Re: [Idnet] Benefits of Introducing AI into Network

Brian E Carpenter <> Fri, 12 May 2017 03:04 UTC

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To: Javier Antich Romaguera <>, "Fang, Luyuan" <>, Sheng Jiang <>, "" <>
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From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
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Date: Fri, 12 May 2017 14:59:04 +1200
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Subject: Re: [Idnet] Benefits of Introducing AI into Network
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On 12/05/2017 10:35, Javier Antich Romaguera wrote:
>>> Let's take a specific example: the CASM work in the IETF. One approach to massive scale support of address and prefix management is a massive centralised database and an old-fashioned (NETCONF/YANG style) mechanism to push allocations out into the network. Another approach is a large set of distributed autonomic prefix managers that request new space from a distributed address pool when necessary. The second one is definitely a target for machine learning, in order to set optimal parameters for the individual prefix managers.
> I´m sorry, but what is the relationship between something being centralized or distributed and using or not a mechanism like Netconf using YANG models to communicate certain information (in this case prefixes or addresses)? They are entirely orthogonal. 

I don't believe they are orthogonal when you consider scaling and resilience simultaneously.
Of course the actual delivery of parameters to end systems can be performed using the same
tools like NETCONF (or RADIUS, or DHCPv6/PD) whether or not it's centralised. However, at
large scale, if the network partitions, you will not get resiliency from a centralised scheme.

> Wherever you do your processing (centralized or distributed) or your storage (centralized or distributed) you still need a mechanism to model your data (YANG or other) and a mechanism to encode and transport your data (Netconf or other). 

Yes, if that was unclear in what I wrote, I apologise. I mean to say that the mechanisms
used to achieve very large scale, resilience and optimization will be distribution of
functions supported by machine learning etc. But indeed the delivery of config to the end
systems will very likely not change.

> Not sure what exactly is old-fashioned on Netconf/YANG for this purposes discussion, and what is has to do with using AI or not.
The point is that Netconf (and CLI, Radius, DHCP or any other way of delivering config)
are all fundamentally equivalent, and my understanding is that on this list we are
looking for innovation.