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This paper compares the performance of Web services based network monitoring to traditional, SNMP based, monitoring. The study focuses on the ifTable, and investigates performance as function of the number of retrieved objects. The following aspects are examined: bandwidth usage, CPU time, memory consumption and round trip delay. For our study several prototypes of Web services based agents were implemented; these prototypes can retrieve single ifTable elements, ifTable rows, ifTable columns or the entire ifTable. This paper presents a generic formula to calculate SNMP's bandwidth requirements; the bandwidth consumption of our prototypes was compared to that formula. The CPU time, memory consumption and round trip delay of our prototypes was compared to Net-SNMP, as well as several other SNMP agents. Our measurements show that SNMP is more efficient in cases where only a single object is retrieved; for larger number of objects Web services may be more efficient. Our study also shows that, if performance is the issue, the choice between BER (SNMP) or XML (Web services) encoding is generally not the determining factor; other choices can have stronger impact on performance.
Network and Service Management, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:1 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: Dec. 2004