(a) routine collection of data on traffic;
(b) routine collection of data on failures of connections and of network nodes;
(c) ability to query the status of network nodes in order to assist in fault location;
(d) ability to control the status of network nodes, including resetting, restarting, and reloading with software;
(e) ability to withdraw network nodes from service, and to reconfigure routing information.
Ideally, the manager would like to be able to perform all these activities from a workstation connected to the network. For this to be done, the nodes must themselves be treated as addressable objects on the network, and there must be a protocol that allows suitably authorized and qualified personnel to carry out both the routine activities (a) and (b) above, and to take corrective action in the event of a failure. There is a suitable protocol, SNMP (simple network management protocol), and nearly all suppliers now market products that can process SNMP queries and commands.
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