Web Services for Management (WS-Management) provides a common way for systems to access and exchange management information across the IT infrastructure.

ESX/ESXi version 3.5 and later supports WS-Management by implementing over a dozen CIM (Common Information Model) profiles. CIM profiles are a set of object-oriented schemas defined by the DTMF (Distributed Management Task Force). CIM defines how managed elements in a networked environment are represented as a common set of objects and relationships that users can view, share, and control. For example, system management client applications might be able to check the status of server components such as CPU, fans, power supplies, and so on.

The WS-Management Perl library allows you to write scripts that retrieve CIM data from the ESX/ESXi host using CIMOM, a service that provides standard CIM management functions over a WBEM (Web-Based Enterprise Management). WBEM is a standard protocol for passing CIM-XML messages over HTTP.

Although you can use the WS-Management library with other available WS-Management-enabled CIMOMs, this appendix limits discussion to using the library with the CIMOM available on ESX/ESXi version 3.5 and later and VirtualCenter 2.5 and later.