This paper presents a way of managing configuration of network elements via a set of high-level rules or business policies rather than managing device by device. First, there is a need for abstraction of the capabilities of the individual devices, thus switching the control to network level. The benefit is that we can specify and issue unique management rules (or commands) that can be applied to a cross-section of network devices. Second, a way to manipulate (create, install, monitor, modify, revoke) the policy rules across the network is needed. The IETF SNMPConf (Configuration Management with SNMP ) working group explores how the Internet Standard Management Framework SNMP can be used for policy-based configuration management. The material presented in this paper is heavily based on the work of this group.
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