Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.




Using the SMASH protocol in a heterogeneous server environment will help businesses cut the total cost of server management by enabling access to critical system information at the hardware level, including BIOS and RAID.

The DMTF, a largely vendor-driven group, is responsible for developing SMASH and its components, including its SM Managed Element Addressing specification and CIM standard. Dell, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Sun and Symantec are working toward incorporating support for SMASH into their products; Avocent and HP products support SMASH.

Most vendors integrating SMASH into their products have committed to doing so beginning this year; system administrator response will be the next step toward acceptance of the standard. Considering their rate of adoption of management technologies in servers today, SMASH faces an uphill battle.


Within the server management community, users have been clamoring for a unified strategy for resolving hardware issues--to bypass the headaches associated with multiple, proprietary approaches to server management.

The Distributed Management Task Force's SMASH (Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware) protocol--a profile of which was released in July--promises to address this need by bringing order to heterogeneous server environments, allowing systems administrators to access hardware and low-level OS information. Essentially a scriptable, command-line-driven tool run using telnet or SSH (Secure Shell), SMASH lets systems administrators take control of a server at the hardware level, regardless of its location on the network and without regard for hardware vendor.

The bottom-line goal is to reduce TCO of servers by minimizing the complexity associated with learning and using diverse, vendor-specific administration tools.

  • 1