ICN Management Considerations

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ICNRG                                                          D. Corujo
Internet-Draft                             Instituto de Telecomunicacoes
Intended status: Informational                            K. Pentikousis
Expires: January 13, 2014                            Huawei Technologies
                                                                I. Vidal
                                                           July 12, 2013

                     ICN Management Considerations


   This document aims to draw the attention of the ICNRG community to
   network management, an important but hitherto underdeveloped area of
   research in information-centric networking.  We consider that the
   availability of modern management mechanisms for information-centric
   networks will foster their deployment in real-world environments.
   For example, we argue that there is a need for creating basic network
   management tools early on while ICN is still in the design and
   experimentation phases that can evolve over time.  Perhaps ICN can
   borrow successful mechanisms from the host-centric paradigm and adapt
   them to the new network primitives.  Alternatively, novel network
   management schemes can be designed based on ICN primitives.  As a
   discussion starter, this document summarizes recently published
   approaches for ICN network management.  In particular, this first
   version presents a management framework for named data networking and
   reviews previous work on NetInf management.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  NDN Management Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     2.1.  Towards a Management Framework for NDN . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.2.  NDN Management Operations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
       2.2.1.  Discovery Procedure  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
       2.2.2.  Management Data Exchange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     2.3.  Implementation Experience  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   3.  NetInf Management Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   4.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   5.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   6.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   7.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

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1.  Introduction

   Information-centric networking (ICN) enables new ideas for naming and
   addressing, privacy, security, and trust, and should also lead us to
   think new ways for deploying, operating and managing networks in the
   future.  By default, users, programs, information objects and hosts
   are in general untrustworthy and mobile in an information-centric
   network.  This means that many of the assumptions in traditional
   network management, including all aspects of FCAPS (Fault,
   Configuration, Accounting, Performance, and Security) need to be
   rethought.  However, despite the different instantiations of ICN
   architectures, and the plethora of novel research work built on top
   of them, little attention has been paid to management aspects so far.
   This includes both enabling "traditional" network management
   operations (which work well from small networks to large
   infrastructure networks), and supporting and optimizing intrinsic
   procedures of the ICN fabric.

   This document aims to draw the attention of ICNRG to the importance
   of network management for real-world deployments.  Today, network
   management is practically an add-on to host-centric deployments.  We
   can do better as we move forward in ICN research considering the full
   range of deployments from home-office environments to challenged
   networks to tier-1 networks.  To this end, we draft some first
   management considerations that, on the one hand, capitalize on ICN
   concepts for defining management procedures and, on the other,
   explore the possibilities for defining a common management framework
   irrespective of the ICN approach taken.  We reckon that the later is
   a much more formidable task and we are looking forward to tackling it
   together with other members of ICNRG.  We start this exercise in this
   first version based on published literature and in particular with a
   NDN approach.

   We argue that addressing management at an early stage is not only
   important for real-world adoption and the successful future
   deployment of ICN, but also to deal with scenarios where management
   can simplify, enhance or optimize ICN network utilization and
   performance.  The subject becomes particularly challenging, as
   disparate characteristics from different ICN approaches (e.g., in
   terms of namespace, granularity, routing, and so on) impact the
   definition and design of these management mechanisms.  Section 2
   below provides an initial assessment, proposal and evaluation of
   management mechanisms leveraging NDN intrinsic capabilities based on
   [NDN-MGMT], while Section 3 briefly summarizes earlier work on self-
   management for NetInf.

   We plan to incrementally develop the draft and incorporate other ICN
   approaches (e.g., [PURSUIT] and [NetInf]) as well as address other

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   pertinent aspects as we receive feedback from the research group

2.  NDN Management Considerations

   The Named Data Networking [NDN] ICN architecture provides a new
   communication framework built on named data.  Like other ICN
   counterparts, such as [NetInf], [PURSUIT] and [DONA], NDN
   intrinsically supports security, routing/forwarding, reliability,
   caching and even mobility, aiming at scalable and more efficient
   content-distribution than today's IP-based approaches.  Fostered by
   an open-source implementation [CCNx], NDN has been at the heart of an
   active topic with several research contributions evaluating its
   deployment feasibility and performance in a number of scenarios

   NDN relies on a hierarchical, human-readable namespace to address
   named data objects, where the naming scheme is simultaneously used to
   both name information and to route it.  It relies on content
   requesters sending an Interest packet with a Content Name, where the
   prefix can provide information for global and organizational routing,
   while the suffix indicates versioning and segmentation details.  When
   a node receives an Interest packet asking for content which matches
   what is already available at the node, it responds with a matching
   Data packet carrying back the content.

   Each NDN node comes with a set of supporting data structures which
   enable the coordination between the transmission of Interest packets
   with the reception of the corresponding Data packets.  These
   structures include:

   1.  Content Store: maintains an indication of locally available
       content, according to name, and is used for Interest packet
       matching.  If the content is available at the node, the Interest
       packet is consumed, and a Data packet with the respective content
       is sent towards the request origin.

   2.  Pending Interest Table (PIT): keeps track of Interest packets
       seen previously by the node, on their way to locate matching
       content.  Interest packets in the PIT were not matched to content
       available in the node.  Basically, PIT maintains a degree of
       state regarding Interest packets, mapping them to a corresponding
       egress network interface.

   3.  Forward Information Base (FIB): associates named data to
       potential holders of the content.  A routing protocol can
       populate the FIB (although this is outside the scope of NDN) or

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       it can be populated through registration in a local NDN store.

   NDN introduces the concept of a Strategy Layer, which can control
   Interest packet forwarding behavior.  It basically determines which
   is the best interface (or set of interfaces) to send an Interest
   packet.  The "strategy" component establishes a pre-configured
   algorithm for tackling Interest packet decisions, ranging from
   sending it sequentially on each interface until a Data packet is
   received, to evaluating which interfaces provide better performance
   (i.e., lower average RTT) in retrieving certain content (as discussed
   in [NDN]).

   It is important to keep in mind that NDN replaces the commonly used
   term "interface" with the term "face", since packets can be forwarded
   over hardware network interfaces as well as between application
   interfaces, further acknowledging the information dissemination
   capabilities of ICN.  This aspect is considered in [NDN] and [NDN-R],
   where programs can be associated to the NDN governing structures
   (like the FIB), defining configurations such as "sendToAll" and
   "sendToBest" with respect to managing the content reaching process.
   Corujo et al.  [NDN-MGMT] exploit these concepts enabling management
   mechanisms to be deployed, and steer network operations and NDN
   operation, as described in the following section.

2.1.  Towards a Management Framework for NDN

   An important aspect supporting network management procedures is the
   interaction of network information residing at the network side with
   information about the network from the perspective of clients
   connected to it.  The former includes, for instance, information
   stored in the network operator core about user profiles, associated
   policies, or data collected by the access network equipment, such as
   current and past traffic load levels, active flows, and maintenance
   information.  Today, such information can be retrieved for management
   and operation support through dedicated signaling protocols (e.g.,
   [RFC1157], [RFC6733]), or Operation Support Services (OSS) web
   services.  The client point of view of the network includes
   information that, for example, a wireless terminal can provide,
   indicating wireless link quality, average return-trip times (RTT) or
   perceived Quality of Experience (QoE).

   Both types of information can be capitalized upon allowing, for
   example, the network to coordinate network management procedures,
   considering as input information obtained from other network elements
   as well as from user nodes.  One way to generate management
   information in network entities and at client nodes, as well as to
   consume and act upon it (i.e., using the management information
   exchange as a control channel) is to couple NDN nodes with Management

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   Agent (MA) entities.

   Fig. 1 (redrawn here from [NDN-MGMT] for convenience) illustrates how
   a MA can be deployed in both network and client entities, interfacing
   with different operational aspects and protocol layers of an NDN
   node.  By using NDN content reaching and disseminating mechanisms,
   management information can be consumed by the MA to steer not only
   the behavior of application processes and network interfaces, but
   also to interface with NDN supporting structures (i.e.  Content
   Store, FIB, PIT).  Effectively, different kinds of information can be
   conveyed to a network node responsible for managing the network
   (under different perspectives and processes), and resubmitted back
   towards client nodes, affecting the way applications interface with
   network interfaces and the NDN fabric.

    NDN Fabric
      |                                   Face 0 |
      | +--------------+                   +---+ |  +------+
      | |Content Store |      ptr/type     |  <---->|WLAN  |
      | +------------^-+      +-+----+     +---+ |  +------+
      |              +---------+|    |    Face 1 |
      | +--------------+      +------+     +---+ |  +------+
      | |Pending      <--------+|    |     |  <---->|LTE   |
      | |Interest Table|      +------+     +---+ |  +------+
      | +--------------+      | |    |    Face i |
      |                       +------+     +---+ |  +------+
      | +--------------+      | |    |     |  <---->| MA   |
      | |Forward       |      +------+     +---+ |  +------+
      | |Information <---------+|    |    Face j |
      | |Base          |      +-+----+     +---+ |  +------+
      | +--------------+                   |  <---->|VoIP  |
      |                                    +---+ |  |Video |
      +------------------------------------------+  +------+

      Figure 1.  NDN Management Framework

   MA can interface with the PIT and FIB structures, acting as a
   dynamic, application- and/or network-controlled interface to the
   strategy layer.  This could also be used to direct how to forward NDN
   Interest and Data packets, in a configurable manner.  Regarding
   network interfaces, the MA can interface with them not only to
   control (i.e., initiate wireless access scanning procedures), but
   also to collect information (i.e., an informational event regarding
   detected access points).  Finally, the MA can also interface with
   application processes, drawing out information about the perceived
   QoS/QoE (e.g., lost packets or delay from a real-time video feed) and
   also to execute commands, such as selecting a better video codec when

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   the network commands the video flow to be accessed from a different
   wireless access interface.

   Conversely, MA entities residing in network equipment can provide
   informational events as well, but related to network-side link layer
   characteristics (such as number of attached nodes or load), as well
   as accepting commands from the network (i.e., activate maintenance
   procedures).  Management processes residing in the network core can
   leverage information collected from applications, client terminals
   and network equipment, to drive optimization procedures.  Such
   optimization procedures can also tap into other entities, containing
   complementary information such as policies and subscription
   information, and use it to produce an overall network decision, which
   can then be forwarded to multiple client nodes, in a policy enforcing

   An important consideration from the NDN architecture, is the
   hierarchical namespace, allowing nodes to request and convey
   management data, by simply using an appropriate prefix (e.g.,

   By leveraging the NDN information-centric dissemination mechanisms to
   convey management information and commands as content, these
   management extensions inherit the intrinsic capabilities of the NDN
   architecture, including security and reliability, which are
   fundamental for management procedures.

2.2.  NDN Management Operations

   In order to implement management operations, besides the interfacing
   capabilities of the MA entity mentioned in the previous section, a
   management framework needs other supporting mechanisms in order to
   provide the envisioned management capabilities, while maintaining the
   inherent NDN capabilities.  Concretely, when nodes connect to the
   network, the management entities need to become aware of the
   management capabilities of the newly-connected node.  In addition, an
   asynchronous information exchange capability needs to be provided,
   allowing not only the request of management information, but also the
   ability to push information towards a remote node (i.e., sending a
   command or an informational event).

2.2.1.  Discovery Procedure

   The discovery procedure is illustrated in Fig. 2 (redrawn from
   [NDN-MGMT]), and borrows for the procedures described in [NDN-VOIP].
   The procedure starts with the newly connected User Equipment (UE)
   broadcasting an Interest packet (Fig. 2:1) perhaps with a well-known
   content name (e.g., ccn://domain/management/mgmt-case/ME) to its

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   local network.

     +-------+                                     +------------+
     |+--+   |                                     |       +---+|
     ||MA| UE|                                     |Network|ME ||
     |+--+   |                                     |       +---+|
     +-|-----+                                     +------------+
       |(1) INTEREST                                        |
       |-/domain/management/mgmt-case/ME ------------------>|
       |                                                    |
       |(2) DATA                                            |
       |(Signature, ME-publisher-id, key locator            |
       | DATA:supported security mechanisms)                |
       |                                                    |
       |(3) INTEREST                                        |
       |-/domain/management/mgmt-case/ME/MA-published-id/ ->|
       |(encrypted with ME's PK:security-mechanism, SKey)   |
       |                                                    |
       |(4) DATA                                            |
       |(encrypted with ME's PK:security-mechanism, SKey)   |
       | DATA: Session Key received                         |
       |                                                    |
       |(5) INTEREST                                        |
       |  /nonce (encrypted)                                |
       |                                                    |
       |(6) DATA                                            |
       |  /nonce (encrypted)                                |
       | DATA: Encrypted nonce received                     |

           Figure 2. Secure Management Session Establishment

   The "mgmt-case" part of the name can be used to select different
   aspects of management capabilities allowed by a Management Entity
   (ME) (i.e., a management decision point in the network).  The ME then
   replies to this Interest with a Data packet (Fig. 2:2), providing its
   shorthand identifier (i.e., ME-publisher-key) and a key locator,
   indicating how to retrieve its public key (assuming it is authorized
   by another key trusted by the UE).  In this way, the MA at the UE
   recognizes the ME as a valid signer (and provider) of management

   A session key, Ks, is generated by the MA, considering an encryption
   algorithm from the ones indicated by the ME in the Data packet.  The

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   MA then expresses its desire to receive (and reply to) Interests
   matching a specific NDN name associated with the management service
   (e.g., ccn://domain/management/mgmt-case/ME/MA-publisher-id), where
   MA-publisher-id uniquely and globally identifies the MA, through a
   cryptographic digest of its public key.  After this, the MA sends an
   Interest packet (Fig. 2:3) to retrieve management Data from the ME
   containing the short-hand identifier of the MA (MA-publisher-id), the
   chosen encryption algorithm and session key (Ks), both encrypted with
   the public key of the ME.  In this way, the confidentiality of the
   content exchanged between the ME and the MA is guaranteed.  The ME
   responds with a Data packet (Fig. 2:4) signaling the reception of the
   session Key.

   Before the actual exchange of management data begins, the ME
   generates a challenge (i.e., a nonce) which is sent via an Interest
   packet (Fig. 2:5) to the MA, indicating through a named data name
   that it requests the reception of the response to this challenge,
   sent by the MA using a Data packet (Fig. 2:6).  This allows the ME,
   after verifying the signature of the Data packet, to verify that the
   encryption algorithm and the session key are valid for the MA, making
   it ready to exchange information for coordinating management
   procedures in the network.

2.2.2.  Management Data Exchange

   After the discovery and security establishment procedures have been
   finalized, the framework provides the capability for both the MA and
   the ME to securely obtain management content from one another.

   In order to push unsolicited content, a dual Interest/Data procedure
   can maintain compatibility with the Interest and Data exchange/
   consumption of the NDN architecture.  Fig. 3 (redrawn from Fig.2 of
   [NDN-MGMT]) illustrates the procedure which is initiated by the MA.
   In this case, the MA intends to push management information to the
   ME.  It does so via an Interest packet manifesting its interest in
   receiving management content with a local sequence number.  This
   sequencing allows the recovery of new content over cached content.
   If the ME is interested in retrieving content from the MA, it answers
   back with a Data packet, where it indicates that it is willing to
   receive management content.  Then, the ME sends an Interest packet to
   retrieve the management data with the sequence number provided by the
   MA, which responds with a Data packet containing the information it
   wanted to push into the ME.

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     +-------+                                     +------------+
     |+--+   |                                     |       +---+|
     ||MA| UE|                                     |Network|ME ||
     |+--+   |                                     |       +---+|
     +-|-----+                                     +------------+
       |(1) INTEREST                                        |
       |                                                    |
       |(2) DATA                                            |
       |(Signature)                                         |
       | DATA:content seq_num accepted                      |
       |                                                    |
       |(3) INTEREST                                        |
       |                                                    |
       |(4) DATA                                            |
       |(Signature)                                         |
       | DATA: management data (encrypted with Ks)          |
       |                                                    |

     Figure 3. Content Management Push

2.3.  Implementation Experience

   As a proof-of-concept, a software prototype of the management
   framework, [NDNFlexManager] was developed for [NDN-MGMT], using the
   CCNx Java API [CCNx].  At this early stage, it includes the
   implementation of an ME and an MA as NDN applications, supporting the
   NDN management operations outlined in Fig. 3.  Thus, the ME and the
   MA can push unsolicited content to each other, related with
   management operations.

   To validate this basic prototype, [NDN-MGMT] considered a specific
   use case supported by the framework, i.e., face management.  This
   entails configuring and selecting an appropriate face in a UE to
   retrieve a given content.  Based on the CCNx, an evaluation test-bed
   was deployed including an NDN UE (featuring an MA and a set of
   network interfaces), a content server and a network node (featuring
   an ME).  These entities are interconnected by a set of NDN routers.
   The purpose of the evaluation scenario is to demonstrate feasibility
   for the protocol exchanges mentioned earlier.  Note that the code has
   been tested in a small-scale environment where the ME is topology-
   aware and keeps track of conditions of the access networks that are
   available to the UE.  Thus, the ME can provide the MA with management
   information reporting the appropriate face for content retrieval, or
   an alternative point of access that could be used to improve the

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   performance.  The MA uses the management information to reconfigure
   the FIB (and possibly the network interfaces) in the UE, setting the
   appropriate face to forward subsequent Interests.

   For validation purposes, a local application was also implemented at
   the NDN UE that works similarly to a ping utility, generating
   periodic Interests that match a given prefix (served by the content
   server), and computing the Round Trip Time of each Interest/Data
   exchange.  The RTT values obtained by this application in [NDN-MGMT],
   indicate that the performance of the NDN management framework in the
   considered evaluation scenario is satisfactory, given the early stage
   of this work.  Further development and testing is ongoing.

3.  NetInf Management Considerations

   Early-phase work in NetInf management [NetInfSelfX] discussed a two-
   fold problem.  The first question that arises is whether it is
   possible by adopting a new set of network primitives and in-network
   storage to usher a new type of network management.  In other words,
   can network management become information-centric while handling
   often host-centric data?  The second question is whether an
   information-centric network is more suitable for self-management
   mechanisms than IP-based networks are.  In particular with respect to
   the later, [NetInfSelfX] introduced some design considerations for
   adding self-management mechanisms in NetInf.

   Of interest from this early work are two examples where network
   management can play a new role.  First, network management can get
   involved in decisions about caching and (re)distribution of content,
   and not only whether an (inter)face is on or off, or what traffic
   limits should be enforced.  Moreover, network policies can be
   distributed securely in the same way as other content in the network,
   removing the need for centralized management, and enabling improved
   recovery procedures.  Second, network management can get involved in
   more intricate processes such as controlling multiaccess support,
   intermediating for content adaptation when deemed appropriate, and
   enabling richer tools for traffic engineering.

4.  Acknowledgements

   This document has benefited from comments and/or text provided by the
   following members of ICNRG:

   Jaime Garcia-Reinoso (UC3M); Section 2.3

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5.  IANA Considerations

   This memo includes no request to IANA.

6.  Security Considerations


7.  Informative References

   [CCNx]     PARC, "CCNx Project", 2013, <http://www.ccnx.org>.

   [DONA]     Koponen, T. et al., "A Data-Oriented (and Beyond) Network
              Architecture", SIGCOMM, ACM , 2007.

              Pentikousis, K., Ohlman, B., Corujo, D., and G. Boggia,
              "ICN Baseline Scenarios", draft-pentikousis-icn-scenarios
              (work in progress), February 2013.

   [NDN]      Jacobson, V., Smetters, D., Thornton, J., Plass, M.,
              Briggss, N., and R. Braynard, "Networking Named Content",
              CoNEXT 2009, Rome , Dec 2009.

              Corujo, D., Vidal, I., Garcia-Reinoso, J., and R. Aguiar,
              "A named data networking flexible framework for management
              communications", Communications Magazine, IEEE , vol.50,
              no.12, pp.36-43 , Dec 2012.

   [NDN-R]    Zhang, L. et al., "Named Data Networking (NDN) Project",
              NDN Report ndn-0001, Tech Report, PARC , 2010,

              Jacobson, V., Smetters, D., Briggss, N., Plass, M.,
              Steward, P., and J. Thornton, "VoCCN: Voice Over Content-
              Centric Networks", ReARCH 2009, Rome , Dec 2009.

              UC3M and ITAV, "Framework for Flexible NDN Management",
              2013, <https://github.com/ndnflexmanager/framework>.

   [NetInf]   Ahlgren, B. et al., "Design considerations for a network
              of information", CoNEXT, Re-Arch Workshop, ACM , 2008.

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              Pentikousis, K. et al., "Self-Management for a Network of
              Information", IEEE ICC Workshops 2009 , June 2009.

   [PURSUIT]  Fotiou, N. et al., "Developing Information Networking
              Further: From PSIRP to PURSUIT", BROADNETS, ICST , 2010.

   [RFC1157]  Case, J., Fedor, M., Schoffstall, M., and J. Davin,
              "Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)", STD 15,
              RFC 1157, May 1990.

   [RFC3552]  Rescorla, E. and B. Korver, "Guidelines for Writing RFC
              Text on Security Considerations", BCP 72, RFC 3552,
              July 2003.

   [RFC5226]  Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an
              IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 5226,
              May 2008.

   [RFC6733]  Fajardo, V., Arkko, J., Loughney, J., and G. Zorn,
              "Diameter Base Protocol", RFC 6733, October 2012.

Authors' Addresses

   Daniel Corujo
   Instituto de Telecomunicacoes
   Campus Universitario de Santiago
   Aveiro,   P-3810-193 Aveiro

   Phone: +351 234 377 900
   Email: dcorujo@av.it.pt

   Kostas Pentikousis
   Huawei Technologies
   Carnotstrasse 4
   10587 Berlin

   Email: k.pentikousis@huawei.com

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Internet-Draft        ICN Management Considerations            July 2013

   Ivan Vidal
   Av de la Universidad, 30
   28911 Leganes, Madrid

   Email: ividal@it.uc3m.es

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