Managing the Complexity of Modern Enterprise Networks
We tested our models on seven networks, including four universities and three enterprises. We validated the results through systematic interviews with the operators of five of the networks. We found the metrics to be predictive of the issues operators face when reconfiguring their networks. A surprising result of our study was uncovering the reasons for operators choosing the designs they did.
Given the frequency with which configuration errors are responsible for major outages, we believe that creating techniques to quantify the complexity of a network's design is an important first step to reducing that complexity. In databases, software engineering and other fields, metrics and benchmarks have driven the direction of the field by defining what is desirable and what is not. In proposing these metrics, we hope to start a similar conversation for network design.
I will end the talk with a brief description of our recent work on WAN optimization.