Policy-based Automated WAN Configuration and Management

Period of Performance: 05/01/2008 - 01/31/2010

$750K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Shared Spectrum Company
1593 Spring Hill Road Array
Vienna, VA 22182
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Maryland, Baltimore County
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
Institution POC

Abstract

The technical objective of this project is to develop and deploy a prototype of a policy-based automated wide-area network configuration and management capability using a declarative network management language and an automated, distributed remote control system. Our approach addresses two fundamental problems: the expensive manual involvement and the intriguing complexity of maintaining wide-area networks. We overcome the challenges by defining a declarative policy language, which aids in automating network management, and by delegating management tasks to policy software components embedded within networking components. The language enables each authority to draft network requirement policies at a user-friendly abstraction level. Each authority defines only objectives and constraints relevant to its needs. The defined information is hardware, software, and protocol independent. The authorities do not focus on writing procedures for configuring a specific infrastructure; instead they focus on describing a generic infrastructure and its features. The policy software components present within or in a reachable vicinity of each networking component employ the policies, which are dynamically merged from applicable authorities, to collaboratively compute steps necessary to reach a desired configuration state and subsequently execute the steps at run-time, thus avoiding long time-to-deployment periods as well as automatically removing configuration inconsistencies.