What is the importance of CLI compared to SNMP?

Unanswered Question
Jan 24th, 2010


I am wondering what the importance of CLI compared to SNMP is in near future.

I agree that CLI is indispensable for the basic configuration of a network.

Is there a need for CLI for overall network management or are the management responsible interested to limit the CLI usage in the sake of management automation?

Thank you for a quick answer.



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Sven Hruza Sun, 01/24/2010 - 08:50

I'm not sure if I understood your question, but I think the CLI is very important for supporting a network.

A good example of using Ciscoworks RME for configuration changes. It is automation, but RME uses CLI to configure network devices.

So you can't limit the CLI if you want to use that very helpful feature.

And I think for troubleshooting a network issue the CLI is much faster than a management tool or a web gui, and the problem of a management tool is that you have to have access to the faulty device over the tool.

I think CLI and SNMP have their right to exist and network administrators will use both of them for that what they can best

MehmetErsue Wed, 01/27/2010 - 10:01

Hi Swen,

I agree that there are use cases where we have to use CLI and scripting.

But on the other hand I believe we should be interested to use more or as much as possible programmatic interfaces like NETCONF to enable automated configuration of a network. There are features like self-configuration, network-wide configuration etc. which cannot be achieved easily with CLI.

I think programmatic interfaces also provide features (such as transactions) which are really useful if you want to be sure your configuration DB gets rolled back. There is also the benefit of using data models based on SID or YANG which possibly are not easy to utilize with CLI.

Anyway, as you said there are scenarios where we still need CLI because of the simple handling and direct interface to the network entities.

But for the management of a huge network (for sure, as far as it is possible) automation is the better way to go, right?




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