Distributed systems are characterised by complexity, large numbers of diverse components and multiple autonomous managements. There is a need for multiple coexisting management views and boundaries of responsibility. A means of grouping components into units to which a common management policy can apply is required. Management of communication systems and distributed processing is a subject of major concern in standardisation working groups, computer manufacturers and enterprises running large computer networks. This paper defines a framework for managing large distributed systems in terms of managed objects, a structure for implementing manager objects and the use of domains as a means of grouping objects for management purposes. Access rules specify what operations managers can perform on managed objects. The paper develops and refines the concept of a domain. It discusses the domain relationships needed to partition and structure the management of large distributed systems to delega..