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February 6, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

The 40 member OSI/Network Management Forum, led by AT&T Co and British Telecommunications Plc, is to release details of its first OSI/NM Forum Protocol Specification in a few days’ time. Formed back in July last year to extend the umbrella of the Open Systems Interconnection model to network management (CI No 981), the organisation says full agreement has been reached on the protocol among voting members. The body, which says it seeks to accelerate the use of Open Systems standards for network management, claims this first document is the first step in marrying the Common Management Information Protocol and the Common Information Services Protocol and that the document will be based entirely on standards that accord with the Open Systems Interconnection model. The document is intended to provide the detail needed for different network management systems to exchange information, providing a communications infrastructure in an attempt to allow multi-vendor systems to work together. The forum was set up by eight companies in July, 1988 and the founders have contributed most of the work; voting members each contribute the equivalent of three years of work, with one management and two technical resources. It aims for interoperation of various network management systems, based on the Common Management Information services protocol and the applications level of the seven layer model. Apart from agreement on the Common Management Information Protocol, greatest progress has been made in the areas of wide area networks and servicing; the two protocols have been used on a subset of lower Open Systems layers. The Forum is still to agree on object definitions – defining just what entities are being or capable of being centrally managed within networks. As for the future, members are looking at messaging networks as the basis for accounting management, securities and performance agreements. There are also plans to demonstrate a network management system in the summer of 1990, with a spokesman saying the Forum is intent on coming up with products not just capabilities. The 13 voting members are Amdahl Corp, AT&T Co, British Telecommunications Plc, Digital Communications Associates Inc, GEC Plessey Telecommunicatiomns Ltd, Hewlett-Packard Co, MCI Communications, Microtel Ltd, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, Northern Telecom Inc, STC Plc, Telecom Canada and Unisys Networks Inc. The Forum does not prevent members proceeding with their own work with outside parties.

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