Skip to main content


Corporate InformationResearch & Development

July 11, 2013

Report from Presenter

Photo 1 Ghent University
-- the conference venue

The IFIP/IEEE International Symposium on Integrated Network Management (IM 2013) was held at Ghent University in Ghent, Belgium during 27th-31st May 2013. IM is a flagship conference on management of information and communication technology, substantiated by more than 300 attendees from various countries this year.

A researcher at Yokohama Research Laboratory (YRL), Hitachi Ltd., presented a paper titled "Static Validation of Network Device Configurations in Virtualized Multi-tenant Datacenters."

Multi-tenant datacenter is a cost-effective form of computing environment that consolidates multiple systems of different customers (tenants) over a single shared physical infrastructure. Those tenants are logically separated due to the use of virtualization technologies of various networking devices. In spite of its cost-effectiveness, however, consolidation and separation of multiple tenants requires network engineers to carefully maintain the correct network settings of the virtualization technologies. In particular, network engineers have to put much time and effort on validating the correctness of configuration command to be input into devices (to deploy a tenant). The validation of configuration commands has to be performed before actually inputting them into devices.

Photo 2 Presentation and discussion
at IM 2013

This paper proposes a methodology to automatically validate configuration commands before actually deploying a tenant. The primary idea behind this method is to leverage graph (composed of vertices and edges), with which the intra- and inter-devices configuration dependencies are abstracted as a graph representation, which is then applied to graph-based general validation rules that find violation in multi-tenant datacenter context (e.g., miss-connection among tenants). The benefit of the graph is derived from its abstract data structure to deal with various types of network devices in datacenters as well as its visualizable structure to provide the user with intuitive interpretability of the validation results.

The audience provided fruitful suggestions and requests such as to validate performance isolation (e.g., link bandwidth) and as to consider hardware resource limitation.

Photo 3 Presentation and discussion
at ManFI 2013

Another researcher from YRL presented a poster titled "A Platform for Tenant Network Provisioning with Provisioning Template."

Provisioning a tenant requires network operators to consider complicatedly-interrelated information such as logical structure of tenant system, physical configuration of datacenter infrastructure, and assignment rules of device setting parameters (e.g., VLAN ID, IP address). A conventional approach to automate such provisioning is to program its provisioning processes, but the software developers have to hard-code its provisioning program due to the aforementioned complicated provisioning processes, which results in the need for high cost of program development (e.g., coding, reviewing, and testing).

On the other hand, this present work develops a provisioning framework based on "provisioning templates," which represent typical patterns of provisioning processes. This framework allows software developers to describe provisioning processes in simple external files (instead of hard-coded programs). A key to realize this framework stems from our investigation about actual provisioning processes in a few different datacenters, from which we identified the datacenter-agnostic part of such processes. Another key is to define "provisioning process description language" that is a sort of domain-specific language to write a template representing the datacenter-specific part of provisioning process in a convenient fashion.

The interested listeners mainly raised questions about detailed implementation aspects, e.g., how to actually write the provisioning templates.

One of the findings from this conference was that researchers in this network management field hold great interests in datacenter and/or cloud management, supported by the fact that there were a number of related presentations such as to solve optimization problem for tenant placement in terms of efficient power consumption while achieving a certain Service Level Agreement (SLA). YRL will continue to conduct researches and developments on efficient datacenter management.

(Yokohama Research Laboratory)

Related Papers

  • Yosuke Himura, and Yoshiko Yasuda , "Static Validation of Network Device Configurations in Virtualized Multi-tenant Datacenters," IFIP/IEEE IM 2013, May 2013
  • Yoji Ozawa, Yoshiko Yasuda, and Yosuke Himura, "A Platform for Tenant Network Provisioning with Provisioning Template," IFIP/IEEE ManFI 2013, May 2013
IEEE is a registered trademark of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
  • Page top