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Network resilience: a systematic approach

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8 Author(s)

The cost of failures within communication networks is significant and will only increase as their reach further extends into the way our society functions. Some aspects of network resilience, such as the application of fault-tolerant systems techniques to optical switching, have been studied and applied to great effect. However, networks - and the Internet in particular - are still vulnerable to malicious attacks, human mistakes such as misconfigurations, and a range of environmental challenges. We argue that this is, in part, due to a lack of a holistic view of the resilience problem, leading to inappropriate and difficult-to-manage solutions. In this article, we present a systematic approach to building resilient networked systems. We first study fundamental elements at the framework level such as metrics, policies, and information sensing mechanisms. Their understanding drives the design of a distributed multilevel architecture that lets the network defend itself against, detect, and dynamically respond to challenges. We then use a concrete case study to show how the framework and mechanisms we have developed can be applied to enhance resilience.

Published in:

Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 7 )

Date of Publication:

July 2011

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