ECIM-R depends upon class hierarchy and inheritance in order to pass attributes and other characteristics to other classes.

As an example of class hierarchy, here is the hierarchy of the ECIM-R Host class:

Host : UnitaryComputerSystem : ICIM_UnitaryComputerSystem : VMware_ComputerSystem : ICIM_ComputerSystem : CIM_ComputerSystem : ICIM_ExtendedSystem : ICIM_System : CIM_System : CIM_EnabledLogicalElement : ICIM_LogicalElement : CIM_LogicalElement : ICIM_ManagedSystemElement : CIM_ManagedSystemElement : ICIM_ManagedElement : CIM_ManagedElement : ICF_CoreManagedElement : CORE_ManagedObject : MR_ManagedObject : MR_Object

In this hierarchy, Host is a child class of UnitaryComputerSystem, which is a child class of ICIM_UnitaryComputerSystem, which is a child class of VMware_ComputerSystem, and so on.

An essential feature of ECIM-R is that it describes the managed network in terms of two parallel, but distinct, class hierarchies: physical and logical. Classes in both hierarchies are included in the IP data model.

The physical hierarchy describes the real-world components that make up your managed system; for example, a chassis. The logical hierarchy describes logical components that are created through the operation of hardware and software; for example, a host.