Distributed Policy-Based Management Enabling Policy Adaptation


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E87-B    No.7    pp.1854-1865
Publication Date: 2004/07/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Next Generation Networks Software)
Category: QoS (Quality of Service) Control
policy-based management,  distributed management paradigm,  life-cycle management,  differentiated services,  

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In policy-based management, in addition to deliver and enforce policies in managed systems, it is inevitable to manage the policy life-cycle. We mean the policy life-cycle as cyclic iteration of processes involving monitoring to see if the enforced policies actually work at operators' will and their adaptation based on monitoring. Enabling such policy life-cycle management by the current centralized management paradigm such as SNMP may, however, result in poor scalability and reliability. This is typically due to much bandwidth consumption for monitoring and communication failure between a management system and a managed system. It may also impose a heavy burden on the operators in analyzing management information for the policy adaptation. For a solution to that, we propose a scalable and reliable policy-based management scheme enabling the policy life-cycle management based on distributed management paradigm. In the scheme, we provide a new management script describing policies and how their life-cycle should be managed, and execute the script on the managed system with enough computation resources. The scheme can make the current policy-based management more scalable by reducing management traffic, more reliable by distributing management tasks to the managed systems, and more promising by relieving of the operators' burden. We implement a prototype system based on the scheme taking Differentiated Services as a policy enforcement mechanism, and evaluate the scheme from the following viewpoints: 1) the reliability, 2) relievability, and 3) scalability. The first two will be shown with a policy adaptation scenario in an operational network. The last one will be investigated in terms of the management traffic reduction by a management script, the management traffic required for the management of a management script, and the load on a managed system to execute management scripts. As deployment consideration of the proposed scheme besides technical aspects, we also discuss how the prototype system could be integrated with managed systems compliant to the standards emerging in the marketplace.