A Year-in-Review with DMTF President Jeff Hilland

Each year, I have the privilege of reviewing the many accomplishments of the DMTF for the past twelve months. I’m happy to share the top milestones for 2017 – another tremendous year for the organization!

DMTF’s innovative Redfish® standard continues its fast progression thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Scalable Platforms Management Forum (SPMF). The goal of Redfish is to publish a standard API that meets customer demands for simple and secure management in modern Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) environments. The standard’s aggressive development continued in 2017, covering additional customer use cases and technology in converged IT infrastructure management.

With 2017.3 expected before year end, versions 2017.1 and 2017.2 of the Redfish Schema and version 1.3.0 of the Redfish Specification were all released earlier this year, adding numerous advancements including support for composable infrastructure (allowing a user to compose systems using different sets of components without having to touch any hardware). In addition, the new Redfish Host Interface Specification expanded the standard’s capabilities to allow applications and tools running on an Operating System - including in the pre-boot (firmware) stage – to communicate with the Redfish management service. The DMTF also began working in cooperation with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to map YANG models to Redfish models resulting in Redfish models being able to manage an Ethernet switch. In March 2017, the DMTF presented their work at a recent Internet Engineering Task Force conference.

In other news, DMTF and our long-standing alliance partner The Green Grid announced we are working together to address power and cooling in the data center. This work includes Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) power and cooling schemas, which will be part of Redfish. In addition, The Green Grid is planning to reference established DMTF management technologies in its ongoing work on DCIM platforms. Additionally, an alliance partnership was formed with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to address similar issues, allowing DMTF to work with both organizations to develop a single, cohesive manageability standard leveraging Redfish.

To support those using Redfish, the organization also delivered an impressive set of educational materials. New items released this year included an updated Redfish White Paper, the Composable System White Paper, a Redfish Resource and Schema Guide, as well as new Redfish Mockups, which allows developers to interactively explore sample Redfish implementations. All of these materials can be found on the Redfish Developer Hub, designed to be a one-stop, in-depth technical resource with all the files, tools, community support and education needed to help you use Redfish.

Our popular “Redfish® School” YouTube series continued to offer new mini-tutorials, with the latest videos covering storage modeling in Redfish, the Redfish Composability Model, as well as Redfish’s use of OData and the Common Schema Definition Language (CSDL). Also this year, our Regional Chapter in China launched a new channel on Youku – one of the top Chinese video websites – featuring selections from our popular “Redfish School” series of mini-tutorials.

Other technical advancements thus far in 2017 included a new release from the Platform Management Components Intercommunication (PMCI) Working Group - the Management Component Transport Protocol (MCTP) over SMBus/I2C Transport Binding Specification is now available in version 1.1.0. The DMTF continued to regularly update the widely-used Common Information Model (CIM) Schema with the release of version 2.49. CIM 2.50 is expected before the end of the year, as is an update to the SMBIOS standard.

On the management interoperability front, the organization released new versions 2.0 of the Conformance Test Suite (CTS) for its Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH) standard. With DASH Conformance Program 2.0, companies can self-test their implementations and submit digitally signed results to the DASH Conformance Program Administrator (an independent third party) for validation.

The organization continued its commitment to worldwide industry outreach and education. In March, DMTF’s Redfish booth at the Open Compute Project (OCP) U.S. Summit was highly successful, and in September, DMTF presented at the Open Compute Project (OCP) Engineering Workshops in Dallas, Texas.

Internationally, the DMTF China Chapter again hosted the International Cloud Computing Standardization Forum as part of the 9th China Cloud Computing Conference (CCCC) in Beijing. As DMTF President, I spoke at the event, which aims to introduce global cloud computing standardization achievements and future trends to the Chinese IT industry and its customers. The DMTF also recently co-sponsored the International Conference on Network and Service Management (CNSM) in Tokyo, Japan, once again hosting a successful mini-conference as part of that event. We will wrap up the year with a few other speaking engagements at industry events.

The organization’s own annual Alliance Partner Technical Symposium (APTS) – co-hosted with longstanding DMTF alliance partner, Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) – was once again the site of some of the most important face-to-face technical work of the year. During this year’s event, members of the SPMF gathered for a plugfest around the Redfish API, with two days of rigorous multi-vendor testing designed to help ensure a consistent experience across platforms.

The DMTF continued its ongoing, active collaboration with the open source community to help encourage feedback and strengthen interoperability. We have not only seen DMTF release open source tools for testing, validation and other areas, but we have seen active participation on the DMTF’s external GitHub repository. As the list of projects using DMTF standards grows, DMTF created a new webpage where you can view all of the known open source projects in one place. The list continues to grow as member and non-member companies inform us of these efforts.

Looking back at this impressive list of accomplishments, I’m proud of the many volunteers who made it all possible. 2017 was another highly productive year to build upon, and we look forward to continuing this momentum into 2018 – and beyond.