TRONE – Trustworthy and Resilient Operations in a Network Environment

Start date: 2010 Expected completion date: 2013
PIs: António Casimiro (FCUL); Priya Narasimhan (CMU)
Teams: Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa (FCUL), Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra (FCTUC),  Carnegie Mellon University
Companies: Portugal Telecom / PT Security Lab
Url: http://trone.di.fc.ul.pt

Keywords: Network Operations; Security; Dependability; Resilience

The TRONE project aims at enhancing network quality of service (QoS) and quality of protection (QoP), operational efficiency and agility, in the context of accidental and malicious operational faults of expected increasing severity. We propose to achieve our objective through the investigation of paradigms and mechanisms for achieving trustworthy network operation, namely through:

  1. Developing a continuum of inter-related measures to ensure real-time operational security and dependability, namely: on-line fault/failure diagnosis, detection and prevention, recovery and dynamic adaptation.
  2. Developing incremental architectural components and middleware to achieve resilience of the network management infrastructure itself (control/management plane), under instability, overload or attack.
  3. Develop technology demonstrators and prototypes able to assess the effectiveness of the techniques developed, in the context of a selected use case from operator supplied scenarios.

Motivation
The Telecom industry is going through rapid changes leading to what are commonly designated as Next Generation Networks (NGN): different technologies converging into a network tissue able to provide multiple services with on-demand provisioning, in a seamless and technology-independent manner.

The introduction of new technologies and new services, especially at higher levels of abstraction, pushes the infrastructure to new levels of demand, increasing the likelihood of failures, either accidental or malicious. On the other hand, users are each day more demanding in terms of the quality of the service they get: the trend is deviating from sheer performance (“fast”) to meeting expectations about how well the service is provided against what was promised (“trustworthy”).

This evolution will lead to a new reality of decoupled services and multi-tenant architectures, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. Such a reality, if nothing is done in the way networks are deployed and network operations are managed today, will create an inevitable trend to increase operational risk, specially relevant as operators engage in added-value services such as cloud computing, supported by increasingly binding SLAs.

In summary, the project is motivated by: 
    Technology push: 
        Next Generation Networks (NGN) 
        Need for seamless integration of new and heterogeneous technologies

    Consumer pull: 
        More demanding requirements 
        Increased QoS and QoP: fast is not enough

    The challenges: 
        Increased operational risks 
        Inadequate network operation and management

Vision

The project envisions: 
    Innovative solutions for Network Operation, Administration and Management (OAM) 
        Proactive hazard reduction: architectural robustness 
        Reactive hazard reduction: detection and recovery

    Achieve trustworthy network operation 
        Dynamic Dependability and Security enforcement through: 
            Diagnosis, detection and prevention/tolerance 
            Automatic reconfiguration 
        Self-stabilizing like behavior

Presentation about the TRONE project pdf ("ICT Portugal Workshop: New Projects in Networks, Software, Energy and Security", March 2011)