Techniques for managing asynchronously generated alerts
RFC 1224

Document Type RFC - Experimental (May 1991; No errata)
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Network Working Group                                       L. Steinberg
Request for Comments: 1224                               IBM Corporation
                                                                May 1991

        Techniques for Managing Asynchronously Generated Alerts

Status of this Memo

   This memo defines common mechanisms for managing asynchronously
   produced alerts in a manner consistent with current network
   management protocols.

   This memo specifies an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
   community.  Discussion and suggestions for improvement are requested.
   Please refer to the current edition of the "IAB Official Protocol
   Standards" for the standardization state and status of this protocol.
   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Abstract

   This RFC explores mechanisms to prevent a remotely managed entity
   from burdening a manager or network with an unexpected amount of
   network management information, and to ensure delivery of "important"
   information.  The focus is on controlling the flow of asynchronously
   generated information, and not how the information is generated.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction...................................................  2
   2. Problem Definition.............................................  3
   2.1 Polling Advantages............................................  3
    (a) Reliable detection of failures...............................  3
    (b) Reduced protocol complexity on managed entity................  3
    (c) Reduced performance impact on managed entity.................  3
    (d) Reduced configuration requirements to manage remote entity...  4
   2.2 Polling Disadvantages.........................................  4
    (a) Response time for problem detection..........................  4
    (b) Volume of network management traffic generated...............  4
   2.3 Alert Advantages..............................................  5
    (a) Real-time knowledge of problems..............................  5
    (b) Minimal amount of network management traffic.................  5
   2.4 Alert Disadvantages...........................................  5
    (a) Potential loss of critical information.......................  5
    (b) Potential to over-inform a manager...........................  5
   3. Specific Goals of this Memo....................................  6
   4. Compatibility with Existing Network Management Protocols.......  6

Steinberg                                                       [Page 1]
RFC 1224        Managing Asynchronously Generated Alerts        May 1991

   5. Closed Loop "Feedback" Alert Reporting with a "Pin" Sliding
      Window Limit...................................................  6
   5.1 Use of Feedback...............................................  7
   5.1.1 Example.....................................................  8
   5.2 Notes on Feedback/Pin usage...................................  8
   6. Polled, Logged Alerts..........................................  9
   6.1 Use of Polled, Logged Alerts.................................. 10
   6.1.1 Example..................................................... 12
   6.2 Notes on Polled, Logged Alerts................................ 12
   7. Compatibility with SNMP and CMOT .............................. 14
   7.1 Closed Loop Feedback Alert Reporting.......................... 14
   7.1.1 Use of Feedback with SNMP................................... 14
   7.1.2 Use of Feedback with CMOT................................... 14
   7.2 Polled, Logged Alerts......................................... 14
   7.2.1 Use of Polled, Logged Alerts with SNMP...................... 14
   7.2.2 Use of Polled, Logged Alerts with CMOT...................... 15
   8. Notes on Multiple Manager Environments......................... 15
   9. Summary........................................................ 16
   10. References.................................................... 16
   11. Acknowledgements.............................................. 17
   Appendix A.  Example of polling costs............................. 17
   Appendix B.  MIB object definitions............................... 19
   Security Considerations........................................... 22
   Author's Address.................................................. 22

1.  Introduction

   This memo defines mechanisms to prevent a remotely managed entity
   from burdening a manager or network with an unexpected amount of
   network management information, and to ensure delivery of "important"
   information.  The focus is on controlling the flow of asynchronously
   generated information, and not how the information is generated.
   Mechanisms for generating and controlling the generation of
   asynchronous information may involve protocol specific issues.

   There are two understood mechanisms for transferring network
   management information from a managed entity to a manager: request-
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