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DMTF SM CLP Specification Adopted as ANSI INCITS Standard

DMTF Achieves National Recognition with Newly Approved ANSI Standard

SM CLP Specification Has Been Officially Adopted as an ANSI INCITS Standard — Approval Paves Way to ISO Standardization

Portland, Oregon, USA. April 8, 2008.

The Distributed Management Task Force, Inc. (DMTF), the industry organization leading the development, adoption and promotion of interoperable management standards and initiatives, today announced it has achieved a major technology milestone. Its Server Management Command Line Protocol (SM CLP) specification, a key component of DMTF's Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware (SMASH) initiative, has been approved as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) standard.

DMTF will continue to work with INCITS to submit the new ANSI standard to the International Standards Organization/ International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC 1) for approval as an international standard.

The INCITS Executive Board recently approved the SM CLP standard, which has been designated ANSI INCITS 438-2008. INCITS is accredited by ANSI, the organization that oversees the development of American National Standards by accrediting the procedures of standards-developing organizations, such as INCITS. Accreditation by ANSI signifies that the procedures used by the standards body in connection with the development of American National Standards meet the Institute's essential requirements for openness, balance, consensus and due process.

"The approval of the SM CLP spec as an ANSI INCITS standard is a noteworthy achievement because ANSI is a well-respected organization, and this is third-party validation for our organization's quality work. DMTF is honored to receive this national, and soon global, support," said Winston Bumpus, DMTF president. "The SM CLP spec is just the first of many standards DMTF plans to take on this journey. We are committed to continuing to submit current and upcoming DMTF standards to INCITS and ISO in the future."

"The dedicated, hard work of the DMTF has resulted in a robust standard, and utilizing the effective, streamlined INCITS fast track process means significant benefits for customers and the industry alike," said Lynn Barra, Director of Standards Operations for INCITS. "We look forward to INCITS 438-2008 being submitted to JTC 1 in anticipation of becoming an international standard, and welcome the opportunity to work with the DMTF on future endeavors."

The newly approved ANSI standard was developed through a collaborative effort by DMTF members representing nearly 200 companies.

"During the approval process by INCITS, the SM CLP specification completed a 45-day public review, during which no technical questions were raised," said Winston Bumpus, DMTF president. "Considering that specs submitted to INCITS may receive hundreds and even thousands of comments, this is extraordinarily unusual and a credit to the DMTF team that prepared the specification."

SM CLP (DSP0214) is a part of DMTF's SMASH initiative, which is a suite of specifications that deliver architectural semantics, industry standard protocols and profiles to unify the management of the data center. The SM CLP standard was driven by a market requirement for a common command language to manage a heterogeneous server environment. Platform vendors provide tools and commands in order to perform systems management on their servers. SM CLP unifies management of multi-vendor servers by providing a common command language for key server management tasks. The spec also enables common scripting and automation using a variety of tools.

The SM CLP spec allows management solution vendors to deliver many benefits to IT customers. The spec enables data center administrators to securely manage their heterogeneous server environments using a command line protocol and a common set of commands. SM CLP also enables the development of common scripts to increase data center automation, which can help significantly reduce management costs.

The ANSI INCITS 438-2008 standard can be purchased through the ANSI Web site at and INCITS Web site at

About DMTF

With more than 4,000 active participants representing 44 countries and nearly 200 organizations, the Distributed Management Task Force, Inc. (DMTF) is the industry organization leading the development, adoption and promotion of interoperable management standards and initiatives. DMTF management technologies are critical to enabling management interoperability among multi-vendor systems, tools, and solutions within the enterprise. By deploying solutions that support DMTF standards, IT personnel can choose to deploy a mix of systems and solutions that best meet their users' needs, while reducing management complexity and total cost of ownership. Information about the DMTF technologies and activities can be found at


Nereus for DMTF
Lisa Sherwin and Christy Leung
Tel: +1-503-619-0682

Additional Information

SMASH: The DMTF's Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware (SMASH) initiative is a suite of specifications that deliver architectural semantics, industry standard protocols and profiles to unify the management of the data center. The Server Management (SM) Command Line Protocol (CLP) specification enables simple and intuitive management of heterogeneous servers in the data center independent of machine state, operating system state, server system topology or access method, facilitating local and remote management of server hardware in both Out-of-Service and Out-of-Band management environments. SMASH also includes the SM Managed Element Addressing Specification, SM CLP-to-CIM Mapping Specification, SM CLP Discovery Specification and Server Management Profiles.

DSP0214. Server Management Command Line Protocol (SM CLP) Specification. Document Number: DSP0214. Date: 2007-03-07. Version: 1.0.2. Document Status: Final Standard. 164 pages. Copyright © 2007 Distributed Management Task Force, Inc. (DMTF). DSP0214 was prepared by the Server Management Working Group in accordance with ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2: 'Rules for the structure and drafting of International Standards'. The Server Management Command Line Protocol (SM CLP) Specification specifies a common command line syntax and message protocol semantics for managing computer resources in Internet, enterprise, and service provider environments. Specification excerpt:

Problem Statement: The fundamental problem that is the impetus behind this specification is the growing need to rely on multi-vendor, out-of-band hardware and software management solutions as core components of an interoperable, heterogeneous, enterprise-wide management solution. By extending the DMTF specifications to include a CIM-based command line protocol for managing systems and devices, the DMTF comes closer to realizing its vision of enabling end-to-end, multi-vendor interoperability in management systems.

Principal Goals: The principal goal of this specification is to define a light-weight, human-oriented command line protocol that is also suitable for scripting environments. This includes a direct mapping to a subset of the CIM Schema. The command line protocol specifies the syntax and semantics used to allow the manipulation of the Managed Elements and Associations within servers, as collections or individually.

Solution: The solution proposed in this document is a command line protocol (CLP), which is transmitted and received over a text message-based transport protocol. The CLP is defined as a character-based message protocol and not as an interface, in a fashion similar to Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (RFC 2821). The CLP is a command/response protocol, which means that a text command message is transmitted from the Client over the transport protocol to the Manageability Access Point (MAP). The MAP receives the command and processes it. A text response message is then transmitted from the MAP back to the Client.

The CLP is designed to work over existing character-oriented transports. The specification contains mappings to Telnet and SSHv2, but any transport capable of carrying command/response message data of the type specified herein may be suitable for use as a transport.

The CLP enables internationalization by providing a mechanism for the Client to indicate to the MAP the language desired by the Client. Provided the MAP supports the requested language, output data will be presented to the user with the appropriate translations. This version of the CLP does not support specific internationalization of user account names and passwords because they can be in any specific language. In addition, the CLP input (commands and syntax) is not translated because CLP syntax is itself its own language.

The CLP allows for extensibility through four different mechanisms: verbs, options and option argument terms, command target terms, and target property terms. The conventions contained herein allow for implementers to extend the interface in a non-conflicting mechanism that allows for differentiation and experimentation without encroaching on the standard CLP syntax and semantics...

The CLP supports generating XML output data (Extensible Markup Language, 3rd edition), as well as keyword mode and modes for plain text output. XML was chosen as a supported output format due to its acceptance in the industry, establishment as a standard, and the need for Clients to import data obtained through the CLP into other applications... XML Format: The output format "clpxml" requests the command to format the output in an XML document format. To select "clpxml" format explicitly, implementations shall accept "clpxml" as the value for the format argument to the option option. In "clpxml" output format, the output data is a well-formed XML document. The XML document schema (tags and so on) is defined per command. An outline of the XML document specific to each CLP verb is located in the "XML Output" subclause for that verb in Clause 6. The XML schema defining the Command Response data element is defined using XSD in Server Management Command Line Protocol (SM CLP) Command Response XML Schema v1.0 (DSP 0224). The XML schema is intended to address the requirements of users of the CLP for a simple, parsable schema to represent CLP output. It is not intended as a data exchange format to fully represent a CIM instance or class. If an implementation returns Command Response data as an XML document, the implementation shall ensure that the document default namespace is:

[Press release source]

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See also "DMTF Common Information Model (CIM)."

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