Systems Management: Reference Model
Systems Management: Reference Model
Copyright © 1997 The Open Group


X/Open Guide
Systems Management: Reference Model
X/Open Document Number: G207
ISBN: 1-85912-005-9

©August 1993, The Open Group All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owners.

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The Open Group

The Open Group is the leading vendor-neutral, international consortium for buyers and suppliers of technology. Its mission is to cause the development of a viable global information infrastructure that is ubiquitous, trusted, reliable, and as easy-to-use as the telephone. The essential functionality embedded in this infrastructure is what we term the IT DialTone. The Open Group creates an environment where all elements involved in technology development can cooperate to deliver less costly and more flexible IT solutions.

Formed in 1996 by the merger of the X/Open Company Ltd. (founded in 1984) and the Open Software Foundation (founded in 1988), The Open Group is supported by most of the world's largest user organizations, information systems vendors, and software suppliers. By combining the strengths of open systems specifications and a proven branding scheme with collaborative technology development and advanced research, The Open Group is well positioned to meet its new mission, as well as to assist user organizations, vendors, and suppliers in the development and implementation of products supporting the adoption and proliferation of systems which conform to standard specifications.

With more than 200 member companies, The Open Group helps the IT industry to advance technologically while managing the change caused by innovation. It does this by:

The Open Group operates in all phases of the open systems technology lifecycle including innovation, market adoption, product development, and proliferation. Presently, it focuses on seven strategic areas: open systems application platform development, architecture, distributed systems management, interoperability, distributed computing environment, security, and the information superhighway. The Open Group is also responsible for the management of the UNIX trademark on behalf of the industry.

The Development of Product Standards

This process includes the identification of requirements for open systems and, now, the IT DialTone, development of CAE and Preliminary Specifications through an industry consensus review and adoption procedure (in parallel with formal standards work), and the development of tests and conformance criteria.

This leads to the preparation of a Product Standard which is the name used for the documentation that records the conformance requirements (and other information) to which a vendor may register a product. There are currently two forms of Product Standard, namely the Profile Definition and the Component Definition, although these will eventually be merged into one.

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The Open Group publishes a wide range of technical documentation, the main part of which is focused on specification development and product documentation, but which also includes Guides, Snapshots, Technical Studies, Branding and Testing documentation, industry surveys, and business titles.

There are several types of specification:

In addition, The Open Group publishes:

Versions and Issues of Specifications

As with all live documents, CAE Specifications require revision to align with new developments and associated international standards. To distinguish between revised specifications which are fully backwards compatible and those which are not:


Readers should note that Corrigenda may apply to any publication. Corrigenda information is published on the World-Wide Web at

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This Document

This document is a Guide (see above). It provides an architectural overview of the Systems Management Model, identifies the various components of the model, and describes the ways in which they interact.

The X/Open Systems Management Reference Model employs object-oriented specification techniques. Within the model different components perform various roles necessary to provide a fully functional, interoperable systems management architecture. X/Open has an agreement with the OMG to use OMG-compliant specifications for any work programmes where an object-oriented approach is taken. In addition, the OSI Network Management standards exist and have taken a somewhat different object-oriented approach. This document:

This reference model does not go into detailed consideration of the various components (for instance it does not define which managed objects will exist) but addresses the general properties of components within the model, their means of interaction, and the properties of their interfaces.

Trade Marks

X/Open® is a registered trademark, and the "X" device is a trademark, of X/Open Company Limited.

Referenced Documents

The following documents are referenced in this guide:


CAE Specification, July 1994, The Common Object Request Broker: Architecture and Specification (ISBN: 1-85912-044-X, C432), in conjunction with the Object Management Group (OMG).

ISO/IEC 7498-4

ISO/IEC 7498-4:1989, Information Processing Systems - Open Systems Interconnection - Basic Reference Model - Part 4: Management Framework.

ISO/IEC 9595

ISO/IEC 9595:1991, Information Technology - Open Systems Interconnection - Common Management Information Service Definition.


ISO/IEC 9596-1:1991, Information Technology - Open Systems Interconnection - Common Management Information Protocol, Part 1: Specification.

ISO/IEC 10040

ISO/IEC 10040:1992, Information Technology, Open Systems Interconnection - Systems Management Overview.

ISO/IEC 10164

ISO/IEC 10164:1992, Information Technology - Open Systems Interconnection - Systems Management (Parts 1 to 13 inclusive).

ISO/IEC 10165-1

ISO/IEC 10165-1:1992, Information Technology - Open Systems Interconnection - Structure of Management Information - Part 1: Management Information Model.


ISO/IEC 10165-4:1992, Information Technology - Open Systems Interconnection - Structure of Management Information - Part 4: Guidelines for the Definition of Managed Objects.


Object Management Group Architecture Guide, OMG, Issue 1.0, 1st November 1990.


Object Management Group Object Model.


X/Open Snapshot, 1991 Systems Management: Problem Statement (XO/SNAP/91/010, S110).

RFC 1155

RFC 1155, Structure of Management Information (SMI), M. Rose, & K. McCloghrie.

RFC 1157

RFC 1157, Simple Network management Protocol (SNMP), J. Case, M. Fedor, M. Schoffstall, & J. Davin.

RFC 1442

RFC 1442, Structure on Management Information for version 2 of the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMPv2), J. Case, K. McCloghrie, M. Rose, & S. Waldbusser.

RFC 1448

RFC 1448, Protocol Operations for version 2 of the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMPv2), J. Case, K. McCloghrie, M. Rose, & S.Waldbusser.


Snapshot, May 1992, Systems Management: Identification of Management Services (ISBN: 1-872630-30-8, S190).


X/Open Technical Programme, X/Open, 1993.

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