Network Management


Dan Lynch (LYNCH@A.ISI.EDU)
Tue 24 Nov 87 00:16:35-EST


To facilitate information spread on some current network management
protocol developments, I am forwarding this set of "minutes" of a recent
meeting.

Dan

***********
Vendors Position Statement on TCP/IP

Network Management Standards

Working Document - 11/20/87

        A lot of email has been exchanged recently, speculating on
the TCP/IP network vendors intentions with respect to Network
Management standards. It is time for the vendors themselves to
explain their position on this topic.

        On 11/4/87, a group of vendors actively involved with the
effort of the Network Management Working Group of the IETF
met for the purpose of:

1) assessing the current status of the network management
standards efforts with respect to the goals that they had agreed
to in May 1987.

2) discussing plans to implement the proposed standards and
incorporate them in vendor products.

3) discussing plans to demonstrate interoperability of network
        management among vendor products.

        The participants to the meeting included the following
vendors:

                                Bridge Communications

                                CMC

                                Data General

                                Excelan

                                Hewlett-Packard

                                Sun Microsystems

                                Sytek

                                3Com

                                Ungermann-Bass

        These participants represent a substantial and
representative subset of the TCP/IP vendor community at large
and are collectively referred to as "the vendors" in the rest of
this document.

        In the course of the discussion on the agenda items listed
above, a consensus was reached on five major points:

1) The vendors cannot endorse or implement the recently
circulated RFCs describing the HEMS system in their current
form for the following reasons:

        - The HEMS approach does not satisfy a key goal of the
Network Management Working Group goals statement [1] which
is to provide a "clear migration path to OSI network
management."

        - The services definition RFC [2] authored by Lee Lebarre is
a major element in the strategy of providing a clear migration
path to OSI and protecting major network management
application investments. The ability to deliver these services
is a key requirement for choosing a management protocol. The
HEMP/Query protocols do not provide this capability while CMIP
does.

        - While the HEMS project provides significant insight into
the technical issues of TCP/IP network management, it has not
been driven by the same charter as the vendors adopted for the
Network Management Group [1]. The requirements for delivering
early implementations of HEMS for the gateway monitoring
needs of the NSFNet have made discussions and compromises
very difficult, and have prevented the HEMS developers from
taking into account the vendors key technical concerns and
strategic requirement.

2) The vendors continue to treat the Network Management
Working Group Goals and Scope document [1] as their common
objective statement. In particular, they recognize that the
transition from TCP/IP to OSI is inevitable.

3) The vendors agree that the Service Definition RFC BBBB [1]
and the HEMS definition of the Management Information can be
used as a solid working base on which to build a network
managment system for TCP/IP environments.

4) The vendors favor a network management standard approach
based upon the CMIP/TCP/IP stack which meets the overall
objective of easing the migration to the OSI environment. In
particular, it preserves the vendors investment in network
management applications and makes the management of hybrid
(TCP/IP and OSI) networks significantly easier. They intend to
submit concrete proposals to substantiate this approach to the
IETF. Alternatively, the vendors would also agree to consider
enhancements to HEMP that preserve the integrity of the
Management Services interface as defined by RFC BBBB.

5) The vendors remain committed to completing the
development of TCP/IP network management standards in an
aggressive time frame and take as a goal to demonstrate
interoperability of network management in the fall of 1988.

        In summary, a strong consensus has emerged in the vendor
community in favor of a CMIS-based approach. While the quality
of the work produced for HEMS is not in question, the vendors
are driven by different motivations. They are ultimately
responsible for investing considerable development resources to
engineer the network management products that will truly
create the standard. In network management as well as other
areas, the vendors must make choices that maximaze their
return on investment of development resources over time. They
intend to work within the Network Management Working Group
structure of the IETF to pursue these goals.

References:

[1] TCP/IP Network Management Working Group: Goals and
Scope - Revision 3 - 6/18/87

[2] RFC BBBB: Management Services for TCP/IP Network
Management,

        Lee Labarre - 10/87

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