Section: Scientific Foundations

Evolutionary needs in network and service management

The foundation of the MADYNES research activity is the ever increasing need for automated monitoring and control within networked environments. This need is mainly due to the increasing dependency of both people and goods towards communication infrastructures as well as the growing demand towards services of higher quality. Because of its strategic importance and crucial requirements for interoperability, the management models were constructed in the context of strong standardization activities by many different organizations over the last 15 years. This has led to the design of most of the paradigms used in today's deployed approaches. These paradigms are the Manager/Agent interaction model, the Information Model paradigm and its container, together with a naming infrastructure called the Management Information Base. In addition to this structure, five functional areas known under Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance and Security are associated to these standards.

While these models were well suited for the specific application domains for which they were designed (telecommunication networks or dedicated protocol stacks), they all show the same limits. Especially they are unable:

  1. to deal with any form of dynamicity in the managed environment,

  2. to master the complexity, the operating mode and the heterogeneity of the emerging services,

  3. to scale to new networks and service environments.

These three limits are observed in all five functional areas of the management domain (fault, configuration, accounting, performance and security) and represent the major challenges when it comes to enable effective automated management and control of devices, networks and services in the next decade.

MADYNES addresses these challenges by focusing on the design of management models that rely on inherently dynamic and evolving environments. The project is centered around two core activities. These activities are, as mentioned in the previous section, the design of an autonomous management framework and its application to three of the standard functional areas namely security, configuration and performance.