A Toolkit for Automating and Visualizing VLAN Configuration

The purpose of this research project was to create a tool which would greatly simplify Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) management for network admins. To use the tool, a network admin would only need to provide the configuration file from each switch and router on the network and a network topology. Then, various tasks such as viewing a VLAN spread, extending a VLAN to new nodes and configuring a new VLAN can be easily done through a web-based interface. (The tool does not actually push out the changes, but it does tell the user exactly which interfaces on which devices need configuration changes)

The tool was implemented with a Java Server Pages front end and Perl backend. I created the framework for the software and did much of the front-end development, including implementing a graph visualization system, along with managing the Apache/Tomcat webserver. I also packaged the software for open-source release.

Apart from being featured in SIGCOMM, the leading computer networking conference, the project also drew attention from network admins working in industry because of its practicality.

A version of the tool loaded with anonymized Purdue campus network data can be viewed here. (Note that the site may have been taken down or moved)

Publications