PhD Thesis accepted

PhD Thesis accepted

I can now officially call myself a doctor! My PhD thesis has been accepted by the University of Fribourg. You can read the abstract of my thesis on this page. If you want to read the whole thesis, find it at ethesis.unifr.ch or if it disapeared from there, just drop me an Email.

Abstract: This thesis describes general concepts of network management and the prototype implementation
of a network management system software. The aim of the project Verinec (Verified Network
Configuration) is to improve security and reliability in large, heterogeneous networks, while at
the same time facilitate their administration. Using a centralised database of the entire network
and services configuration, Verinec can validate correctness before configuring the devices. The
concept of unit testing used in software development is extended to network configuration. A
network simulator is used to run the unit tests against the configuration to ensure operationability
of the configuration to deploy.

The configuration is described with the markup language XML. It is abstracted from specific
implementations of devices or services. XML technologies are used to translate the abstracted
configuration into implementation-specific formats. The translated configuration is automatically
distributed using existing remote administration protocols. This avoids introducing errors when
applying the tested configuration to the actual network devices.

The aspect of topology discovery and configuration import is also discussed. It allows introducing
a network management system in an existing network.
A prototype application has been developed. It is licensed under the GNU Public Licence and
all code is available online at http://verinec.sourceforge.net.

Keywords: Network Management Systems, Vendor Independant Configuration, Runtime
Verification of Configuration, Automated Testing, Reliability and Security