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Future Network Considerations
Possibilities: The sky is the limit when your heart is in it.Successories
This final chapter discusses some of the hot new networking features that are making their presence felt on the networking scene. It might be that your network has already deployed these new features, but it is more likely that you are considering deploying or purchasing tools that make use of these advancements. This chapter is not meant to be the authority on what you can expect in networking. Rather, this chapter should be a logical conclusion to this book and a brief introduction to the possible future of networking. When possible, references have been provided for further research into areas that are outside the scope of this book. The areas that this chapter delves into are as follows:
- Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMPv2 & v3). Chapter 9 covered SNMPv1 in depth and briefly touched on SNMPv2. This chapter will begin to explore the features that make SNMPv2 unique, such as the new Alarm and Event groups that enable you to have quick and easy access to information concerning the state of your network. In addition, this chapter will also give a brief peek under the covers concerning the soon-to-be-released SNMPv3.
- Remote Monitoring (RMON). Remote monitoring is one of the fastest growing network management tools around. Its ability to monitor the performance of the entire network, as opposed to just the components, brings a new and powerful tool to both network engineers and managers. This section will cover both RMON1 and RMON2.
- Internet Protocol Addressing Version 6 (IPv6). IPv6, just the thought of it, brings a flood of emotions to everyone involved in networking. No matter what your thoughts on this next generation protocol, it is here, and it will be implemented. The mystery surrounding IPv6 is how and when it will be implemented. This section will examine its operation and the facts surrounding IPv6. This will give you an opportunity to explore some of the myths surrounding this protocol and its improvements over IPv4.
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP): Continuing Evolution
Although SNMPv1 was previously discussed in Chapter 9, it is important to conduct a brief review to ensure that the basic concepts are fresh in your mind as we discuss the new features of SNMPv2 and SNMPv3. You will briefly review SNMPv1, then move onto SNMPv2, after which a brief overview of SNMPv3 will be provided. Hopefully, this overview combined with the detailed description of the improvements that go along with SNMPv2 will give you some idea of the overall usefulness of SNMPv1 and the continued practical application of the evolutionary stepsSNMPv2 and SNMPv3.
There are two versions of SNMP: Version 1 and Version 2. Most of the changes introduced in Version 2 increase SNMPs security capabilities. Other changes increase interoperability by more rigorously defining the specifications for SNMP implementation. SNMPs creators believe that after a relatively brief period of coexistence, SNMP Version 2 (SNMPv2) will largely replace SNMP Version 1 (SNMPv1). SNMP is part of a larger architecture called the Network Management Framework (NMF), which is defined in requests for comments (RFCs). The SNMPv1 NMF is defined in RFCs 1155, 1157, and 1212, and the SNMPv2 NMF is defined in RFCs 1441 through 1452.
It might seem that SNMP should not be in a chapter entitled Future Network Considerations, but because many networks have not completed the move to SNMPv2 and because this chapter will cover SNMPv3, it seemed best to include SNMP within this chapter.
As the Internet developed, so did the desire and need to monitor the performance of the various network components that comprised the Internet. This desire manifested itself in the development of Simple Gateway Monitoring Protocol (SGMP). The Internet Activities Board (IAB) was renamed the Internet Architecture Board in 1992 (though still abbreviated IAB). The Internet Architecture Board was involved with the evolutionary changes to SGMP and recommended the development of an expanded Internet network management standard.
The IAB handed off this new project to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) who began designing, testing, and implementing a new Internet management standard. The IETFs efforts resulted in three new RFCs: 1065, 1066, and 1067. These three documents formed the basis of SNMPv1.
Basic SNMP Architecture
SNMP is comprised of three essential ingredients: a network management system, an agent, and a Management Information Base (MIB). This organization of parts and information can be thought of as a client/server relationship.
The network management system acts as the server, and the MIB acts as the information being exchanged between the server and the client or agent. Figure 12-1 shows the relationship of all the primary SNMP components.
Figure 12-1 The relationship of primary SNMP components.
To avoid confusion, in this chapter Simple Network Management Protocol version 1 is referred to as SNMPv1, version 2 is referred to as SNMPv2, version 3 is referred to as SNMPv3, and general comments that cross versions are referred to simply as SNMP. This method is a little tedious, but it helps preserve the accuracy of the text.
Network Management System (NMS)
The Network Management System (also known as manager) is software that has the capability of operating on one or more workstations. This software can be configured so it can be utilized to manage different portions of a network or so that multiple managers can manage the same network. An NMS executes applications that monitor and control managed devices. Applications provide the bulk of the processing and memory resources required for network management. One or more NMS must exist on any managed network. The managers requests are transmitted to one or more managed devices on the desired network. These requests are sent via UDP. SNMP is not dependent upon TCP/IP for transport across a network, it has the capability to be transported via numerous other transport mechanisms such as Novells NetWare IPX and various other transport protocols.
A managed device is a network node that contains an SNMP agent and resides on a managed network. Managed devices collect and store management information and make this information available to network management systems (NMSs) using SNMP. Managed devices, sometimes called network elements, can be routers and access servers, switches and bridges, hubs, computer hosts, or printers.
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