The Opstat Client-Server Model for Statistics Retrieval
RFC 1856

Document Type RFC - Informational (September 1995; No errata)
Last updated 2012-02-26
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Network Working Group                                           H. Clark
Request For Comments: 1856                                    BBN Planet
Category: Informational                                   September 1995

        The Opstat Client-Server Model for Statistics Retrieval

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.

Abstract

   Network administrators gather data related to the performance,
   utilization, usability and growth of their data network.  The amount
   of raw data gathered is usually quite large, typically ranging
   somewhere between several megabytes to several gigabytes of data each
   month.  Few (if any) tools exist today for the sharing of that raw
   data among network operators or between a network service provider
   (NSP) and its customers.  This document defines a model and protocol
   for a set of tools which could be used by NSPs and Network Operation
   Centers (NOCs) to share data among themselves and with customers.

1.0  Introduction

   Network administrators gather data related to the performance,
   utilization, usability and growth of their data network.  The primary
   goal of gathering the data is to facilitate near-term problem
   isolation and longer-term network planning within the organization.
   The amount of raw data gathered is usually quite large, typically
   ranging somewhere between several megabytes to several gigabytes of
   data each month.  From this raw data, the network administrator
   produces various types of reports.  Few (if any) tools exist today
   for the sharing of that raw data among network operators or between a
   network service provider (NSP) and its customers.  This document
   defines a model and protocol for a set of tools which could be used
   by NSPs and Network Operation Centers (NOCs) to share data among
   themselves and with customers.

1.1 The OPSTAT Model

   Under the Operational Statistics model [1], there exists a common
   model under which tools exist for the collection, storage, retrieval
   and presentation of network management data.

Clark                        Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 1856               Opstat Client-Server Model           October 1995

   This document defines a protocol which would allow a client on a
   remote machine to retrieve data from a central server, which itself
   retrieves from the common statistics database.  The client then
   presents the data to the user in the form requested (maybe to a X-
   window, or to paper).

   The basic model used for the retrieval methods defined in this
   document is a client-server model.  This architecture envisions that
   each NOC (or NSP) should install a server which provides locally
   collected information for clients.  Using a query language the client
   should be able to define the network object of interest, the
   interface, the metrics and the time period to be examined.  Using a
   reliable transport-layer protocol (e.g., TCP), the server will
   transmit the requested data.  Once this data is received by the
   client it could be processed and presented by a variety of tools
   including displaying the data in a X window, sending postscript to a
   printer, or displaying the raw data on the user's terminal.

   The remainder of this document describes how the client and server
   interact, describes the protocol used between the client and server,
   and discusses a variety of other issues surrounding the sharing of
   data.

2.0  Client-Server Description

2.1  The Client

   The basic function of the client is to retrieve data from the server.
   It will accept requests from the user, translate those requests into
   the common retrieval protocol and transmit them to the server, wait
   for the server's reply, and send that reply to the user.

   Note that this document does not define how the data should be
   presented to the user.  There are many methods of doing this
   including:

    - use a X based tool that displays graphs (line, histogram, etc.)
    - generate PostScript output to be sent to a printer
    - dump the raw data to the user's terminal

   Future documents based on the Operational Statistics model may define
   standard  graphs  and variables to be displayed, but this is work yet
   to be done (as of this writing).

Clark                        Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 1856               Opstat Client-Server Model           October 1995

2.2  The Server

   The basic function of the server is to accept connections from a
   client, accept some series of commands from the client and perform a
   series of actions based on the commands, and then close the
   connection to the client.

   The server must have some type of configuration file, which is left
   undefined in this document.  The configuration file would list users
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