Protocol Smash technology barriers

An emerging protocol for managing servers, Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware (Smash), was introduced at...

An emerging protocol for managing servers, Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware (Smash), was introduced at Enterprise Management World.

Smash is a proposed command-line protocol backed by Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) and major server suppliers, and is built on to DMTF's Common Information Model.

The protocol, which first emerged in December, performs a variety of functions, including using a common language for technologies and processes related to server operations. For example, some server manufacturers refer to their hardware as a CPU while others call it a processor. Smash can be used to develop a set of agreed terms, DMTF officials said.

It can also be used to set up a common interface for working with remote servers in branch offices and other locations, where IT personnel may not be present and network commands have to be used. Smash also enables remote capabilities to power on or off a server connected to a network.

Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Dell all demonstrated current versions of the protocol for visitors at the conference, which is sponsored by the DMTF and Computerworld.

James Nawa, manager of IT infrastructure at Carpenter Technology, said the protocol is needed at his company's 30 global locations - where sometimes the only person available to turn a server on or off is a secretary or a sales manager. "We have a need for it," he said.

Winston Bumpus, president of the DMTF, said the supplier community is "firmly behind" Smash, meaning he expects it to be widely implemented. It will be especially important to IT managers as emerging technologies such as grid and utility computing are implemented.

John Humphreys, an analyst for enterprise computing at IDC, said users will be able to use Smash to write scripts to provide basic functions across technology from different suppliers. "It's a great thing for distributed computing," he said.

Lee Johns, director of software for the global business unit at HP, also predicted rapid adoption of Smash.

A DMTF spokeswoman said the protocol is expected to be ratified within a year.

Matt Hamblen writes for Computerworld

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