MMS: A Practical Communication Service for Remote Network Management

Remote network management is a critical capability given the geographic distribution of network elements. Current approaches for supporting remote management are undesirable in a number of ways: they are high cost, complex, cannot cover all the network elements, are built out of components unsuited to the task, and sometimes fail when they are most needed.
 
We propose a practical software component for remote network management communications called the Meta-Management System (MMS). The MMS is a self-contained module that runs on all network elements and management stations. The MMS is optimized for network management communications: it requires no manual configurations beyond device identification keys, it bootstraps itself, and monitors its own liveness.  Moreover, it is secure against DoS attacks, and is safely evolvable. 

The MMS maintains a secure and functional channel between a management station and an element as long as physical and link layer connectivity exists. Ultimately, adding the MMS to the network architecture will reduce downtime by providing robust support for remote network management.

We believe the MMS will be a necessary architectural component of any future network. We designed a prototype to demonstrate that the MMS function can be implemented in a simple, efficient, and self-contained fashion. The code for the MMS prototype is available for download below.

 

 

 

Publications

 

Code

 

Click here to download the MMS prototype.

 Meta-Management System for GENI

David A. Maltz, T. S. Eugene Ng, Hemant Gogineni, Hong Yan, Hui Zhang, Zheng Cai

GENI Design Document 06-37, Backbone Working Group, April 2007