US 6842781 Download and processing of a network management application on a network device

ABSTRACT – A method and system is provided for performing a network management task on a network device. The network device loads a network management application capable of performing the network management task onto the network device in response to a request. Loading may include accessing an application server having the network management application capable of a performing the network management task and downloading the network management application over a network from the application server to the network device. The network device then executes the network management application corresponding to the requested network management task. Methods and systems provide a result from executing the network management application to a network management system used to manage the network.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention generally relates to network management and, more particularly, to a method and apparatus for accessing network information on a network of intelligent network devices.

BACKGROUND

Computer networks are becoming increasingly complex and difficult to manage. This is driven in part by the ever-increasing variety of network devices, computers, and software being combined together to integrate large enterprise-based intranets with the Internet. Network management tools have been produced to monitor these complex combinations of hardware and software and help troubleshoot network failures when they occurred.

Traditional network management tools use a protocol called simple network management protocol (SNMP) to monitor network devices such as routers, switches, hubs, remote access devices, or even computers in a network The protocol used to interface with SNMP includes rudimentary commands to operate on data such as to “get” a variable, “set” a variable, or “test” a variable. These commands typically are deployed from a central network management server (NMS) within the network to a network device connected to the network. The network device processes one or more of these rudimentary commands and then returns the results to the NMS for further processing and analysis. In these systems, little or no processing or analysis is performed by the network devices. Instead, the NMS is saddled with the responsibility of receiving the results as well as performing the complex analyses associated with monitoring network operation and performance.

SUMMARY

In one aspect of the present invention, a method of performing network management on a network device includes receiving a request to perform a network management task on a network device, loading a network management application capable of performing the network management task onto the network device in response to the request. In one implementation, loading includes accessing an application server having the network management application capable of a performing the network management task and downloading the network management application over a network from the application server to the network device. The network device then executes the network management application corresponding to the requested network management task. Methods and systems provide a result from executing the network management application to a network management system used to manage the network. Alternatively, the methods and systems broadcast a result from executing the network management application over a network to other network devices capable of monitoring and processing the result.

The details of one or more embodiments of the invention are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features of the invention will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

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