Re: ICMP As A Diagnostic Tool?

Paul Tsuchiya (
Wed, 8 Apr 87 09:20:46 EDT

>From Miles Fidelman:
> It's been my observation that ICMP provides some useful functionality for
> isolating and diagnosing internetwork problems - e.g. by timing pings,
> looking at what percentage of echos come back, source routing packets via
> specific paths, route recording, etc.
> It strikes me that the lack of similar functionality for the OSI world may
> lead to an OSI internet in which significant classes of problems can not
> be fault isolated. I find this a rather scary thought.

It is not true that the OSI world lacks similar functionality. ISO IP
ISO 8473) has error messages which covers everything ICMP does except
Redirect, Echo, and Timestamp, and Information.

The Redirect function in ISO is in the ES-IS (End System to Intermediate
System) routing protocol, DP 9542. The Echo function can be accomplished
by using partial source route with the "echoing" machine on the list.
(This if the distant machine is an IS.) To an ES, a transport connection
can be used much to the same, if not better, effect.

In addition, ISO is working on a suite of management functions and
protocols which will allow for much more detailed and flexible management,
debugging, etc., of networks. I can't speak for all layers, but in ANSI
X3S3.3 (Network and Transport layers) we are actively working on this.

        Paul Tsuchiya
        The MITRE Corp.

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