The Distributed Management Task Force is working to create desktop, enterprise and Internet management standards. Not surprisingly, their website gives a long list of members. Their Web site lists the following standards:
Common Information Model (CIM)
This is a common data model of an implementation-neutral schema for describing overall management information in a network/enterprise environment.
Desktop Management Interface (DMI)
These standards generate a standard framework for managing and tracking components in a desktop PC, notebook or server.
Directory Enabled Network Initiative (DEN)
The Directory Enabled Network (DEN) initiative is designed to provide building blocks for intelligent management by mapping concepts from CIM (such as systems, services and policies) to a directory, and integrating this information with other WBEM elements in the management infrastructure.
Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM)
This initiative is a set of management and Internet standard technologies developed to unify the management of enterprise computing environments.
Alert Standard Format (ASF)
This specification defines remote control and alerting interfaces that best serve clients' OS-absent environments.
System Management BIOS (SMBIOS)
The SMBIOS Specification addresses how motherboard and system vendors present management information about their products in a standard format by extending the BIOS interface on Intel architecture systems.
I was interested in WBEM. WBEM uses CIM as a common format for collecting and describing management data. Another component, called xmlCIM encodes the CIM data for transport as XML and then a mapping describes how to use HTTP for transport. CIM is a fairly general language for describing management objects. I found a great little tutorial on all this that made it easier to get a handle on the effort.