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[ih] inter-network communication history

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

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.....


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