Whereas the responsibility of the Element Management layer is to manage NEFs implemented within single pieces of equipment, the responsibility of the Network Management layer is to manage the functions related to the interaction between multiple pieces of equipment. At network management level the internal structure of the network elements is not visible; this implies that buffer space within routers, the temperature of switches etc. can not be directly managed at this level.
Examples of functions performed at this layer are:
The OSFs at the Network Management layer use the vendor independent management information that is provided by the OSFs in the Element Management layer. In this interaction the OSFs at the Network Management layer act in a manager role and the OSFs in the Element Management layer in an agent role.