RITA -- The Reliable Internetwork Troubleshooting Agent
RFC 2321

Document Type RFC - Informational (April 1998; No errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                         A. Bressen
Request for Comments: 2321                      Cohesive Network Systems
Category: Informational                                     1 April 1998

        RITA -- The Reliable Internetwork Troubleshooting Agent

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998).  All Rights Reserved.


   A Description of the usage of Nondeterministic Troubleshooting and
   Diagnostic Methodologies as applied to today's complex
   nondeterministic networks and environments.

1. Introduction

   Increasingly, IETF efforts have been devoted to aiding network
   management, troubleshooting, and diagnosis. Results have included
   SNMP, cflowd, and RMON, and ongoing projects at the time of this
   writing include Universal Logging Protocol and Distributed
   Management.  These tools work well within the horizon of
   deterministic situations in which the configuration of the network or
   relevant components is known or can be relatively easily determined.
   They do not well address many problems that are related to the
   complex internetworks we have today, such as:

     o  Networks where the root bridge for a world-wide bridged
        network is suboptimally located, such as under the desk of a
        secretary who kicks off her shoes when she arrives in the
     o  Networks where a hub is located adjacent to a monitor that
        emits disruptive RF when displaying certain graphics.
     o  Networks where an ISP and several of their customers use
        network internally and do not hide RIP broadcasts from
        one another.
     o  Networks where gateways are data-sensitive
     o  Networks where vendors inadvertently ship units with
        duplicate MAC addresses to the same end-user or where all users
        have a tool for changing MAC addresses.

Bressen                      Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 2321                          RITA                      1 April 1998

   In this document we introduce a new hardware-based tool for diagnosis
   and repair of network related hardware and software problems. This
   tool is best suited to addressing nondeterministic problems such as
   those described above. This tool has broad areas of application at
   all levels of the OSI model; in addition to uses in the physical,
   network, transport and application layers, it has been used to
   successfully address problems at the political and religious layers
   as well. RITA, the Reliable Internet Troubleshooting Agent, was
   developed initially at The Leftbank Operation (now known as Cohesive
   Network Systems, New England Division) based on a hardware platform
   supplied by Archie McPhee (Reference [1]). A typical RITA unit is
   depicted in Figure 1.

         comb      neck             body                    feet
          |         |                |                       |
          v         v                V                       V
           ,^/'/,           ,______________________.         ,
         i'  '  /          /                       =========<-
        / <o>   `---------/                        \         `
      .;__.  ,__,--------.                         /         ,
         / ,/ vv          \                        =========<-
        '-'                `-----------------------'         `
         ^     ^                                     ^
         |     |                                     |
        beak  wattles                               legs

                                 Figure 1.

2. Specification

   A typical RITA is 51.25 cm long and yellow-orange in color.  Either
   natural or artificial substances may be used for construction.  RITA
   has very flexible characteristics, and thus can interoperate within
   fairly broad parameters.  Unlike most other tools described in
   forthcoming RFC's, RITA does not require any IANA namespace
   management.  It is not anticipated that versions will be
   incompatible, thus no versioning field is present. Interoperability
   testing may be conducted at a future meeting of the IETF.

3. Diagnostic Usage:

   RITA may be applied in two diagnostic fashions, however only one of
   these methods, described below in 3.1, has been refined to a state
   such that we feel comfortable publishing the methodology.

Bressen                      Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 2321                          RITA                      1 April 1998

   3.1   The first method provides a broad-spectrum evaluation of
   quality of the entity tested, and is thus known as the BS eval test.
   This method can be used with great success on both deterministic and
   non-deterministic problems.  Testing is performed by placing the RITA
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