Management Matters, April 2008

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DMTF Technical Committee Reorganizes

By Jeff Hilland, VP of Technology

DMTF has seen significant growth in its standards efforts during the last several years. While an exciting time to be involved with the organization, this growth has not come without issues. The DMTF membership has voiced concerns on a number of issues facing the Technical Committee (TC) and its working groups. Although previous DMTF processes and procedures served us well, so much new standardization work has been brought into the group that the TC could no longer focus on strategic specification development, and instead had become a tactical body that was micro-managing specification and schema changes. Additionally, the working groups charged with spec development were having so much interaction with each other that it was affecting the time and effort required to get a specification through, resulting in process-based delays of spec development.

As a result, the TC has been working for more than a year to evolve the DMTF processes to solve the problems which have come with our successful growth. We are pleased to report that the reorganization of the TC, and the sub-committees and working groups that report to it, is reaching completion. We have chair positions established in most of the organization and charters awaiting final board approval.

We chose a minimalist approach to these changes in our processes by allowing the formation of sub-committees, groups of subject matter experts can focus on specifications and their requirements. There are currently three major sub-committees, plus one special sub-committee that report to the TC. The three major sub-committees are:

  • Infrastructure: concentrates on the areas of protocol, operations, federation, discovery and any function necessary to build a general CIM server infrastructure
  • Platforms: concentrates on applying DMTF interfaces to computing platforms such as desktops, servers, telco and virtualization as well as developing internal communications mechanisms within physical platforms.
  • Schema: concentrates on developing new and maintaining existing DMTF Schema.

The special sub-committee is Standards, a committee dedicated to submitting DMTF specs to the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) to help them become American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Standards Organization (ISO) standards.

The impact of the organizational change on specification development has been less than anticipated. Most Working Groups within the DMTF have been continuing undaunted by the reorganization. You can see the updated organization and charters as they come through by going to the groups page here (available to DMTF members only). An organizational chart has been developed and is posted here (also only available to DMTF members) along with more detailed information on the reorganization.

I realize that there are going to be questions about the reorganization. Please direct any questions to the appropriate current working group or sub-committee chair. If they are unable to answer the question, please direct your question to me at and please make sure you copy the appropriate chair to help with communication.

Conformance Sub-Committee Charter

The DMTF Interoperability Committee is pleased to announce that the DMTF Board of Directors recently approved the formation of Conformance Sub-Committee charter. The purpose of this sub-committee is to create, define, design and deliver the document(s) that define the policies and process for a DMTF Conformance Program. These activities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conformance Program policies and process
  • Conformance framework - includes items such as terminology, and optional
  • and required “entities,” i.e., Testing Authority, Certificate Authority, Arbitration Committee, etc.
  • Templates and checklist
  • Common conformance program infrastructure, which include but are not limited to:
    • Legal agreements and legal support
    • Defining specific conformance release guideline criteria
    • Web site/publishing requirements and guidelines
    • Logo guidelines (if branding)

This is an exciting milestone for DMTF. It shows the organization’s commitment to support the delivery of an efficient Conformance Program for its members, including common conformance processes essential to a first-rate user experience.

At this time, the Interoperability Committee is extending an invitation to all eligible members, as noted in DSP4002, who are interested in participating and contributing to the deliverables of the Conformance Sub-Committee. To join the Conformance Sub-Committee, please click here.

For more information about the Conformance Sub-Committee, please contact Sharon Smith, VP of Interoperability, at

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