Distributed Computing & Communications Laboratory

E6901-026, W4901-26, W3998-026

Research Projects in Computer Science

NESTOR : Network Self Management and Organization

Contact : Alexander V. Konstantinou (akonstan@cs.columbia.edu)

Configuration management presently requires complex labor-intensive processes by experts. A single configuration task - installing/reconfiguring a system, or provisioning a service - typically involves a large number of activities fragmented among multiple network elements, each with its own proprietary configuration management instrumentation and tools. A change may cause configuration inconsistencies resulting in failures or inefficiencies; undoing changes to recover an operational state is often very difficult or even practically impossible. Configuration management is therefore, very costly, error prone and often results in unpredictable failures and costly recovery.

NESTOR seeks to replace labor-intensive configuration management with one t hat is automated and software-intensive. Configuration management is automated by policy scripts that access and manipulate respective network elements via a Resource Directory Server (RDS). RDS provides a uniform object-relationship model of network resources and represents consistency in terms of constraints; it supports atomicity and recovery of configuration change transactions, and mechanisms to assure consistency through changes. RDS pushes configuration changes to network elements using a layer of adapters that translate operations on its object-relationship model to actions on respective elements. NESTOR has been implemented in two complementary versions and is now being applied to automate several configuration management scenarios of increasing complexity, with encouraging results.

We offer an opportunity for a limited number of knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and responsible students (masters or senior undergraduate) to pursue guided research in the NESTOR project for course credit. Participation will help to strengthen your knowledge of Unix network programming, Internet protocols, and object oriented data models. You will also learn in detail about the internals of network management systems as well as directory servers.

NESTOR is an on-going project with student research opportunities available on every academic semester. Student projects available for the fall 2002 semester include :

Ideal candidates will be students in high standing who have had experience in computer networks, have good Unix programming skills, and are proficient in Java and network programming.

Please contact Alexander V. Konstantinou (akonstan@cs.cs.columbia.edu) for more information.

[ NESTOR ] [ DCC Lab ]