Towards Autonomic Networks

Alexander V. Konstantinou

Ph.D. Thesis

Columbia University
New York, NY, USA

October, 2003


Autonomic computing has been proposed as an approach to reducing the cost and complexity of managing Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. An autonomic system is one that is self-configuring, self-optimizing, self-healing and self-protecting. Such a system requires minimal administration, mostly involving policy-level management. This thesis introduces novel results in autonomic management organization, autonomic element instrumentation, and autonomic policy maintenance. Management functions are organized in a novel two-layer peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture. The bottom layer organizes management information in a unified object-relationship model, that is instantiated in a distributed transactional object modeler repository. The top layer unifies the traditional roles of managers and elements into a single autonomic management layer. Autonomic elements use the modeler as a primary management repository, and effect autonomic behavior in terms of transactions over the shared model state. A novel language called JSpoon is introduced as a mechanism for extending element objects at design-time with management attributes and data modeling layer access primitives. JSpoon elements may be extended with additional autonomic functions at runtime using model schema plug-in extensions. This thesis further introduces a novel autonomic policy model and language in the form of acyclic spreadsheet change propagation rules, and declarative constraints. An Object Spreadsheet Language (OSL) is introduced to express autonomic behavior as dynamic computation of element configuration over the object-relationship graph model. Static OSL analysis algorithms are presented over three incremental OSL language extensions for detecting change rule termination and performing optimal rule evaluation over any instantiation of the management model. The proposed organization has been implemented in a large prototype system that has been successfully demonstrated in security, network configuration, and active network applications.

Thesis Document

Thesis Defense Presentationt

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