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Method for Representing a Network Device Configuration as a Collection of Reusable, Configurable Components

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123430D
Original Publication Date: 1998-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Fisher, BA: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for representing a network device configuration as a collection of reusable, configurable components.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 23% of the total text.

Method for Representing a Network Device Configuration as a Collection
of Reusable, Configurable Components

   Disclosed is a method for representing a network device
configuration as a collection of reusable, configurable components.

   Problem

   Communications networks and the devices that comprise them
continue to increase in complexity.  As a result, the costs
(including cycle time) associated with developing and maintaining
configuration tools for these devices also continues to rise.

   A major factor in this increasing cost lies in the fact
that device configuration tools are typically developed
independently for each device and vary greatly not only among
different vendors but even among products developed by the same
vendor.

   This approach results in duplicated effort and expense
since the cost of developing and maintaining a complete
configuration tool is often incurred for each new networking device.

   Also, end-users must contend with a variety of
configuration tools that lack consistency of user interface,
methodology, and terminology.

   Solution

   The solution described here consists of a component based,
type hierarchy with inheritance for representing configuration data.
This facilitates the reuse of existing configuration data as well as
providing a simple and highly efficient means for applying the same
configuration modification to multiple devices.

   The configuration data for a network device consists of
several logical groupings of configuration parameters.  For example,
all the parameters associated with the configuration of an ATM port
or an IP interface.  Each logical grouping of parameters are referred
to here as a Configurable Component Template (CCT).  The actual
configuration for a device is composed of Configurable Components
(CCs) each of which is, in effect, an instance of a CCT.  As
illustrated in Figure 1, attached.  Configurable Component Template
(CCT) specifications serve to define both the internal structure of a
CCT (e.g., a LEC CCT) and the structure of the corresponding CCT
hierarchy.

   The internal structure of a CCT is defined in terms of the
configuration parameters that comprise it.  A Base Configuration
Specification (BCS) file contains MIB-like specifications of
configuration parameters.  CCT specifications appear in
Configuration Specification Extension (CSE) files.  A CCT
specification references configuration parameter specifications.  In
its simplest form, a CCT specification is nothing more than a name
for the CCT and a list of parameter identifiers (from the parameter
specifications in a BCS file) used to indicate the set of parameters
that comprise the CCT.

   A CCT specification becomes more complex when it includes
key parameter declarations.  In this case, the CCT specification
also defines a CCT hierarchy.  Key parameter declarations include
information about the key parameter and one or more key values.  Each
key parameter specified correspon...