Managing The New Network
A critical guide for network architects and administrators and the people who manage them.
- By Greg Neilson
Directory Enabled Networks
(DEN) is the standards-based paradigm shift that eventually will
take us from networks of individually configured devices to an intelligent
grouping that can manage all of the devices in the network. Network
architects will be able to define policies for handling traffic
without having to configure specific parameters on every intermediate
network device to produce desired results.
Directory Enabled Networks, the book, is co-written by
someone uniquely positioned to describe the inner workings of DEN,
since the author originated the concept of DEN, sits on multiple
related standards working groups, and is driving the usage of DEN
DEN is still in its early days
of implementation, and the first products are now seeing the light
of day. So don't be thinking that you'll be able to read this tome
tonight and design and implement a new directory-enabled network
for your company tomorrow. The focus of the book is to explain what
DEN is and isn't and then cover the main concepts needed to be proficient
with the technology-object modeling, directories, and network management
via policies. Then the various object models are presented and some
conclusions made about where exactly this technology stands today.
Part 1 offers an overview of
DEN and object-oriented modeling and then revisits the motivation
for the development of DEN in being able to provide an intelligent
Part 2 is the core of the book.
It describes in great detail the Common Information Model, CIM,
which is used to describe how a system is managed, DEN's physical
model, the CIM/DEN logical network model, and finally DEN's policy
Part 3 of the book discusses
how policy-based networking can be used in practice and what the
various vendors are doing about DEN. It closes with an update of
where the relevant working groups are headed and what this means
for the future of DEN.
There's no doubt that is the
authoritative work on DEN at the moment. But should you consider
this book? If you're a network architect (or want to be one), then
you'll need to get a solid handle on this technology. Similarly,
if you see yourself specializing in Windows 2000 Active Directory
design, you would do well to understand what's happening with this
networking technology, since you'll share common interests in defining
user access to network resources. And, of course, Cisco's Network
Services for Active Directory (CSN/AD) support will build upon Active
Directory in being able to provide policy-based network management.
IT managers will probably need
an overview of this technology in order to communicate sensibly
with their technical staff members, and there are three chapters
("The DEN Value Proposition, " "Motivation for DEN,"
and "Policy-Based Networking") that will give them the
understanding they need for the future without drowning them in
Greg Neilson is a manager at a large IT services firm in Australia and has been a frequent contributor to MCPmag.com and CertCities.com.