Abstracting network policies

2019-11-26T16:06:46Z (GMT) by Ahmed Abubakar
Almost every human activity in recent years relies either directly or indirectly on the smooth and efficient operation of the Internet. The Internet is an interconnection of multiple autonomous networks that work based on agreed upon policies between various institutions across the world. The network policies guiding an institution’s computer infrastructure both internally (such as firewall relationships) and externally (such as routing relationships) are developed by a diverse group of lawyers, accountants, network administrators, managers amongst others. Network policies developed by this group of individuals are usually done on a white-board in a graph-like format. It is however the responsibility of network administrators to translate and configure the various network policies that have been agreed upon. The configuration of these network policies are generally done on physical devices such as routers, domain name servers, firewalls and other middle boxes. The manual configuration process of such network policies is known to be tedious, time consuming and prone to human error which can lead to various network anomalies in the configuration commands. In recent years, many research projects and corporate organisations have to some level abstracted the network management process with emphasis on network devices (such as Cisco VIRL) or individual network policies (such as Propane). [Continues.]