RTG: A Scalable SNMP Statistics Architecture for Service Providers

Robert Beverly.
Proceedings of the 16th Systems Administration Conference (LISA 2002), pp. 167-174, Philadelphia, PA, November 2002

SNMP is the standard protocol used to manage IP networks. Service providers often analyze the utilization statistics available from SNMP-enabled devices to make informed engineering decisions, diagnose faults and perform billing. However collecting and efficiently storing large amounts of time-series data quickly, without impacting network or device performance, is challenging in very large installations. We identify three crucial requirements for an SNMP statistical solution: (i) support for hundreds of devices each with thousands of objects; (ii) the ability to retain the data indefinitely; and (iii) an abstract interface to the data. We then compare the applicability of several tools in a service provider environment. Finally, we detail Real Traffic Grabber (RTG), an application currently in use on our national IP backbone which we developed in lieu of existing packages to meet our requirements.

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