Solaris WBEM Services Administration Guide

Chapter 1 WBEM and Solaris WBEM Services (Overview)

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

Here is a list of the information in this chapter.

About 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.

At this time, WBEM is designed to be compatible with the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).

WBEM encompasses the following standards:

The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), a group that represents 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, and consequently promote cost-effective products that interoperate as flawlessly as possible.

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. A complete glossary of CIM terms and concepts is provided at http://www.dmtf.org/education/cimtutorial/reference/glossary.php.

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 that runs the Solaris operating environment. The Solaris software that runs on your system 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 (an organization). 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:

Schemaname_classname.propertyname

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 called the CIM Schema.

Core Model

The Core Model provides the underlying, general assumptions of the managed environment. For example, 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 that represent specific aspects of the managed environment.

For application 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.

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, that is, 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 WBEM services in the Solaris operating environment, including secure access and manipulation of management data. The product includes a Solaris provider that enables 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 that use either the Remote Method Invocation (RMI) protocol or the XML/HTTP protocol, 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, and enumerating (getting a list of) instances or classes in a specified class hierarchy.

Software Components

Solaris WBEM Services software consists of three software components: Application, Management, and Provider. These components interact with the operating system and hardware. The following figure shows the software components and how they interact.

Figure 1–1 Solaris WBEM Services Architecture

Diagram shows the interaction between components of the Application, Management, and Provider layers of the WBEM services architecture.

Namespaces

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 a 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.

The following namespaces are created by default during installation.

Providers

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 Schema and the 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. For example, a WBEM system can serve four or five WBEM clients.

Solaris WBEM Services supports the Version 1.1 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.

Solaris WBEM Software Developer's Kit

The Solaris WBEM Software Developer's Kit (SDK) contains the components required to write management applications that can communicate with any WBEM-enabled management device. Developers can also use this SDK to write providers, which are programs that communicate with managed objects to access data. All management applications developed using the Solaris WBEM SDK run in the Java environment.

A WBEM client application is a program that uses Solaris WBEM 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 to initialize that object. The application then uses the client APIs to pass that object to the CIM Object Manager and to request a WBEM operation, such as operations that create a CIM namespace, class, or instance.

The Solaris WBEM SDK installs and runs in the Java environment. You can use the Solaris WBEM SDK as a standalone application or with Solaris WBEM Services.

The Solaris WBEM SDK is described in the Solaris WBEM SDK Developer's Guide.