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Linux Journal: Automating IP Host Data Collection on a LAN

Sep 26, 1999, 01:12 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Nasal)

"Using Linux and the ACEDB database system makes easy work of local area network management."

"Linux's agility and power inspires the efficient design and implementation of specialty tools for specific tasks. On a data network, engineers and administrators appreciate the ease and flexibility with which Linux can be implemented as a platform for data collection, analysis and processing. In this article I'll demonstrate techniques for implementing ACEDB (an object-oriented database) and a few other tools to provide comprehensive access to administrative data that you might already be collecting from your network."

"The management of TCP/IP local area networks often entails an enduring struggle to control address space. Workstations, servers and managed subsystems (routers, firewalls, etc.) are all added to and subtracted from the network as the shape of the organization and the flow of data changes. However, remembering which machine is assigned to a particular IP address is not always as simple as keeping an up-to-date list of IP address to node assignments. Sometimes network architecture changes without proper documentation even under the best of circumstances--DHCP, BOOTP, ubiquitous SNMP and managed repeater ports included. Yet, keeping track of IP address assignments is important. Since the logical address space of an IP subnet is limited to a finite number of usable addresses, recycling IP addresses is a must. It's also useful to know the kind of machine responsible for a particular instance of packet generation when performing data-analysis on a LAN (metrics collection, troubleshooting, security audits, etc.). Automating the collection of and access to this information would go a long way toward reclaiming lost or unknown administrative data."

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