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Service-based Systems Management:
Using CORBA as a Middleware for Intelligent Agents

Munich Network Management Team
- Alexander Keller[*]
Department of Computer Science, University of Munich
Oettingenstr. 67, 80538 Munich, Germany
Phone: ++49-89-2178-2167
Fax: ++49-89-2178-2262

Proceedings of the IFIP/IEEE International Workshop on Distributed Systems: Operations & Management, L'Aquila, Italy, October 1996


Management of large, heterogeneous information technology infrastructures is only possible if integrated management solutions are applied. In the near future, providers of such distributed environments will have not only the choice between the well-known OSI/TMN- and Internet management frameworks but also have to consider a third alternative: The Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) which is gaining increasing importance in the field of network and systems management. This paper analyses the suitability of CORBA for integrated systems management and presents an approach for defining management functionality in terms of services accessible across heterogeneous environments. The set of management services represents a kind of middleware for systems management purposes; its existence is a prerequesite for the delegation of functionality from managing systems to managed systems. This delegation can occur either at the compile time of a management agent or during its runtime. Agents of the latter kind are termed intelligent agents in the context of this paper because their management functionality can dynamically be assigned or withdrawn. While the technical aspects of Management by Delegation are clarified, there is currently a lack of understanding how the functionality is made available for delegation. The paper presents a methodology for defining and implementing delegetable management services in CORBA environments as a base for intelligent agents.

Keywords: CORBA, Distributed Objects, Distributed Systems Management, Middleware, Service-based Management

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