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TickleMan Management Station Announced

SNMP-Tcl Integration with XNETMON, Hewlett-Packard's OpenView,
SCO's ODT, and Polycenter on NetView

Las Vegas, Nevada, March 28, 1995 - SNMP Research International announces the availability of TickleMan, a family of extremely low-cost, SNMP-based manager station products with portable management applications. The TickleMan family of management station products is aptly named because it is based upon the tool command language, Tcl (pronounced "tickle").

Integrating SNMP Research International's SNMP software with the Tcl/Tk scripting language, plus Tcl/Tk scripts for management applications as described in How To Manage Your Network Using SNMP by Dr. Marshall T. Rose and Keith McCloghrie. In addition, TickleMan capabilities are easily customized and extended using scripts written in Tcl. This combination allows the managers of networks to create their own management programs without depending upon the vendor community to address their specific needs. These scripts can be written without requiring thorough knowledge of the SNMP framework or the C programming language. In addition, TickleMan makes an SNMPv2 management station immediately available to those network managers who have been waiting for a viable alternative for the management of routers and other products which provide SNMPv2 now.

Initially, there are five members in the TickleMan family of products.

First, TickleMan/Lite is a basic version which is compatible with a wide range of Unix X-Windows and Motif environments. Pricing for TickleMan/Lite is $695.

Second, TickleMan/OV includes enhancements of the basic TickleMan/Lite because it has been adapted for and integrated with Hewlett-Packard's OpenView management station platform. This integration enables users to launch TickleMan/OV applications from the OpenView console by highlighting the icon of the appropriate device or system and then selecting the desired TickleMan/OV application from the OpenView console menu bar. Pricing for TickleMan/OV is $995. TickleMan/OV is available for both the HP/UX and Sun UNIX Versions of OpenView.

Third, TickleMan/XNETMON enhances the basic TickleMan/Lite product through integration with SNMP Research International's X-Windows based management station, XNETMON, providing a complete management station at very low cost. TickleMan/XNETMON enables users to invoke SNMP-Tcl applications via an easy-to-use point-and-click interface to XNETMON's network maps in addition to using the other powerful features of XNETMON. XNETMON is a graphical network management station which has long served as a source code toolkit. XNETMON provides the enabling technology for SNMP-based management stations offered by many vendors. Pricing for TickleMan/XNETMON, which includes XNETMON in software, is $1,495.

Fourth, TickleMan/SCO provides a management station for those networks which use SCO's Open Desk Top (ODT) operating system. TickleMan/SCO actually offers two levels of service. For those who wish to use a line command interface to manage their network, then TickleMan/Lite is available on the ODT platform. Those who prefer an X-Windows and Motif graphical user interface for their management station applications will appreciate the TickleMan/XNETMON product on SCO's ODT platform.

Fifth, TickleMan/NVPOLY offers Tcl/Tk-based management applications for network, system, and application management integrated with the NetView management station. As with the other members of the TickleMan family of products, TickleMan/NVPOLY can be easily extended to create additional applications. TickleMan/NVPOLY can be integrated with SNMP Research International's BRASS to add application portability and SNMPv2 security and performance NOW. BRASS also greatly simplifies SNMPv2 configuration. In addition, TickleMan/NVPOLY will soon offer a graphical snap-in application which will control Mid-Level Managers installed on the network. The Mid-Level Manager Configuration Tool will also be able to download scripts to the Mid-Level Manager, which performs delegated management tasks and localizes polling in large networks.

TickleMan/NVPOLY is demonstrated at Networld + Interop in SNMP Research International's booth, 3034, integrated with POLYCENTER Manager on NetView for OSF/1 on the Digital Alpha AXP.

Additional members of the TickleMan family will be announced in the future. Versions of the Tcl and Tk technology are being developed for additional operating systems and windowing environments, such as Microsoft Windows.

SNMP Research International produced the TickleMan family of products by integrating the publicly available Applications Programming Interface (API) with its SNMP stack. This integration makes it possible to use publicly available software based on Tcl and Tk with commercial quality SNMP and SNMPv2 code. This results in a run-time environment for executing SNMP-based Tcl/Tk applications.

There are already more than twenty five applications provided with the TickleMan family. These applications include network, system, and application management tools such as: utilization graphing, alert monitors, archive collection and display mechanisms, and the ability to automatically discover transparent bridge topology. Another application is an automatic SNMPv2 configuration tool. Examples of how the network manager can write additional scripts are also included.

Many development groups are currently building applications which use the SNMP-Tcl API. As these applications become available network managers and system administrators can easily add these additional applications to TickleMan. These SNMP-Tcl based applications are portable across multiple operating systems and windowing systems. So the applications used at the network operations center on a Unix-based management station will not need to be rewritten for the regional operations center which uses a DOS/Windows PC management station.

It is very easy for network managers and system administrators to install and use the TickleMan management station platform and management applications because SNMP Research International has packaged them as "shrink-wrap" binaries. This alleviates the need to acquire large source code from the Internet and endure the frustrations associated with compiling public-domain software. The management applications have been integrated with SNMP Research International's commercially available and fully supported bilingual SNMPv1 and SNMPv2 software. This integration extends all the way to BRASS, the Bilingual Request and Security Subsystem. BRASS is an applications-extensible run-time management module that allows many applications on a manager station to use the same SNMP utilities and configuration files. So, BRASS simplifies the requirements for configuring SNMPv2 security within a management station.

The TickleMan family of products is built with Tcl and Tk. Tcl (pronounced "tickle") is a public domain scripting language which can be embedded in C applications. Tcl enables development of applications in much less time than with C alone. An X-Windows toolkit, Tk (pronounced "tee-kay") is available for Tcl which enables the rapid development of X-Windows applications. Tcl and Tk are in widespread use by applications developers.

Tcl and Tk were developed by John K. Ousterhout as described in Tcl and The Tk Toolkit.

SNMP Research International provides one of the leading vendor-independent reference implementations of the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and SNMP Version 2 (SNMPv2) for agents and manager stations. These products form the basis of many of today's SNMP managed products from many of the world's leaders in data communications. Their work is ported to a multitude of hardware platforms and operating systems.

SNMP Research International, Inc. produces a family of management products based on the SNMP framework and other protocols. These products include agent and network management station software for the computer and communications industries. SNMP Research International's founder, Dr. Jeff Case, has long been a contributor in the area of SNMP and has written a multitude of articles and papers on the topic. As a result of his efforts, SNMP Research International is in a leadership position with respect to defining the standards and constructing implementations based on SNMP, the standard framework for TCP/IP network management.

HP OpenView and HP/UX are trademarks of Hewlett-Packard Company.
UNIX is a trademark of UNIX Systems Laboratories, Inc.
Windows is a trademark of the Microsoft Corporation.
Motif is a trademark of Open Software Foundation.
NetView is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
OSF/1 is a trademark of the Open Software Foundation.
POLYCENTER and Alpha AXP are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation.
All other trademarks are the property of their owners.

(NOTE: Prices subject to change.)

For further information, contact SNMP Research International, Inc.

3001 Kimberlin Heights Road
Knoxville, Tennessee, 37920
Telephone: +1 865 579-3311
Fax: +1 865 579-6565
Email: info@snmp.com

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