Integration across application and network levels, and among management systems at the same level, is clearly a key to the evolution of management systems. Unfortunately, integration has been one of the most abused words in the systems management marketplace. Many management vendors have positioned their offerings as integrated solutions, but too often their capabilities fall far short of what is actually needed by administrators. Most early products included only the least valuable capabilities and were then marketed strenuously.
This section looks at the types of integration, from the simplest to the most comprehensive, as a background for discussions of future developments.