Il Sistema Operativo OpenVMSCMDA - Centralized Management with Delegated AdministrationDnsManagerListManagerMailboxManagerINSM - Integrated Network Services Manager

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Integrated Network Services Manager

INSM is a system for the integrated management of Electronic Mail (mailboxes and distribution lists) and DNS services.

The system is based on the organizational model called "Centralized Management with Delegated Administration" (see CMDA section) which allows separation of the technical/operational aspects of the servers (e-mail and DNS) from management of the information contained within, such as:

  • creation/modification/cancellation of mailboxes and aliases
  • creation/modification/cancellation of distribution lists
  • registration/modification/cancellation of names in the Internet Domain Name System

Techno-operational management

The ISNM system is composed of three main modules:
  • MailboxManager: management and administration (creation/modification/cancellation) of electronic mailboxes, aliases, etc. This module can be integrated with LDAP servers.
  • ListManager: creation/modification/cancellation of distribution lists. This module, which simplifies the management of lists of Institutes or research groups, can be integrated with LDAP servers.
  • DNSManager: management and administration of the name server (Domain Name System).

The system, which has been in use for several years, has evolved over time in terms of the modules' integration, functionalities, and security mechanisms. Administrator feedback has confirmed its reliability, versatility, and easy operation also owing to the basic and applicative software on which it relies. Organized in very easily installable and manageable (optional) modules with homogeneous configurations, it is therefore extremely flexible.

The system's main technical characteristics include:
  • simple installation (copy of the CGI modules in the appropriate directory)
  • configuration by means of simple files
  • distribution of a single mail domain in multiple remote servers (Master-Slave model)
  • elimination of the need for fourth-level domains
  • Master-Slave communication by means of SSH. It is not necessary to have an HTTP server installed on the Slave.
  • Operative environment:
    • operating system: Open VMS
    • applications: PMDF electronic mail system and BIND name server
    • does not require the installation of any database.

Administrative Management

The administrative management of domains (name servers, mailboxes and distribution lists) is carried out by means of a simple web interface which furnishes the operational functioning and modality of the system.

Its main technical and functional characteristics include:

  • use of standard HTML code
  • basic HTTP authentication
  • authentication by means of cookies (optional: only for the management of multiple domains by a single user)
  • definition of administrative hierarchies: senior and junior administrators
  • possibility of creating several administrative group-sections within the same domain
  • possibility of defining various administrators-users with different parameters for the management of a single group-section and/or domain
  • result of the operations (creation/modification/cancellation) immediately operative
  • regeneration of the input forms with visualization of the results of operations (it is not necessary to click to go back: the input form is always present); in the case of a negative outcome, (for example, errors of syntax in an input field) the form is automatically proposed again with the values previously introduced.