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Insight Management Agents

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Introducing HP Insight Management Agents for OpenVMS

Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) is an architecture that allows you to use a web browser to monitor many devices that are connected to a network. Devices can be computer systems, networked printers, or network components such as routers.

WBEM Architecture

Older architectures use a two-tiered approach to network management : a management console and a managed device. WBEM uses a three-tiered architecture that includes:

  • Devices managed by web agents
  • A management server
  • A web browser
Figure 1 illustrates the WBEM architecture.

Figure 1 - WBEM Architecture

As shown in Figure 1, a web browser user interface allows users to communicate with a management server or with managed devices over an intranet. In addition to communicating with the web browser and managed devices, the management server also facilitates web access to Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) or Desktop Management Interface (DMI) elements managed, respectively, by SNMP or DMI agents. Thus, the management server provides a single reference point for data from all devices connected to a computer system, using its connection with the web browser to display device data to the user. WBEM$SERVER is the name of the the management server provided with the Management Agents for OpenVMS.

Web agents use SNMP and TCP/IP to allow management servers running on various platforms, including OpenVMS, Windows NT, and Tru64 UNIX, to communicate with manageable components and peripheral devices. Web agents use common web-enabling components to provide registration, discovery, HTTP communications, and a home page for the managed devices. Web agents can send information directly to the management server to be relayed to the browser, or they can create an HTML file to communicate directly with a browser. The Management Agents for OpenVMS provides web agents for system, storage, and network components.

Systems Insight Manager

Systems Insight Manager, an example of a management server, is a web-based interface that allows you to:

  • Look across a heterogeneous computing services environment
  • Access information about devices connected to the network
Using Systems Insight Manager, you can obtain information about the configuration of systems and their components or peripherals.

To participate in WBEM, Systems Insight Manager must be able to recognize the operating environment of the managed device. The operating environment must communicate device information to the WBEM network, and also receive and execute instructions sent from managed devices. The operating environments use web agents to communicate information about devices by means of standard communication protocols.

Devices -- and their operating environments -- provide information about hardware and software status using a data model, such as the Common Information Model (CIM) or a Management Information Base (MIB) and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). Consider the data model to be a database of objects (with attributes and values) that represent the manageable components of a device. Systems Insight Manager uses its standard protocol to poll a device for such data, and presents the data to the user in a consistent format.

One feature of Systems Insight Manager is autodiscovery. Any web-enabled Management Agent can discover any other Management Agent on the network. You can also choose to configure a system so that it does not participate in autodiscovery.

Management Agents for OpenVMS

Management Agents for OpenVMS is an example of a Systems Insight Manager web agent and also provides a means of communication between OpenVMS devices and the web browser. The relationship of Systems Insight Manager and the Management Agents for OpenVMS is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 - Architecture of the Management Agents for OpenVMS

As shown in Figure 2, the Management Agents for OpenVMS consists of the following components:

  • A management server, WBEM$SERVER
  • Web-enabled SNMP subagents, which support industry-standard MIBs
  • Two additional management agents:
    • DCL SHOW commands, which display information about the current status of the system and its users
    • GSView, which finds GS Series Alpha servers on the network
Together, these components communicate with managed devices on an OpenVMS system and with Systems Insight Manager. Management Agents can also use HTTP to communicate directly with a web browser.

In the future, an API will be published for applications developers to write applications to communicate with web agents.

Software Kit

This release of the Management Agents for OpenVMS is a POLYCENTER Software Installation Utility kit that contains the following software:

  • System management web server
  • Several SNMP subagents that monitor the OpenVMS environment
  • Command procedures to enable and disable data collection

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