Flux Research Group / School of Computing

FlowOps: Open Access Network Management And Operation

Matt Strum

Masters Thesis, University of Utah. May 2013.



Arguably, the inherent complexity of network management makes it the top concern for network operators. While true for all networks, network management complexity is significantly exacerbated in open access networks where, unlike more monolithic "closed access networks," services are provided by different service providers on a shared network infrastructure that is operated by a separate network owner/operator. The intricate respon- sibilities of the role players in this environment, combined with the lack of automation in current network management and operation practices, conspire to prevent open access networks from reaching their true potential. In this thesis, we present our work on the FlowOps framework to address these concerns.

FlowOps is a network management and operations framework that provides structured, automated network management for heterogeneous open access network environments. In FlowOps, we are exploring the use of a production rules system to realize automated net- work management and operations. This rule-based approach enables us to accurately model dependencies and relationships of devices and role players in an open access network. FlowOps enables the automation of network configuration and fault management tasks in both traditional and software-defined networks. We present a prototype implementation of FlowOps and demonstrate its utility for network operators, service providers, and end users.