Distributed systems range from simple multi-threaded applications to multi-slot chassis-based systems to networked clusters of servers. Topologies get more complex when these systems move into cloud-based environments, and more diverse when they involve machine-to-machine solutions. Providers of distributed system software solutions face a number of challenges in building, debugging and maintaining a set of connected applications. Managing these systems requires powerful modeling and a variety of management interfaces to meet a diverse set of needs. The services provided by a distributed system often require a high level of availability. The middleware frameworks that make up Enea Element address many of these challenges.