A distributed policy-based management (PBM) system for complex networks and services

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2009
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. This thesis contains 3rd party copyright material. ----- As telecommunication networks have converged towards Internet technologies, the complexity of managing the telecommunications network equipment has rapidly increased. It is now difficult for telecommunications Service Providers to offer easy-to-manage and feature-enhanced services on a large scale. Many Service Providers are undergoing whole-of-business transformations to replace legacy management systems with next-generation technologies, to remain competitive and to improve cost efficiencies in their management processes. However, without adequate management systems, Service Providers will struggle to deliver complex services to consumers at a low cost and compete with any market entrants that emerge. Policy-based Management (PBM) systems offer an approach that help to simplify complexity, manage large-scale networks (with reduced effort), and provide personalisation through dynamic and adaptive service delivery. This occurs by describing the behaviour of the network and the management systems in response to environmental conditions or events. These policy descriptions allow changes to the network to be deployed at a large scale with near real-time performance. Thus, the behaviour of the services or management systems can be changed to deliver new services and features rapidly, and to support the personalisation of services for individual customers. This dissertation presents the PRONTO management system, which uses a policy-based service definition language. A service definition language describes the configuration and operation of a service that extends across the network. Complex network services can be described so that each service can be provisioned, monitored and managed in real-time without human assistance. By being policy-based, the language describes the behaviour of the network services in response to dynamic conditions and events that occur. Consequently, the behaviour of the service can change over time, to enhance the experience of the users in different environments and to suit the unique requirements of the users. It is necessary to overcome some of the challenges present with existing policy-based management systems. All PBM systems require improvements to the usability of the policy languages, so that the management of complex networks and services is eased and the most flexibility is provided to Service Providers. PBM systems also need to address scalability issues. Policies need to be distributed widely, and coordination is required to ensure that policies are enforced consistently across the network. This dissertation addresses, and provides a solution for, usability and scalability. An approach to distribution and coordination of policies across multiple management systems is proposed. Mean Value Analysis (MVA) queuing models and Discrete Event Simulations (DEVS) are used to predict the management system behaviour in terms of performance, scalability and its response to dynamic policy changes.
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