Push vs. Pull in Web-Based Network Management
In this paper, we show how Web technologies can be used effectively to (i) address some of the deficiencies of traditional IP network management platforms, and (ii) render these expensive platforms redundant. We build on the concept of embedded management application, proposed by Wellens and Auerbach, and present two models of network management application designs that rely on Web technologies. First, the pull model is based on the request/response paradigm. It is typically used to perform data polling. Several commercial management platforms already use Web technologies that rely on this model to provide for ad hoc management, we demonstrate how to extend this to regular management. Second, the push model is a novel approach which relies on the publish/subscribe/distribute paradigm. It is better suited to regular management than the pull model, and allows administrators to conserve network bandwidth as well as CPU time on the management station. It can be seen as a generalization of the paradigm commonly used for notification delivery. Finally, we introduce the concept of the collapsed network management platform, where these two models coexist.