Bridging the Gap between Tenant CMDB and Device Status in Multi-Tenant Datacenter Networking

Yosuke HIMURA  Yoshiko YASUDA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E98-B    No.11    pp.2132-2140
Publication Date: 2015/11/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E98.B.2132
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Network Systems for Virtualized Environment)
datacenter network,  network configuration,  configuration management,  configuration analysis,  multi-tenancy,  

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Multi-tenant datacenter networking, with which multiple customer networks (tenants) are virtualized and consolidated in a single shared physical infrastructure, has recently become a promising approach to reduce device cost, thanks to advances of virtualization technologies for various networking devices (e.g., switches, firewalls, load balancers). Since network devices are configured with low-level commands (no context of tenants), network engineers need to manually manage the context of tenants in different stores such as spreadsheet and/or configuration management database (CMDB). The use of CMDB is also effective in increasing the ‘visibility’ of tenant configurations (e.g., information sharing among various teams); However, different from the ideal use, only limited portion of network configuration are stored in CMDB in order to reduce the amount of ‘double configuration management’ between device settings (running information) and CMDB (stored information). In this present work, we aim to bridge the gap between CDMB and device status. Our basic approach is to automatically analyze per-device configuration settings to recover per-tenant network-wide configuration (running information) based on a graph-traversal technique applied over abstracted graph representation of device settings (to handle various types of vendor-specific devices); The recovered running information of per-tenant network configurations is automatically uploaded to CMDB. An implementation of this methodology is applied to a datacenter environment that management of about 100 tenants involves approximately 5,000 CMDB records, and our practical experiences are that this methodology enables to double the amount of CMDB records. We also discuss possible use cases enabled with this methodology.