Cross-domain management is an increasingly important concern in network management and such management capability is a key-enabler of many emerging computing environments. This paper analyses the requirements for management systems that aim to support flexible and general capability sharing between autonomously managed domains. It introduces a novel Layered Federation Model (LFM) to structure this requirements analysis and describes the Federal Relationship Manager (FRM) which instantiates several layers of this model. The FRM combines semantic mapping management and authority management technologies to help solve several of the general management problems that are encountered whenever organisations enter into capability sharing agreements. An overview of related work on federation and the technical underpinnings of our approach are discussed and our work's particular relevance to real world problems is explained through two service-centric use cases which involve the end-to-end delivery of a multimedia stream to a user's home across several independent operators. Finally, experimental results are presented to highlight the practical advantages of our approach. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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