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Re: snmpconf BCP-07 vs configuration management

Mike and Randy,

I think the interpretation that Mike has about the scope of what we
wanted to accomplish in the BCP is accurate. I also agree that the
versioning, while interesting and important is generally outside the
domain of the SNMP portion of the managed system.

All that said, I like Randy's idea of putting in the reference. That way
if people read this document and want to learn 'more advanced' topics
they can do so from the pointer. What we could do is add a paragraph in
section 1.2 as Randy suggests. Specifically, we could add
a paragraph at the end of 1.2, something like:

  "Configuration management of networked systems is complex area.The
  focus of this document is on effective design and usage of the SNMP
  with regard to configuration activities. Many of the configuration
  concepts in this document are broadly useful and would be appropriate
  to consider in any configuration management system regardles of the
  form of the configuration data. Because of the focus of this document,
  there are topics related to configuration that are broader in scope
  than this document that one might wish to read before attempting the
  design or implemetation of any configuration management system

Or something like that. Randy if you would like to reword this, that is
OK as well.


> On Wed, Nov 28, 2001 at 04:28:06PM -0800, rpresuhn-lists@dorothy.bmc.com wrote:
> >However, it still doesn't do justice to some of the
> >central issues of configuration management.  (as defined in
> >http://www.itil.co.uk/online_ordering/itil_glossary.htm ) For
> >example, though the document spends quite a bit of time on the
> >transaction concept, only one sentence in section 5 (2) seems
> >to even touch on the issue of versioning of configurations,
> >and almost nothing on the concept of identifying configurations.
> I agree versioning configurations is a very important part 
> of the configuration process. In my experience, that has
> been done outside of scope of the Internet Standard
> Managment Framework and is very well understood.
> We BCP editors did discuss how difficult it is to get a configuration
> off a device using SNMP, and that writing a generic configuration
> extraction tool for an arbitrary device is impractical. 
> Jon did mention to me a nice solution to this problem but 
> it has not been defined yet as a standards track MIB module. 
> >I think it would be worthwhile to provide a higher-level
> >view by including more of the concepts from ITIL, at least
> >by reference.  Otherwise, it has more of the flavor of a
> >tutorial on how to implement SNMP, rather than a compendium of
> >best current practice for the use of SNMP for configuration
> >management.  Does the best current practice really have so
> >far to go?
> My goal was enumerate good and contrast with not so good
> implementation mechanisms and processes that directly involve
> components of the management framework. 
> If this level of knowledge is not achieved and implemented,
> then any higher level view of configuration won't be of much use 
> to the practitioner. I'm not against adding some references to 
> some higher model(s), it is just not the case everyone subscribes 
> to the same models.  
> For example from your glossary: "Expert User" See 'Super User' 
> Give me a break.  'Super user' is just a particular account on a *nix
> box right? (I'm not kidding). And I've never seen 
> 'Super Users' be required to do first line support
> in an organisation that wants to retain them. 
> >I propose adding the references to the ITIL definitions
> >to section 1.2, and extending section 2 by adding another
> >subsection dealing with identification and versioning of
> >configurations using SNMP.  
> I just haven't seen any systems in practice given the scope
> described above. For CLI methods of configuration, this 
> is the one pattern I've seen used most:
>    http://www.shrubbery.net/rancid
> >Section 5 should be expanded
> >so that point (2) in the first paragraph is sytematically
> >addressed, particularly since this can interact with the
> >persistance / activation mechanisms discussed in 3.7+
> Maybe the sample MIB module could be used to provide
> such a secenario?
> Regards,
> Mike


Jon Saperia		     saperia@jdscons.com
			     Phone: 617-744-1079
			     Fax:   617-249-0874