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Initial Device Configuration - A panacea?

R I G Consulting, Inc.
Posts: n/a

This is a broad question (again a sweeping question addressed to
consumers of NMS as well as engineers involved with NMS software
development. But specifically I would like to hear from NetOps.

To set the context for this discussion -- by devices I mean anything
and everything that can make a manageable network node: all-in-ones
switches routers, modem racks, firewalls, encryption devices,
modulators, etc. wireless devices such as tablets and phones...etc. If
you wonder why I group all devices into one category, it is just for
discussion sake, I look at them as if there was one manufacturer that
made all of them, then they would keep *some* common minimum or a
standard for the firmware footprint that went into it, in other words
I am looking at it as if there some kind of standard that needs to be
invented or available but no one implements it?

Out of the box when new devices are added to a network, most or all
devices support/use BOOTP, DHCP and or UPnP. This I call "Device
Initiated Configuration Request" because the device initiates the
request (even though UPnP may be peer-to-peer, it is still device

Would it be convenient if we had something that is "NMS initiated"? By
this I mean, the NMS software initiates the configuration instead of
the device? I am guessing it would be convenient (1) because it
reduces one more step NetOps/admins have to take in choosing BOOTP/
DHCP/Manual and then let the configuration roll (BOOTP/DHCP) or if
they selected "Manual" then key in the IP/mask/gateway address on the
devices panel, whatever that is. (2) whenever there is a power cycling
scenario involving hundreds or thousands of devices (as in a power
outage in a center) and they power up again, it is presumed the
configuration is recalled from the flash memory and no
reconfigurations are required, but what if a total re-configuration
(for example address range) was called for? Then Netops/Admin have to
go through the pain of doing it all over as if each device was out of
the box? What happens when the firmware is upgraded?

Please respond with your logic whether you agree or disagree (that NMS
initiated configuration is useful), especially if you are a NetOps. Or
e-mail me directly your response to the e-mail address indicated
below. This is to find if I need to consider a certain feature to be
included in NMS product development.

Uma Sundaram

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