Charting Networks in the X.500 Directory
RFC 1609

Document Type RFC - Experimental (March 1994; No errata)
Last updated 2020-07-29
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Network Working Group                                       G. Mansfield
Request for Comments: 1609                        AIC Systems Laboratory
Category: Experimental                                      T. Johannsen
                                                      Dresden University
                                                              M. Knopper
                                                    Merit Networks, Inc.
                                                              March 1994

                Charting Networks in the X.500 Directory

Status of this Memo

   This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
   community.  This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any
   kind.  Discussion and suggestions for improvement are requested.
   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


   There is a need for a framework wherein the infrastructural and
   service related information about communication networks can be made
   accessible from all places and at all times in a reasonably efficient
   manner and with reasonable accuracy.  This document presents a model
   in which a communication network with all its related details and
   descriptions can be represented in the X.500 Directory. Schemas of
   objects and their attributes which may be used for this purpose are
   presented.  The model envisages physical objects and several logical
   abstractions of the physical objects.

Mansfield, Johannsen & Knopper                                  [Page 1]
RFC 1609        Charting Networks in the X.500 Directory      March 1994

Table of Contents

      1. Introduction                                       2
      2. Infrastructural information requirements           2
      3. The Nature of the Network Map - The X.500 Solution 4
      4. The hierarchical model of a network                5
      4.1 Network maps                                      5
      4.2 Representation in the X.500 Directory             6
      5. Position in The Directory Information Tree(DIT)    7
      6. Proposed Schemes                                   8
      6.1 Communication Object Classes                      9
      6.2 Physical elements                                10
      6.2.1 Network                                        10
      6.2.2 Node                                           11
      6.2.3 NetworkInterface                               12
      6.3 Logical Elements                                 12
      6.3.1 Network                                        13
      6.3.2 Node                                           13
      6.3.3 NetworkInterface                               13
      7. Security Considerations                           14
      8. Authors' Addresses                                14
      9. References                                        15

1. Introduction

   The rapid and widespread use of computer networking has highlighted
   the importance of holding and servicing information about the
   networking infrastructure itself.  The growing and active interest in
   network management, which has concentrated mainly in the areas of
   fault and performance management on a local scale, is severely
   constrained by the lack of any organized pool of information about
   the network infrastructure itself. Some attempts have been made, on a
   piecemeal basis, to provide a larger view of some particular aspect
   of the network (WHOIS, DNS, .. in the case of the Internet; [1],
   [2]).  But to date, little or no effort has been made in setting up
   the infrastructural framework, for such an information pool. In this
   work we explore the possibility of setting up a framework to hold and
   serve the infrastructural information of a network.

2. Infrastructural information requirements

   Network operation and management requires information about the
   structure of the network, the nodes, links and their properties.
   Further, with current networks extending literally beyond bounds, the
   scope of the information covers networks beyond the span of local
   domain of authority or administration.  When the Network was
   relatively small and simple the map was already known to the
   knowledgable network administrator.  Based on this knowledge the

Mansfield, Johannsen & Knopper                                  [Page 2]
RFC 1609        Charting Networks in the X.500 Directory      March 1994

   course of the packets to different destinations would be charted. But
   presently the size of the Network is already beyond such usages. The
   current growth of the Network is near explosive. This is giving rise
   to the urgent necessity of having infrastructural and service related
   information made accessible from all places and at all times in a
   reasonably efficient manner and with reasonable accuracy. In the rest
   of this work a network is the media for transmitting information.
   Network elements are equipment with one or more network interfaces
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