4.3. Summary

This chapter examined two approaches for determining the topology of a network. The first of these, using traceroute(8) detects network devices that operate at layer three of the OSI network stack, and the second, SNMP, detects devices at layer two. Both these applications were built on the XML framework described in Section 3.2. These applications partially fulfil the performance and configuration management requirements of the OSI network management model.

The information obtained using these applications can be used to find the location of hosts on a network, as well as to predict the growth rates of a network. While the traceroute(8) approach works at a very large scale (as demonstrated by the Internet mapping projects), the SNMP approach does not scale well. For this reason, alternative approaches were investigated. Chapter 5 will look specifically at the problem of predicting growth rates, while Chapter 6 will re-examine the challenge of locating hosts on a network.