News Column

Patent Issued for Accretion of Inter-Namespace Instances in Multi-Tenant CIMOM Environment

May 20, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Hass, Jon R. (Austin, TX); Dasari, Radhakrishna Reddy (Round Rock, TX); Jimenez, Javier L. (Austin, TX); Papanyan, Khachatur (Austin, TX); Yin, Jianwen (Round Rock, TX), filed on August 22, 2006, was published online on May 6, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8719768, is Dell Products L.P. (Round Rock, TX).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates in general to the field of information handling systems and more specifically, to systems management.

"As the value and use of information continues to increase, individuals and businesses seek additional ways to process and store information. One option available to users is information handling systems. An information handling system generally processes, compiles, stores, and/or communicates information or data for business, personal, or other purposes thereby allowing users to take advantage of the value of the information. Because technology and information handling needs and requirements vary between different users or applications, information handling systems may also vary regarding what information is handled, how the information is handled, how much information is processed, stored, or communicated, and how quickly and efficiently the information may be processed, stored, or communicated. The variations in information handling systems allow for information handling systems to be general or configured for a specific user or specific use such as financial transaction processing, airline reservations, enterprise data storage, or global communications. In addition, information handling systems may include a variety of hardware and software components that may be configured to process, store, and communicate information and may include one or more computer systems, data storage systems, and networking systems.

"Information handling systems continue to grow in power, capabilities and variety, and with the advent of the Internet, they have also become more numerous and more distributed. As a result, their management has become increasingly complex, in part due to the growing heterogeneity of the elements that comprise them and the diversity of their associated management environments. In response, the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) has developed frameworks that facilitate the interoperable exchange of management information between managed elements and corresponding management systems. One of these frameworks is the Common Information Model (CIM), which provides a consistent definition and structure of management information through the use of object-oriented techniques. As a conceptual information model, the CIM is structured such that managed environments can be viewed as collections of interrelated systems, each of which is comprised of a number of discrete elements.

"The CIM, comprised of a specification and a schema, allows management-related information about these elements to be transparently exchanged between management systems. The specification describes an object-oriented meta model based on the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and defines how the CIM can be integrated with other management models. These include, but are not limited to, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) Management Information Base (MIB) or DMTF Management Information Format (MIF). The CIM schema currently defines thousands of classes with properties, methods and associations that represent component elements such as, but not limited to, processors, firmware, sensors and fans, as a common set of managed objects. The CIM schema also allows for the definition of namespaces, a directory-like structure that allows classes to be organized in a more hierarchical structure. Classes within these namespaces are served by data providers, which communicate with managed objects to access data and event notifications. These providers typically implement profiles that define the CIM model and associated behavior for a management domain comprising one or more namespaces within a CIM Object Manager (CIMOM). While this architecture facilitates the tracking and depiction of interdependencies and associations between managed objects, multi-provider implementations pose challenges for CIM management clients that consume interrelated data from multiple namespaces.

"For example, a CIM client is currently required to traverse though all registered profiles to determine which profiles have been implemented in each namespace and then enumerate and keep track of their associations. In addition, the client also needs to determine which central CIM class instances are associated with each of the profiles in each namespace, and then integrate all associated namespace data into a consolidated data structure representing the managed system. This approach can result in inconsistencies in data populated across different CIM-based client management applications, leading to interoperability, data integrity and manageability issues. The situation is further complicated when an overlap of CIM data exists in different namespaces. As an example, suppose provider `A` implements classes 1', `2` and `3` in namespace `A`. Provider `B` implements classes `3`, `4` and `5` in namespace `B`. Requests for instances of classes `1` and `2` are routed to namespace `A` and are returned by provider `A`. Likewise, requests for instances of classes `4` and `5` are routed to namespace `B` and returned by provider `B`. However, returned instances of requests for class `3` may contain duplicates as it exists in both namespace `A` and `B`. Current approaches to this issue include the implementation of centralized CIM object repositories. Other approaches provide uniformly rendered results regardless of the source of the information, but require the CIM client to have foreknowledge of the namespace in which the information resides. Furthermore, none of these address multi-provider CIMOM implementations that comprise multiple namespaces, nor do they address the issue of CIM clients consuming interrelated CIM data from such a CIMOM. In view of the foregoing, there is a need for identifying duplicate class instances when they exist in two or more namespaces and based on predetermined criteria, selecting only the unique set of class instances to be returned."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In accordance with the present invention, a system and method is disclosed for identifying duplicate or similar class instances existing in two or more Common Information Model (CIM) namespaces, accreting them, and thereafter returning a set of class instances and their associated information based on predetermined criteria. In different embodiments, an abstraction layer is implemented to provide a consolidation namespace operable to aggregate CIM instance data from two or more namespaces into a single namespace. In an embodiment of the invention, an interop namespace is implemented to define and extend CIM classes by adding a 'ConsolidationSourceNamespace,' which comprises namespace instances consolidated by the consolidation namespace. As a result, a CIM client management application can access and search the consolidation namespace for all CIM class instances instead of iteratively browsing individual namespaces, thereby minimizing processing for the client.

"In an embodiment of the invention, a consolidation provider comprises a consolidation instance provider and a consolidation provider client. The consolidation provider client queries CIM namespaces to collect CIM class instance information, which it provides to the consolidation instance provider. In turn, the consolidation instance provider enumerates instances of CIM namespaces, which are consolidated in the interop namespace, and similarly enumerates class instance data, which is consolidated in the consolidation namespace. In an embodiment of the invention, the consolidation provider is implemented such that it is operable to execute actions received from a CIM Object Manager (CIMOM) and provide results back to the CIMOM. In this and other embodiments of the invention, information is exchanged between the consolidation namespace and other namespaces administered by the CIMOM by, but not limited to, loading libraries, command line interface (CLI), and data files for static information.

"In an embodiment of the invention, a CIM Class Data Source Configuration (CCDSC) file comprises an algorithm implemented to determine Get operations for CIM management client enumeration requests. In one embodiment of the invention, all CIM class instances from all CIM namespaces are enumerated and returned. In another embodiment of the invention, CIM class instances are enumerated and returned based on predetermined prioritization of CIM namespaces. For example, a class instance of a network port fan from a first hardware vendor in a first namespace may take priority over a class instance of a network port fan from a second hardware vendor in a second namespace. In this embodiment of the invention, if enumeration fails for a namespace, the namespace with the next level of priority is accessed for enumeration. In another embodiment of the invention, CIM class instances are enumerated and returned after duplicate instances are removed based on key value comparison and priority of namespaces. Those of skill in the art will understand that many such embodiments and variations of the invention are possible, including but not limited to those described hereinabove, which are by no means all inclusive."

For more information, see this patent: Hass, Jon R.; Dasari, Radhakrishna Reddy; Jimenez, Javier L.; Papanyan, Khachatur; Yin, Jianwen. Accretion of Inter-Namespace Instances in Multi-Tenant CIMOM Environment. U.S. Patent Number 8719768, filed August 22, 2006, and published online on May 6, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Dell Products L.P., Information Technology, Information and Data Storage.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly

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