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New Directions in Enterprise Network Management Aditya Akella University of Wisconsin, Madison MSR Networking Summit June 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "New Directions in Enterprise Network Management Aditya Akella University of Wisconsin, Madison MSR Networking Summit June 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Directions in Enterprise Network Management Aditya Akella University of Wisconsin, Madison MSR Networking Summit June 2006

2 Enterprise Network Management Very broad topic… –Tuning performance and availability of network- attached services –Traffic sniffing for trouble-shooting –Monitoring utilization –Mapping network topology and resources, etc. Several tools (both commercial and free) –Tailored to enterprises of different sizes, requirements

3 Outline Enterprises desire specific management functionalities that current tools fundamentally cannot provide –Three examples Inability arises from how enterprises are designed and operated today (IP-based) –Decentralization and no control over routing Thoughts on enterprise network design principles –… Simplified management is a side-effect

4 So Whats Missing? Cumbersome or impossible to support –What-If analysis –Effective trouble-shooting –Fine-grained resource management Some tools may provide one of these –No tool provides all of them

5 1. What-If Analysis Decentralized config specification –Complex config/policy split across several devices/mechanisms Firewalls, Proxies, NATs, router ACLs, VLANs, port filtering –… And across different network layers –Hard to reason about cross-layer, cross-device interaction What will happen if I change X in my network? – Policy/control plane level – Reason about connectivity before installing changes New link/ network upgrade New policies for sales Alternate configuration New config stable? Will bottleneck disappear? Will upgrade violate policy?

6 2. Trouble-Shooting What is the current status of my network? –Who is talking to who and how? Resource consumption? –Avoid overload; control plane trouble shooting Information at arbitrary granularities –Users, machines, groups… –Ability to go back in time –Unexpected patterns of communication; Protocol usage How many conns from sales? Who is using access link? How many connections from guests? Finance grp protocol usage last week?

7 2. Trouble-Shooting Today… –SNMP for tracking resource consumption Coarse-grained –Monitoring key resources Application specific; not network-wide –Inference Rely on heuristics, error prone –Not fine-grained enough Distributed decision on whether to allow flows –Distributed and/or local to services and devices –By default all-to-all is allowed Something is undesirable local restrictions Use appropriate mechanism (ACLs, port filters, firewalls etc.) –Poll to figure out whats going on, or infer –Hard to archive control-plane events

8 3. Resource Management Route around overloaded/failed switches and links –Connection latency –Availability Control levels of resource consumptions –Prioritize applications or users –Restrict bandwidth consumption of sales Middle-boxes and proxies –Placed at network choke points –Ideally, deploy at diverse locations –Route different classes of flows via different middleboxes X Sales virus-1 + image-filter + compression Products virus-2 + compression Guests restrict b/w

9 3. Resource Management Limited or no support in enterprises today –SNMP-based/manual tuning, OSPF, load-balancing using DNS Lack of tight control over routing –Forwarding tables, hop-by-hop dst IP based routing inflexible Very little info used for routing Additional info into forwarding tables complexity; slow look-up Aggregation No control over flows or groups of flows –Need tighter, app flow-level control Forwarding tables fundamentally insufficient

10 A B using HTTP C D using AIM via proxy A D using AIM via filter … Desiderata Centralization: –Of config specification (who can access what and how) –Of enterprise-wide decision-making (should flow X be allowed) –What-if analysis or connectivity becomes trivial (Offline) Analysis of a central database of policies –Troubleshooting and forensics is simple Current set or complete log of accepted conn requests or active flows A C D B Should A D be allowed?

11 Desiderata Tight control over routing: –Centrally pre-ordain the path of each flow –No more designing around choke-points Easy to integrate arbitrary number/type of middle-boxes –Fine-grained resource control –Also aids trouble-shooting and what-if analysis A C D B Route A D (AIM) through s1 p1 p2 s2 Route A D (HTTP) through s1 p1 s3 s2

12 An Architectural View Take all configuration and decision-making out of switches, routers –Put all eggs in one basket Central entity tells switches how to forward packets –Wire a circuit for each new flow… –… Or hand out a source route Switches have no forwarding table –Dumb forwarding elements –Under the direct control of the central controller (via control channels)

13 Effect on Management Control-plane related management or monitoring easy to do –How many connections per users? –Upgrades violate policy? –Who accessed service X? –Route different flows differently –React to failures/overload Data-plane management harder to do –Band-width related –E.g. Restrictions on users; Monitor Utilization

14 Data Plane Management Switches need to be slightly less dumb –Minimal management support to enable data plane management? Counters per-flow? Per-flow queuing? Up-to-date link utilization? Push vs pull based?

15 Food for Thought Enterprise-wide configuration/policy is specified at a central entity –Additionally, policy expressed in terms of high-level handles (users, principles, services etc.) Allow A to talk to B using HTTP via compression- proxy Users initiating connections must contact entity –All connections must be ratified by this entity, checked for policy

16 Food for Thought If a connection is OK, explicitly wires a layer-2 circuit (or, source route) –Place proxies on route Each network device is under the entitys control –Entity can poll them for current live connections, ask them to shut off or re-route specific flows Other details –Security of the connection ID/source route –Policy language –Topology collection …

17 Middle-box Integration Enterprises employ a variety of middle-boxes, proxies –HTTP proxies, app-specific gateways, firewalls etc. Often placed at network choke-points –To ensure necessary traffic traverses middle-boxes Restricts network design! –Single points of failure –Compromise could throw policy/security haywire!

18 Middle-box Integration Ideally… –Route different (granularities of) app-level flows via distinct middleboxes All between sales and finance must traverse a virus proxy –Ability to deploy multiple middleboxes at diverse locations Lack of tight control over routing –Forwarding tables, hop-by-hop dst IP based routing inflexible –Need tighter, app flow-level control


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