07-041: A Trustworthy Controller for Attack Resistant, Continuous Network Services


The Trustworthy Controller for Attack Resistant, Continuous Network Services is a technology that takes automatic corrective actions to keep online virtual servers healthy.

Large, complex software systems are used to provide everyday network services such as web access, email, file transfer, and collaboration services. However, the complexity of these software systems makes perfect construction unrealizable. As a result, these systems are vulnerable to attack which could potentially cause a major interruption in service. While intrusion detection and prevention technologies have become mainstream products, a stubborn problem still persists: the inevitability of errors.

This technology aims to help solve the problem by creating a scalable system for providing attack resistant, uninterruptible network services. The system is premised on the notion that software is and will continue to be flawed and vulnerable to attack. With this in mind, the inventors were able to develop an architecture that utilizes virtualization for increased support and manageability. A key element to this architecture is a Trustworthy Controller (TC). The Trustworthy Controller takes automatic corrective actions to keep online servers healthy. One of the corrective actions includes periodically restoring the pristine state of the server using a virtualization feature called a snapshot. This is extremely important because it means that the server is able to correct itself by simply reverting to an earlier, uncorrupted version of itself. Furthermore, because of the virtual nature of this system, other servers can simultaneously run with little or no disruption. This is extremely vital, especially in a place of business where server downtime can very well mean lost dollars.