Over the last few decades, the networking community has developed numerous techniques for understanding how real networks behave through analyzing their data and control planes. We call upon the community to similarly develop techniques to analyze the network management plane, that is, activities that underlie network design and operation. Such analytics can shed light on why a network behaves as observed and the relative merits of different management practices. While the management plane is often not directly observable, we argue that many relevant aspects can be inferred through data that most networks already gather (e.g., snapshots of configurations). Using preliminary analysis of such data from many large networks, we have demonstrated the feasibility and the value of management plane analytics.
The code is available on GitHub.