PWG-ANNOUNCE> RE: SantaFe PWG Plenary [Web Svcs Device Mgmt]

PWG-ANNOUNCE> RE: SantaFe PWG Plenary [Web Svcs Device Mgmt]

PWG-ANNOUNCE> RE: SantaFe PWG Plenary [Web Svcs Device Mgmt]

McDonald, Ira imcdonald at
Wed Sep 4 12:55:04 EDT 2002

Hi folks,                                   Wednesday (4 September 2002)

The topic of a new Web Services Device Management standard interface was
raised in the PWG Plenary last week (see the excerpt from Bill Wagner's
minutes below).

Important related work is the following paper, written by Randy Presuhn
(SNMPv3 revisions editor):
    - "Applying WebDAV (Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning)
      to Network Configuration Management Problems" (31 May 2002)

Note that WebDAV has distinct advantages over new-from-scratch solutions
(like a Web Services SOAP-based approach):

a)  WebDAV supports very powerful version control and distributed
    authoring (i.e., keeping track of who made the last changes);
b)  WebDAV is content-neutral (i.e., it will store and manage network
    configuration information in any format) - WebDAV is NOT locked into
    one single device management schema (e.g., DMTF CIM schema);
c)  WebDAV is widely deployed and widely supported (including by various
    Microsoft tools).

- Ira McDonald
  High North Inc

[Excerpts from "Applying WebDAV to Network Configuration Mgmt Problems"]


   This memo examines the potential of using WWW Distributed Authoring
   and Versioning (WebDAV) technologies to address the problems of
   network configuration management.  It reviews requirements and issues
   that have been identified in IETF network configuration management
   and operator requirements discussions, matching these requirements
   and issues with various WebDAV facilities.  It concludes by
   identifying areas for further exploration.

   Comments are welcomed, both from the Operations and Management Area
   in general, and from participants in the webdav and deltav working
   groups in particular.  Please send comments to the author at
   randy_presuhn at

1.  Introduction

   Since the appearance of [OpsReq], there has been considerable debate
   in the Operations and Management Area about how to address these
   operator requirements, particularly for the configuration of network

   Although [ConfBcp] work does a good job of describing current
   practices, there is clearly a significant disconnect between this
   work, the requirements in [OpsReq], and the current state of the art
   of configuration management in other domains, such as software
   engineering or technical publications.

   This document does not attempt to solve all the interesting problems
   described in [OpsReq] and [ConfBcp].  It focuses on the "distributed
   database" aspects of the problem, and shows how existing IETF
   specifications can be used to address this problem.

[Excerpt from PWG Plenary minutes from Santa Fe (27 August 2002)]

6.1 WEB Services Device Management
Harry Lewis suggested that there should be a standardization effort to
define improved device management based upon Web services.  The
advantage of this approach over SNMP is the ability to use a common
protocol for platform-independent management applications, both intra
and extra enterprise.  Further, device management via the Internet would

- Central management services by the manufacturer or supplier
- Well-established equipment leasing services to support small and
  distributed resource environments as well as large centralized
  enterprise installations
- Corporate MIS groups to support small branch offices
- Follow the sun support services - 24 hour help desk manned by agents
  around the globe, each working normal hours Management includes both
  monitoring and setting equipment parameters, and potentially providing
  for firmware updates.

The first task of the groups would be to investigate what other groups
have done in the area, including:

- IETF XML- config group
- Progress of an IETF BOF to find a better equipment management
  approach than the command line interface with home grown parsing tools
  that appears to be the norm
- W3C activity - device management effort

Who would be interested?
- Elliott Bradshaw
- Harry Lewis and
- Bill Wagner

offered to do initial work in the area. Initial discussion would be on
the PWG reflector.  A new mailing list for this effort would be setup
and identified on the PWG Announce list.

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