Autonomic Networking Integrated Model and Approach

The information below is for an older proposed charter
Document Proposed charter Autonomic Networking Integrated Model and Approach WG (anima) Snapshot
Title Autonomic Networking Integrated Model and Approach
Last updated 2014-11-03
State IESG Review (Charter for Approval, Selected by Secretariat) Rechartering
WG State BOF
IESG Responsible AD Robert Wilton
Charter Edit AD BenoƮt Claise
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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 that works in a distributed way across various network elements is a
candidate for protocol design. Such functions should allow 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 builds on definitions and design goals, as well as a simple
architecture model undertaken in the Network Management Research Group (NMRG)
of the IRTF (See draft-irtf-nmrg-an-gap-analysis and its companion

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

This WG will develop a system of autonomic functions that carry out the
intentions of the network operator without the need for detailed low-level
management of individual devices. This will be done by providing a secure
closed-loop interaction mechanism whereby network elements cooperate directly
to satisfy management intent. The working group will develop a control paradigm
where network processes coordinate their decisions and automatically translate
them into local actions, based on various sources of information including
operator-supplied configuration information or from the existing protocols,
such as routing protocol, etc.

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

ANIMA and HOMENET will need to co-ordinate to ensure that the commonalities and
differences in solutions are properly taken into account. Where suitable
protocols, models or methods exist, they will be preferred over creating new

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 focuses on professionally-managed networks. Like traditional
network management, the topological scope of autonomic functions is expected to
be limited by administrative boundaries.

The goal of this working group shall be to develop one or more protocol
specifications (or extensions to existing protocols) to address the following
problem areas. These were selected to according to the analyzed technical gaps
in draft-irtf-nmrg-an-gap-analysis:
   o Discovery for autonomic nodes
   o Negotiation for autonomic nodes
      Starting point: draft-carpenter-anima-gdn-protocol
   o Bootstrapping a trust infrastructure
      Starting point: draft-pritikin-anima-bootstrapping-keyinfra
   o Separated Autonomic Control Plane
      Starting point: draft-behringer-anima-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 large-scale 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 trouble-shooting.

It is essential that these components and solutions fit together as an
integrated whole. For this reason, a 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 Track) Dec 2016 - Submit reference model to IESG (Informational) Dec
2016 - recharter to refocus scope, or close