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CIT 361: Week 12
IP Routing & SNMP

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This is one of two lessons that made me hesitate to offer this class on-line even though I knew I had to figure out a way to do it. I know that most of the networking students at GBC have taken the MCSE track and neither they nor the rest of the computing degree emphasis areas do any network routing in their classes. For the live version of this class I created a hands-on lab with three or more subnets that the students had to route traffic between as well as connect to the Internet so that any user could browse the web. The lab included a back channel so the OSPF, open shortest path first, protocol's "self healing" capabilities could be demonstrated by simply unplugging one of the primary links in the network. This was a team exercise, since few if any students, had past routing experience which obviously cannot be done in the WebCampus environment. In reviewing the material in chapter 10 on routing I do not feel I have anything to add to what the author has presented so I am going to let that chapter stand as is.

However, I have one small comment to add the the material in chapter 11 which we are also covering this week. SNMP, the simple network management protocol, is not simple. In principle it is very straight forward as the author presents it but in actual practice it is very complicated and often expensive to implement. There are several commercial network management software packages from major vendors available and all have a starting price of over $1,000 and can easily exceed $100,000 for even a moderately large network. Most inexpensive switches and other networking devices do not include network management features therefore in addition to the software one must also invest in high end networking equipment. On the positive side once these systems are in place they are very effective tools for everything from remotely re-configuring routers, switches, vLANS, & other network infrastructure to monitoring & repairing network faults to remote inventory management of computing devices & software. By remote, in this context I mean it is possible from anywhere in the world if you have the proper security authorization.

This is all I have to add to these two chapters. As always there is a lot of material covered in these chapters and much more can be found on the web from various network system vendors. So, post your comments, ideas, and questions in the current discussion. If any of you have worked with these systems you might consider telling us about some of your experiences.