re: Network Management


Ross Callon (rcallon@PARK-STREET.BBN.COM)
Tue, 24 Nov 87 14:08:31 EST


The goal of a protocol which can be implemented in a reasonably
short time frame (one of the goals of HEMS) seems inconsistent with
the goal of being consistent with ISO network management protocols.
If you want to be consistent with the ISO protocols, then you should
wait until they are done. If you want something now (or within 6
months), then you are going to have to use something that is
available now (or can be developed in 6 months).

I don't understand why it is useful to have something which is sort
of vaguely like what we think CMIP is going to look like when it is
done. Either you are compatible with an ISO standard or you're not.
Being sort of close doesn't seem to buy all that much. (This assumes
that it is not possible to get "close enough" to interoperate with
the eventual ISO International Standard without changes, which I
think is a fairly safe assumption).

I think it would be easier to implement HEMS (or SGMP or HMP), and
accept that we will need to change at some time in the future, than
to argue at great length as to how to define a protocol which
resembles CMIP as much as possible, which will still need to be
implemented and then changed at some time in the future.

There is a lot of talk about being protocol consistent, but
relatively little about other aspects of building a network
management system. A network management system which want to manage
multiple vendor's equipment in an Internet is going to have to speak
more than one network management protocol whether you like it or
not. If the slowness of ISO doesn't assure this, then the large
amount of existing equipment and/or IBM is going to assure it
instead. What is more difficult is to deal with incompatible data
sets returned from different devices, inconsistencies in the way
that the database is stored in different network management systems,
etc. Thus if you are worried about the eventual transition from
TCP/IP to ISO, you should, for example, be worried about the
differences between the set of network management metrics defined by
HEMS and that being worked on for gateways in ANSI X3S33, and you
should think about what you intend to do with either set of data
when you get it into your system.

[Note: My reference to the slowness of ISO should NOT in any way
be interpreted as a complaint. The process of developing an
international standard is of necessity a very slow and laborious
process. The complexity of network management make the CMIP
development even harder. However, we have to accept that this
process is not likely to speed up.]

Ross



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