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HP Labs at Discover Las Vegas – Jeongkeun Lee leads a conversation on automating network policy


Contributed by Simon Firth, freelance technology journalist




Jeongkeun-Lee_thumbnail.jpg“Software Defined Networking (SDN) gives us the framework we’ve long needed for dynamically  managing large enterprise networks, but simplifying and automating that management remains a huge challenge,” suggests HP Labs researcher Jeongkeun Lee.


At HP Discover 2015 in Las Vegas on June 3rd, Lee will lead a discussion of this issue (titled “Simplify and automate policy management – a conversation with HP Labs”) and share new research from HP’s Networking and Mobility Lab that points to a modularized and distributed approach to network control.


“With the success of the Internet, and its increased use in a variety of applications, networking has gotten more complex in recent years and requires automation to run at scale,” Lee notes.  “Yet, some tasks such as network policy management is still largely manual.”


Network operations today are run by multiple stakeholders, each with their own network related policies for security, performance, and specialized middleboxes.


“So you still need committees of people to resolve the conflicts between policies that inevitably occur – and that takes up both resources and time,” explains Lee. “In response, we’ve developed an intuitive way to abstract policy instructions so that the policies written by the different stakeholders are all written in the same high level language. That makes it much easier to create systems that automatically resolve conflicts and to troubleshoot the precise issue when a problem occurs.”


This new approach, which Lee and his colleagues are researching, is called Policy Graph Abstraction, and is designed to be used by non-experts, allowing stakeholders to express their desired network policies and service chain requirements as easily as they would draw a network diagram on a whiteboard.


During the forum, Lee will share a demo of the Policy Graph Abstraction prototype, including the Policy Graph Composer tool, which automatically compiles policy instructions based on graphic-based representations of the policies that diverse network users are looking to create.


“We’re building this as a prototype into OpenStack, the open source cloud infrastructure,” Lee says. “I’m hoping anyone who might be interested in using something like this will come to the forum – then we’ll use their feedback to build and improve on the idea.”


Discover attendees can attend Lee’s discussion – DF 1333 Simplify and automate network policy management – A conversation with HP Labs -- on Wednesday, June 3rd, between 09:30 to 10:00 AM in Discover Forum 2.



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