MIDAS addresses the management of distributed OSI application services and the underlying communications services. Its first goal is to develop products in the area of Managing Applications (MAs) which solve genuine management problems in working networks with real users. These MAs will be specified by the operators of the networks. Management will be based on the ISO standards for network management. The MAs will be developed with the aid of platforms developed within the MIDAS project.
In order to ensure that the project's work has wide applicability, the results will be demonstrated in two contrasting situations. In the first, the target will be a public administration network operated by one of the industrial partners. Here the users work in public administration and employ OSI applications such as X.400 mail and X.500. In the second, the target will be a set of workstations connected to an office LAN via the public ISDN. Here the user will be homeworkers engaged in various office activities. In addition to conventional OSI applications, novel applications involving images and computer conferencing will be used. At the start of the project a requirements analysis work package, led by the operators of the public administration network, will determine the MAs to be developed for the two networks. Close attention will be paid to the need for management to take a global view of a distributed application. The opportunity of using AIP techniques to this end will be evaluated. The MAs developed will allow the control of applications and communications as well as merely monitoring their behaviour.
The systems being managed (the Managed Systems or MSs) must present an external view that accords with the requirements of the OSI management model. This view encompasses both the protocols to be used when management information is transferred as well as the nature and structure of the management information itself. The development of managed versions for X.400, X.500 and ISDN products is the second important goal of MIDAS. A subsidiary goal of the project will be the implementation of these platforms.
In order to operate successfully, support services must be available. OSI directory services will be used to store static configuration information about the networks, the user and the MAs. The proper interaction between the directory and the MAs will be carefully considered. Security services are vital, as it is intended that management information should be securely held and that control actions should be properly authorised. OSI directory and X.500 security services are available as a result of other ESPRIT projects.
Two extended demonstrators, one in the field of public administration and the other in the area of home working, with both involving external users, will be established as the culmination of the project.
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