Discovering Systems that can be Managed with OpenLMI

One of the challenges of remote system management is knowing what systems you are managing and what the supported capabilities of each system are. The brute force way to do this is to keep a list of systems – a labor intensive and error prone approach! Or, you could ask all systems to identify themselves if they have management software installed.

This approach is called discovery and is implemented in OpenLMI using SLP (Service Location Protocol). SLP is s an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards track protocol that provides a framework to allow networking applications to discover the existence, location, and configuration of networked services in enterprise networks.

To use SLP you need to install and configure an SLP Client on all discoverable systems. An SLP Server issues a network broadcast packet asking for specific services. All systems that have that service will respond, including details on the services that they have.

The OpenPegasus CIMOM is integrated with OpenSLP. This means that you can find systems that can be managed by OpenLMI by issuing a command like slptool findsrvs service:wbem. This command will return a list of the servers running OpenLMI and the ports they are using.

You can then either connect to the desired server and perform management operations or you can ask for more information, such as the OpenLMI profiles installed on a specific system.

System discovery is a powerful tool, especially in large environments. More information on using SLP with OpenLMI is available at http://www.openlmi.org/SLPDiscovery.

About Russell Doty

A technology strategist and product manager at Red Hat, working on the next generation of open source systems.
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