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[ih] inter-network communication history

> network management in the late 80s 

Yes, we were developing homebrew solutions at CERN in those days and into the early 90s. There really wasn't any alternative for a large site. I think it's always been a great tool for customer capture, and still is, judging by what I see in the NETCONF/YANG space. If you are clever, you can build a standards-compliant management system that only works with your own kit.

We began to see commercial offerings that claimed to support multi-vendor networks by 1995 iirc; we bought Cabletron's Spectrum product. There's a slice of history at https://www.slac.stanford.edu/grp/scs/trip/cern-1996.html

   Brian Carpenter

On 09-Nov-19 18:16, Barbara Denny via Internet-history wrote:
>  I? have a memory of talking to a friend who was working at a prominent Internet vendor about network management in the late 80s (timeframe of the first release of SNMP).? If I am remembering correctly he said he couldn't get any traction to really do anything because from the company's perspective you could only sell one to a customer so they would rather devote their resources to other efforts.
> I am not sure we were entirely without any companies trying to develop a product in the network management space in the late 80s/early 90s. I vaguely remember having to look at what was available.? I think this was for a military testbed in Korea.? Unfortunately I don't remember much about the software products, or names, since it was very short term project/effort for me (Other than the software did more monitoring than management).
> barbara
>     On Friday, November 8, 2019, 05:34:09 PM PST, Brian E Carpenter via Internet-history <internet-history at elists.isoc.org> wrote:  
>  > I couldn't find any such tools in ~1991 other than the ones that had
>> been around since the early 80s.? Still can't in ~2020.
> The answer to that mystery is, I believe, that this stuff is aimed at large operatorss willing to buy expensive proprietary tools or write their own tools.
> https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/storage-networking/management/200933-YANG-NETCONF-Configuration-Validation.html
> https://www.tail-f.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Tail-f_NCS_NEP_Overview_Brochure.pdf
> A lot of the independent network management tools that you can buy don't seem have got past SNMP though, from a quick Google trawl. But from the number of operators involved in defining YANG modules, I'm guessing that they have toolsets up and running (replacing PERL scripts driving proprietary CLIs).
> Regards
> ? Brian
> On 09-Nov-19 12:53, Jack Haverty via Internet-history wrote:
>> On 11/8/19 2:23 PM, Vint Cerf via Internet-history wrote:
>>> see RFC 1109
>>> v
>> Thanks for the pointer.? I now remember encountering RFC1109 (published
>> 1989) back in the early 90s when I was looking for tools to manage our
>> intranet.? There's a key sentence in 1109:
>> "It was generally agreed that the actual network management tools
>> available to operators, rather than the specifics of the protocols
>> supporting the tools, would be the determining factor in the
>> effectiveness of any Internet network management system."
>> I couldn't find any such tools in ~1991 other than the ones that had
>> been around since the early 80s.?? Still can't in ~2020.?? Lots of
>> documents and protocols though.
>> I've explored a bit into the NETCONF/(P)YANG pointers but haven't
>> encountered anything that even seems related to Network Management, or
>> any sign of tools/code.? The material at "readthedocs" tells me that
>> NETCONF has clients and servers, but casts no light on what those
>> servers actually do.? That netconf documentation is somewhat circular:
>> "This package supports creating both netconf clients and servers.
>> Additionally a CLI netconf utility is included. Additionally netconf
>> uses _sshutil and thus supports your SSH agent and SSH config when using
>> the client as well as socket caching for optimal performance."
>> OOOKKKKAAAYYY...the netconf package creates netconfs, but what does a
>> netconf do??? I gather that maybe it carries YANGs?
>> Somehow I'm increasingly skeptical that, even if I find some modern
>> tools, there's not a high probability that the devices I have scattered
>> now around my LAN will play their game.? Back to PING and TCPDUMP et
>> al.?? I wonder if my devices respond to SNMP.? I'm sure I have a
>> database lying around here somewhere, and could probably refresh my
>> memory of shell scripts.
>> RFC1109 also identified a key missing piece:
>> "It was acknowledged that the present service interfaces of both SNMP
>> and CMIS have limitations (e.g., neither has any sense of time other
>> than "now"; this makes it impossible to express queries for historical
>> information, or to issue command requests of the form: Do X at device Y,
>> beginning in 30 minutes)"
>> Well, at a database company, "impossible to express queries" is a
>> challenge.? When we cobbled together our adhoc management system, it
>> turned out that databases are really good at handling time and queries
>> for historical information, for performing actions on schedules or
>> demand (see TRIGGER in database lingo, or for simple stuff just use
>> cron) and for collecting and distributing data as needed.? Melding SNMP
>> and a database with a little Shell-script and SQL glue was pretty
>> straightforward and turned out to be very useful for managing the
>> intranet.??
>> We even mused about scattering databases around the net to limit traffic
>> loads by collecting high-volume SNMP data locally, and all of that
>> scattered data would be automatically aggregated using standard
>> distributed database techniques.? It worked for industries managing
>> sales, inventory, shipments, orders, etc., so it would work for network
>> data.?? I'm not sure if we ever did that though.? What we did in a few
>> days was enough to put out the fires.
>> Those observations in 1109 were very wise and accurate.? What happened
>> in the thirty years since...?? A timeline/history of Network Management
>> in the Internet might be fascinating - Tools, not meetings, protocols
>> and documents.
>> I think somebody hit my hot button... I'll stop typing.....
>> /Jack

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