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In this paper, we analyze the characteristics and shortcomings of IP network management platforms before the arrival of Web technologies. In the first part, we give a brief history of IP network management, and summarize the limitations of traditional (i.e., pre-Web and SNMP-based) management platforms. We recall the initial objectives of open network management. We then explain how the early vision of generic management was changed by the industry`s natural inclination for market segmentation, and how the market of IP networks evolved from generic to vendor-specific equipment, management GUIs and MIBs. In the second part, we propose a simple model of traditional IP network management platforms, against which new Web-based management solutions can be compared. We introduce the three core functions of such platforms (network monitoring, data collection, and event handling), distinguish regular management from ad hoc management, and explain how SNMP`s polling model maps onto these functions.