Modeling’s The Next Big Project on W3C Runway

IBM , HP , Microsoft  and several other top technology vendors are hoping the
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) will develop a new standard specification
for describing computer services in XML.


The vendors said the W3C has acknowledged the Service
Modeling Language (SML), which uses XML  to describe how
computer networks, applications, servers, storage and other IT resources be
modeled, as a candidate for a new standard.

If the spec becomes a standard, it would help eradicate a major stumbling
block to creating XML-based services that can be used in environments where
products from multiple vendors are employed.


SML, which embodies the spirit of service-oriented architecture (SOA)
 distributed computing, will help corporations craft
service models at a time when systems topologies are becoming increasingly
convoluted.


SML
eliminates the problem of numerous methods representing the same IT resource
and automates service models to reduce hand-coding and other manual labor
tasks, according to Ric Telford, vice president of Autonomic Computing for
IBM.


Traditional programming models require custom descriptions of every service,
with different formats requiring a translation process. This is an
inefficiency that can lead to the misinterpretation of technical details.


SML is designed to come to the rescue.


“You can create models of Windows or Linux operating systems, HP servers or
IBM storage devices from the base models to drive your IT operations,”
Telford said.

Telford also said users can use SML to compare the current state of a server
to the desired state of a server. Users can bridge the gap by making changes
in the IT environment, a benefit that can also ensure compliance at a time
when regulations call for more control of data in a computer system.


William Vambenepe, a distinguished technologist for HP Software, said SML
ensures high levels of regularity within a system.


“You want to specify desired state at a relatively high level,” Vambenepe
said. “You want to say ‘I want a server that supports 5,000 people’; you
don’t to specify every single knob that has to be turned for that to happen.
SML lets you specify the desired state.”


Vambenepe said that now that the W3C has accepted SML as a proposal, the
standards body will form a working group around it and work on it until it
can be recommended as a standard. That timeline can take anywhere from six
months to two years.


Additional backers of SML include BEA Systems , BMC
Software , CA , Cisco Systems , Dell , EMC , Intel , and Sun Microsystems .

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