Networks and Systems Management Concepts
To administer the enormous number of resources involved in communications, either wired or wireless, from customer premises to backbone networks and across all geographical and administrative boundaries, there is a need for specialized systems designed specifically for management. These systems comprise hardware and software components, applications and corresponding operations used together to monitor, control, operate, coordinate, provision, administer, diagnose and report faults, and account for the network and computing resources that allow communications to take place. As communications systems became an important part of any business, management systems evolved to support whole enterprises, i.e., to provide management of multivendor, multiprotocol and multitechnology network and systems environments. Management systems are more than just simple tools used to manage network and systems resources. They include standardized procedures and sophisticated communications protocols to collect and process the management information.
The high level paradigm of management consists of two entities: the Managing Entity and the Managed Entity. The relationship between managing entities and managed entities can be modeled as manager-agent, client-server, mainframe-terminal, master-slave, or peer-to-peer. In the manager-agent model, the management entity, also called the manager, represents the managing process while the managed entity, also called agent, represents the managed process. These models are depicted in Figure 2.1. Both manager and agent processes are software applications. The manager application provides management functions and services while the agent application provides access to the management information related to managed resources or managed objects.