It has been busy here in Microsoft since the July annoucement of the Services Modeling Language (SML) Specification. There have been meetings with the SML Workgroup communities to create, [SDM and] SML communications to send, and SML blog updates to post.

I guess this is what a career mentor meant about having "good trouble".

On this topic of communications: an important Microsoft SML platform document became available in mid-July. This document, titled "Understanding System Definition Model (SDM) and its Practical Application in 2006 to 2008" is an detailed overview / primer / roadmap into Microsoft's plans for integrating SML modeling into Microsoft's products, with recommendations for IT software architects, IT solutions integrators, and IT operations managers.

A little history on Microsoft's DSI modeling white papers: A Microsoft SDM white paper was published on the portal which provided an overview of Microsoft's plans to establish, use, and promote model-based management for IT systems, services, and operations. This SDM white paper was updated during calendar year 2005 for the Visual Studio 2005 SDM Software Developers Kit (SDK) release.

For the new [SDM] SML platform paper, a substantial effort was made to interview a selection of the Microsoft SML development team, including Microsoft SML meta-model and common model architects, developers, product managers, and program managers. The paper was polished during June, and published in July ... just prior to the July 31 SML Specification announcement.

What's different in the new SML platform white paper is the presentation of Microsoft's SML contributions in the context of "three DSI waves" -- some extracts from the new paper on these DSI waves appear below:

  • DSI Wave 1: SDM SDK in Visual Studio 2005:
    Visual Studio 2005 Team System uses SDM v1, as the basis for a design time validation tool.
  • DSI Wave 2: SML Modeling for System Center Products, and Windows “Longhorn” Server (Server Manager)
    Systems Center Operation Manager (note from Mark: I'm still calling this MOM...) Management Packs already include the concept of service and health modeling. Over the next several years, these underlying models will migrate to using SML, starting with the service model.
    Using a standards-based SML configuration model, the next version of System Management Server introduces the concept of desired configuration management. Example: A particular configuration may be considered healthy provided key settings are consistently within a given range of values. Using SML it will be possible to define configurations in this way. SMS will be able to use this to compare the configuration information it collects against the SML model it creates for a desired application or service configuration. 
    In Windows Server “Longhorn”, SML will be used for the new Server Manager console.
  • DSI Wave 3: SML as a Windows Service, and as a General Purpose Configuration Management Database
    The major architectural step to take: add persistence to the runtime model. With the implementation of SML as a general purpose service, in addition to being a service for a local Windows server, the SML Store also becomes the basis for a general purpose configuration management database (CMDB).

The new SML paper is available here:
So - what's next for Microsoft SML integration?

  • As is cited in the new SML platform white paper:
    Microsoft has implemented a strict set of requirement on its own product teams in the form of the Windows Server System Engineered Common Engineering Criteria (CEC). This includes a set of DSI-related manageability requirements for all new Microsoft server products, setting an example to others by ensuring its own product teams are at the forefront of this new way of thinking.

New [SDM] SML Platform White Paper:

Previous SDM White Paper: