Simplifying Diagnostics with the Common Diagnostics Model


Another example of driving innovation through standardization is an initiative to simplify system diagnostics. Part of my work as President of the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) is to make sure the member companies work together to formalize standards that benefit customers. Today, Dell and other members of the Common Diagnostic Model (CDM) Forum—AMD, HP, IBM, Intel, PC-Doctor, and Symantec—today launched an effort to unify the computer industry on a single interoperable interface for diagnostics. An industry kickoff event was held today in San Francisco, California.

The goal of this is simple: to develop diagnostics based on a common infrastructure so that systems and components can be diagnosed easily using a common set of tools. It also asks the developers of components such as disk drives, processors, network cards, etc. to deliver diagnostic providers based on this standard along with their components.

Today, to diagnose system problems, every manufacturer spends lots of time developing tools to exploit the different interfaces associated with various system components. With this new approach, components and their diagnostics will snap in to management and diagnostic frameworks that will be native on the platform.

This innovative standard should save time and money for customers and vendors. We expect that over the next few years enterprise and consumer systems will begin shipping with these enhanced capabilities that make it easier and quicker to diagnose problems.

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2 thoughts on “Simplifying Diagnostics with the Common Diagnostics Model

  1. The Common Diagnostic Model is something I look forward to seeing implimented.

    Also, this will obviously lead to hardware and BIOS implimentation changes. One thing I would find very useful at the BIOS level, for diagnostics and other purposes, would be the support of disk image booting (virtual drive in bios). Preferably from either .ISO spec images or an image that .ISO can easily be converted to. This would allow for a wide variety of useful tasks to be performed for system diagnostics. In additon it would allow for OS installation from a disk image off of a USB key or external USB drive. And I’m talking lawful uses here, not warez. I’d love to load 5 of my commonly used live-cd’s in .ISO format onto a USB thumbdrive and be able too choose one to boot off of just by enabling boot from USB in bios, without having to install the OS on the USB first.

    I realize that might be outside the scope of the CDM, but it would be a very useful addition leaving room for further future benefits such as virtual machine/OS image loading from removeable devices and more. I say future because a hypervisor would need to be implimented as well.

    Finally, although I’m not a programmer, I hope the CDMF doesn’t end up creating a barrier to open source and freeware developers through the creation of pricey licensing and logo programs in order to take programmatic advantage of the CDM hardware reporting capabilities.

    Regardless, as an end-user, I can’t wait to see the CDM realized.


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