Draft Seeks to Improve DHCP Error Handling

Draft submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force seeks to improve error handling for IT managers who rely on the Simple Network Management Protocol.

IT managers who remotely boot servers and rely on the Simple Network Management Protocol will soon get improved error handling, said Cisco Systems Inc. officials.

When remote boots fail, they emit error messages, but theyre not the kind needed for SNMP products. To remedy that, Mark Bakke, technical leader of Ciscos storage router unit, this week submitted an official Internet Draft, "DHCP Option for SNMP Notifications," to the Internet Engineering Task Forces Dynamic Host Configuration Working Group, he said.

"In some environments people would rather get an SNMP trap. Normally youll have one of more places in the list where youll want to send the notification to," said Bakke, in Minneapolis. The notification happens before the remote servers operating system loads, he explained.

Bakkes team discovered the remote DHCP shortcoming while proofreading the evolving iSCSI specification, he said. ISCSI is used for sending storage commands over IP networks.

Now that the Internet Draft is public, "What happens next is we decide whether this is the right way to do such notifications, which I think it is, and then we adopt it and publish it. DHCP drafts tend to go very fast [through standardization]," he said.

If the proposal is not accepted, Cisco will probably implement it into its products anyway, Bakke said. Cisco would not seek a patent so others would still be able to use it, he said.