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NANOG Meeting Presentation Abstract

Tutorial: Managing IP Networks with Free Software
Meeting: NANOG26
Date / Time: 2002-10-27 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Room: Composers Hall
Presenters: Speakers:

Joe Abley, Internet Software Consortium

Joe Abley works for the Internet Software Consortium, a not-for-profit company based in Redwood City, CA, which produces free reference implementations of core internet protocols. Before working at the ISC Joe performed a variety of operational and design roles at ISPs and telephone companies in the US and New Zealand.
Stephen Stuart, Internet Software Consortium.
Abstract: Many of the largest IP network operators in the Internet rely on free software to keep their packets moving, and to allow their staff to sleep occasionally. The choice of free software over commercial alternatives is often a pragmatic one; the wide variety of policies, procedures, platforms and services in different networks require a degree of flexibility in deployment and integration that is often not available with off-the-shelf software.



The flexibility of free software in solving complex tasks can also present complexity to the operator; the part of the solution that is usually not free is the architectural design into which free software components are inserted.



This tutorial will discuss a number of opportunities for automating routine netops housework using free software, loosely assembled under the theme of gathering state from the network and visualising it in useful ways. Applications which will be discussed in some detail include:


  • Configuration change measurement: storing the configuration history of your network in a useful way;



  • Automatic network configuration audits: self-consistency checks wired to loud alarm bells;



  • Automatic generation of DNS records for router interfaces, in the interests of traceroute beautification;



  • Automatic generation of graphical maps to help operators visualise live topologies as their networks evolve;



  • Gathering data from BGP peers to help in choosing \"maximum-prefix\" session limits.





The tutorial will not provide instruction on particular programming languages or packages, but will rather illustrate how individual software components can be treated as black boxes, glued together under a Grand Scheme to make operators\' lives easier. All software described in this tutorial will be freely downloadable.
Files: pdfStephen Stuart Presentation(PDF)
Sponsors: None.

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