Web-based management of IP networks and systems

The management of IP networks and systems is currently based on the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and the SNMP management architecture. This poses a number of problems. Some are related to the efficiency, scalability, latency, and expressiveness of SNMP, others to the way the design of SNMP-based management platforms historically evolved. After reviewing the numerous alternatives that are currently investigated by the research community, including mobile code and intelligent agents, we propose to base the next generation of management applications on a new management architecture: WIMA, the Web-based Integrated Management Architecture. WIMA is based on standard Web technologies. It relies on a push-based organizational model for regular management (i.e., data collection –for offline processing– and monitoring over a long period of time) and notification/event delivery, and a pull-based organizational model for ad hoc management (data retrieval over a very short time period). Its communication model is characterized by (i) the use of persistent HTTP connections between agents and managers (or between mid- and top-level managers in distributed hierarchical management); (ii) the support for any information model (SNMP, CIM, etc.); and (iii) a reversed client-server architecture that facilitates crossing firewalls. In WIMA, the preferred method for representing management data in transit is XML. It is well suited for distributed hierarchical management; it unifies the communication model across the entire range of integrated management (that is, network, systems, application, service, and policy management); and it offers high-level semantics to the management-application designer. All the major problems that we identified in SNMP are solved in WIMA. Our architecture is validated by a prototype: JAMAP, the JAva MAnagement Platform.


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