The Solaris Schema is an extension of the CIM Schema.

Solaris WBEM Services

Solaris WBEM Services software provides Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) services on the Solaris operating environment. These services make it easier for software developers to create management applications that run in the Solaris operating environment, and makes the Solaris operating environment easier to manage.

Solaris WBEM Services software provides secure access and manipulation of management data. The product includes a built-in Solaris provider that allows management applications to access information about managed resources (devices and software) in the Solaris operating environment.

The CIM Object Manager accepts connections from management applications using either RMI or XML/HTTP protocols, and provides the following services to connected clients:

Once connected to a WBEM-enabled system, WBEM clients can request WBEM operations, such as, creating, viewing, and deleting CIM classes and instances, querying for properties that have a specified value, enumerating (getting a list of) instances or classes in a specified class hierarchy.

Software Components

Solaris WBEM Services software consists of software components that function at three layers: Application, Management, and Provider. These components interact with the operating system and hardware layers. Figure 1-1 shows the software components and their interaction at each layer.

Figure 1-1 Solaris WBEM Services Architecture



One or more schemas can be stored in directory-like structures called namespaces. A CIM namespace is a directory-like structure that can contain other namespaces, classes, instances, and qualifier types. The names of objects within a namespace must be unique.

In Solaris WBEM Services, when WBEM client application connects to a particular namespace, all subsequent operations occur within that namespace. When connected to a namespace, the client can access the classes and instances in that namespace (if they exist) and in any namespaces contained in that namespace. For example, if you create a namespace called child in the root\cimv2 namespace, you could connect to root\cimv2 and access the classes and instances in the root\cimv2 and root\cimv2\child namespaces.

An application can connect to a namespace within a namespace. This is similar to changing to a subdirectory within a directory. Once the application connects to the new namespace, all subsequent operations occur within that namespace. If you open a new connection to root\cimv2\child, you can access any classes and instances in that namespace but cannot access the classes and instances in the parent namespace, root\cimv2.

Three namespaces are created by default during installation:


When a WBEM client application accesses CIM data, the WBEM system validates the user's login information on the current host. By default, a user is granted read access to the CIM and Solaris Schema. The CIM Schema describes managed objects on your system in a standard format that all WBEM-enabled systems and applications can interpret.

Providers are classes that communicate with managed objects to access data. Providers forward this information to the CIM Object Manager for integration and interpretation. When the CIM Object Manager receives a request from a management application for data that is not available from the CIM Object Manager Repository, it forwards the request to a provider.

The CIM Object Manager uses object provider APIs to communicate with providers. When an application requests dynamic data from the CIM Object Manager, the CIM Object Manager uses the provider interfaces to pass the request to the provider.

Providers perform the following functions in response to a request from the CIM Object Manager:

Interoperability with Other WBEM Systems

A WBEM client and WBEM system can run on the same system or on different systems. Multiple WBEM clients can establish connections to the same WBEM system. A typical WBEM system can serve four or five WBEM clients.

Solaris WBEM Services supports the Version 1.0 Specification for CIM Operations over HTTP. This specification uses XML to model CIM objects and messages. XML is a standard markup language for describing data on the Web. This standard extends XML markup to define CIM objects and operations. Because XML provides a standard way of describing data that can be sent across the Web, any WBEM client can access CIM data on any WBEM system that can parse XML data.

Sun WBEM Software Development Kit

The Sun WBEM Software Development Kit (SDK) contains the components required to write management applications that can communicate with any WBEM-enabled management device. Developers can also use this tool kit to write providers, programs that communicate with managed objects to access data. All management applications developed using the Sun WBEM SDK run on the Java platform.

A WBEM client application is a program that uses Sun WBEM SDK APIs to manipulate CIM objects. A client application typically uses the CIM API to construct an object (for example, a namespace, class, or instance) and then initialize that object. The application then uses the Client APIs to pass the object to the CIM Object Manager and request a WBEM operation, such as creating a CIM namespace, class, or instance.

The Sun WBEM SDK installs and runs in any Java environment. It may be used as a standalone application or with Solaris WBEM Services. The Sun WBEM SDK is available for download from