This innovation can be run as a standalone network application on any computer in a networked environment. This design can be configured to control one or more routers (one instance per router), and can also be configured to listen to a policy server over the network to receive new policies based on the policy-based network management technology. The Router Agent Technology transforms the received policies into suitable Access Control List syntax for the routers it is configured to control. It commits the newly generated access control lists to the routers and provides feedback regarding any errors that were faced. The innovation also automatically generates a time-stamped log file regarding all updates to the router it is configured to control.

This technology, once installed on a local network computer and started, is autonomous because it has the capability to keep listening to new policies from the policy server, transforming those policies to router-compliant access lists, and committing those access lists to a specified interface on the specified router on the network with any error feedback regarding commitment process.

The stand-alone application is named RouterAgent and is currently realized as a fully functional (version 1) implementation for the Windows operating system and for CISCO routers.

This work was done by Edward T. Chow, Gurusham Sudhir, Hsin-Ping Chang, Mark James, and Yih-Chiao J. Liu of Caltech and Winston Chiang of the University of Southern California for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The software used in this innovation is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Daniel Broderick of the California Institute of Technology at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Refer to NPO-47228.

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Router Agent Technology for Policy-Based Network Management

(reference NPO-47228) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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This article first appeared in the August, 2011 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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