Network Management in Communication


Zhou Yuchen
Department of Civil Environmental Engineering
Helsinki University of technology


Network management has been an integral part of DECnet. Even at that early stage of the DECnet architecture, an effective management capability was recognized as an essential part of an organized approach to networking. The DECnet network management architecture has undergone a major revision based on Digital's Enterprise Management Architecture. The functions and service provided by a network management system are described to analyse the basic principles of network management architecture. At the same time, strengthly explain to importance of security and reliability of a network in network management system, and indicated advanced information processing techniques are taken for network management and network configuration management. Finally, shown us the good prospects of development network management.

1. Introduction

Our initial work on the network management were the broad range of networking functions planned. First, network managers would have to be able to manage all the components in a consistent manner. A method was needed to build management components that would give the same general look and feel and the same modeling approach to all components.

Second, network management would have to be extensible. The network architecture was being designed to allow the use of multiple modules that would provide the same or similar services at each layer and to simultaneously support multiple-layer protocols in a network. Therefore, the management architecture transparently assimilate new devices and technologies. Our management architecture had to become as extensible as the network architecture.

Finally, since network layer was designed to be an open architecture, management of network layer components would have to be effective in a multivendor network. Our design had to ensure that the ability to provide effective management of network components was independent of the vendors supplying them.

We began our development network project by examining in detail the requirements for a new network management architecture. Our goal was to design an open architecture that allowed for consistent management of an extensible array of network components in a multivendor environment. As we identified the specific requirements that would have to be addressed to meet this goal, we realized that we had the opportunity to develop a architecture that went beyond management of Phase V networks. We realized that we could provide an architecture for the management of both networks and systems. The architecture eventually became known as the Enterprise Management Architecture or EMA.

2. Functions of Network Management System

Network management tasks (eg. device polling) consume a considerable amount of bandwidth by themselves, so the system should be designed so that the distributed VR user interface does not add much more traffic.[6]

Early in the network management, we recognized that the conceptual separation of manageable components from the software that manages them was a fundamental design principle. EMA therefore distinguished entities, the basic components of the network that had to be managed, from directors, the software systems and accompanying applications used by managers to manage the components.[3]

Formally, an entity was further split into a service element, a managed object, and an agent. The service element is the portion of the entity that performs the primary function of the entity, e.g., a data link layer protocol module whose primary purpose is communication with a peer protocol module on another machine. The managed object encapsulates the software that implements the functions supported by the entity for its own management. For example, it responds to management requests for the current values of state variables or to requests for the values of certain configuration variables to be set to new values. The agent is the software that provides the interface between the director and the managed object. The agent encodes and decodes protocol messages it exchanges with the director and passes requests to and receives responses from the managed object.

Each network layer address of the node (a node can have more than one) is encoded in a standard way as a soft link to the node's name[3]. This allows a manager (or director) to translate a node address into the equivalent node name, making many diagnostic problems much simpler.

2.1 Service Provided by Network Management

In network management, the specification of the management of each module is an integral part of the architecture of the subsystem. Moving responsibility for the management of a subsystem from a central network management architecture to the subsystem architecture has made the specifications clearer and more complete. In network management, a great deal of effort was spent coordinating the subsystem specifications and the network management specification. Placing responsibility in one person's hands made writing an internally consistent subsystem much easier.

In DECnet/OSI, the transport, network, and data link subsystems were among the first to have the EMA concepts applied to their management. Others quickly followed and, presently, more than 50 modules have been specified, with others being added as new subsystems are designed[5]. Not surprisingly, during the early days considerable interaction took place between the architects responsible for the central network management architecture and those responsible for developing the management of specific subsystems. The EMA evolved and was refined based on the experiences of the many subsystem architects using it.

2.2 Communications Expertise of Network

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    3. Network Management System

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