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Network Management, MIBs and MPLS: Principles, Design and Implementation

This book excerpt focuses on the principles and concepts of managing large enterprise networks.

Network Management, MIBs and MPLS: Principles, Design and Implementation

Chapter 1: Large enterprise networks

This book excerpt is from Chapter 1 of "Network Management, MIBs and MPLS: Principles, Design and Implementation" by Stephen Morris, ISBN 0-13-101113-8, copyright 2003. All rights reserved. This chapter, titled "Large Enterprise Networks," is posted with permission from Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference.

Modern networks are divided, in terms of their operations, into essentially two main categories: enterprise and service provider (SP). In this book we focus on the principles and concepts of managing large enterprise networks. Examples of such networks are government departments, global corporations, and large financial/healthcare organizations. Most such enterprises employ the products and services of SP networks, so we try to balance the discussion by including some general comments about managing SP networks as well. It is in the latter network type that we tend to describe Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), a widely deployed technology. In passing, we mention that MPLS is also finding its way into large enterprise WANs.

An important point to note is that network management is a distinct and separate discipline from both enterprise and SP networking. For this reason, our study of enterprise, SP, and MPLS network management should be seen merely as applications of network management technology. As we'll see, many elements of network management are common across all such application areas. We have six main aims:

  1. To illustrate some important aspects of network management, especially enterprise networks but also SP networks.
  2. To describe some increasingly important problems facing Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)-based network management systems (NMS).
  3. To describe some Management Information Base (MIB) improvements that would assist manageability.
  4. To illustrate the construction of a rudimentary NMS using Visual C++ and Java.
  5. To describe MPLS and the advantages that it provides to enterprise and SP networks.
  6. To illustrate the need for increased (policy-based) intelligence in managed devices.

We set the scene by describing in general terms some of the components of large enterprise networks. These networks are big and geographically dispersed (often spanning many countries), have lots of legacy equipment, and are hard to manage --scalability is an issue affecting both their manageability and usability. After introducing the general area, we begin our discussion of network management.

This chapter is posted in full as a pdf file. To continue reading, click here.

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