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Action Amplification: A New Approach To Scalable Administration

By Kostas G. Anagnostakis and Angelos D. Keromytis


Abstract — We present a systems-management approach that enables administrators to effectively handle the challenge of increasing numbers of hosts, routers, users, and services in the networks to manage. Our approach is to map the actions of an administrator on a single host (such as creating a new user account) to the network at large, while maintaining the exact same interface. Our system amplifies the administrator’s actions appropriately throughout the network, and confirms the correct propagation of all configuration changes throughout the distributed system. We argue that this approach allows administrators to easily manage several aspects of a large domain, because it provides a familiar and intuitive interface. Such a system can be used as a front-end to any other automation system used to manage large domains. To determine the feasibility of our approach, we implemented it on the OpenBSD system. We discuss the prototype implementation, along with the limitations to our approach that it exposes. I

Year: 2009
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