[secdir] [new-work] WG Review: Autonomic Networking Integrated Model and Approach (anima)

IESG Secretary <iesg-secretary@ietf.org> Thu, 09 October 2014 15:22 UTC

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Subject: [secdir] [new-work] WG Review: Autonomic Networking Integrated Model and Approach (anima)
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The Autonomic Networking Integrated Model and Approach (anima) working
group in the Operations and Management Area of the IETF is undergoing
rechartering. The IESG has not made any determination yet. The following
draft charter was submitted, and is provided for informational purposes
only. Please send your comments to the IESG mailing list (iesg at
ietf.org) by 2014-10-19.

Autonomic Networking Integrated Model and Approach (anima)
Current Status: BOF WG

Assigned Area Director:
  Benoit Claise <bclaise@cisco.com>

Mailing list
  Address: anima@ietf.org
  To Subscribe: https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/anima
  Archive: http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/anima/


Autonomic networking refers to the self-managing characteristics
(configuration, protection, healing, and optimization) of distributed
network elements, adapting to unpredictable changes while hiding
intrinsic complexity from operators and users. Autonomic Networking,
which often involves closed-loop control, is applicable to the complete
network (functions) lifecycle (e.g. installation, commissioning,
operating, etc). An autonomic function works in a distributed way across
various network elements, but allowing central guidance and reporting,
and co-existence with non-autonomic methods of management. The general
objective of this working group is to enable the progressive introduction
of autonomic functions into operational networks, as well as reusable
autonomic network infrastructure, in order to reduce the OpEx.

This work build on definitions and design goals, as well as a simple
architecture model undertaken in the Network Management Research Group
(NMRG) of the IRTF.

Elements of autonomic functions already exist today. However, all such
functions today have their own discovery, node identification,
negotiation, transport, messaging and security mechanisms as well as
non-autonomic management interfaces. There is no common infrastructure
for distributed functions. This leads to inefficiencies. Additionally,
management and optimisation of operational device configurations is
expensive, tedious, and prone to human error.  A simple example is
assigning address prefixes to network segments in a large and constantly
changing network. Similarly, repair or bypassing of faults requires human
intervention and causes significant down time. 

This WG is intended to mitigate this duplication of similar mechanisms
and heavy dependency on human actions, in particular by facilitating
secure closed-loop interaction directly between network elements to
satisfy management intent. 
This motivates the introduction of a control paradigm where network
processes, driven by objectives (or intent), coordinate their local
decisions, autonomically translate them into local actions, and adapt
them automatically according to various sources of information including
external information and protocol information bases. 

While a complete solution for full autonomic networking is an ambitious
goal, the initial scope of this working group's effort is much more
modest: the specification of  a minimum set of specific reusable
infrastructure components to support autonomic interactions between
devices, and to specify the application of these components to one or two
elementary use cases of general value. Practically, these components
should be capable of providing the following services to those
distributed functions: 
o a common way to identify nodes
o a common security model
o a discovery mechanism
o a negotiation mechanism to enable closed-loop interaction
o a secure and logically separated communications channel
o a consistent autonomic management model

Where suitable protocols, models or methods exist, they will be preferred
over creating new ones. 

It is preferred that autonomic functions would co-exist with traditional
methods of management and configuration, and the initial focus would be
on self-configuration. Future work may include a more detailed systems
architecture to support the development of autonomic service agents. The
ANIMA working group will initially focus on enterprise, ISP networks and
IoT. Like traditional network management, the topological scope of
autonomic functions is expected to be limited by administrative

The goals of this working group are below. The were selected to according
to the analyzed technical gaps in draft-irtf-nmrg-an-gap-analysis: 
o Specification of a discovery functionality for autonomic functions
o Specification of a negotiation functionality for autonomic functions
   Starting point: draft-jiang-config-negotiation-protocol 
o Specification of a solution to bootstrap a trust infrastructure 
   Starting point: draft-pritikin-bootstrapping-keyinfrastructures 
o Specification of a solution for a separated Autonomic Control Plane
   Starting point: draft-behringer-autonomic-control-plane 

The design of these proposals should clearly target reusability. 

In addition, the WG will validate the application and reusability of the
components to the following two use cases:
o A solution for distributed IPv6 prefix management within a network.
Although prefix delegation is currently supported, it relies on human
action to subdivide and assign prefixes according to local requirements,
and this process could become autonomic.
o A solution for always-on, data plane independent connectivity between
network elements (i.e., stable in the case of mis-configurations), which
can be used for call home, network  provisioning, or simply

It is essential that these components and solutions fit together as an
integrated whole. For this reason, an reference document will be
developed in parallel with the individual specifications.

The initial set of work items is limited to the above list to stay
focused and avoid "boiling the ocean". Additional documents concerning
other autonomic infrastructure components, policy intent, use cases or
autonomic service agents are strongly encouraged, as individual
submissions, or as submissions to the IRTF Network Network Management
Research Group. Additional work items may only be added with 
approval from the responsible Area Director or by re-chartering. 


Mar 2015 - Adoption of initial drafts on AN components:
                  Discovery and negotiation protocol(s)
                  Bootstrap a trust infrastructure solution
                  Autonomic control plane solution
Jul 2015 - Adoption of reference model 
Jul 2015 - Adoption of the two validation drafts
Apr 2016 - Submit discovery and negotiation protocol(s) to IESG
(Standards Track)
Apr 2016 - Submit bootstrap a trust infrastructure solution to IESG
(Standards Track)
Sep 2016 - Submit the two validation drafts to IESG (Informational)
Sep 2016 - Submit autonomic control plane solution to IESG (Standards
Dec 2016 - Submit reference model to IESG (Informational)
Dec 2016 - Recharter if needed, or close

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