Autonomous networks

Information on autonomous networks - what they are and how to request one.

What are autonomous networks?

Autonomous networks at the University of Bristol are defined as:

A segment of the wired network which is under the direct administrative control of a research (or teaching) group, so they can quickly and easily provide network connectivity for arbitrary devices.

What sort of equipment could be connected to an autonomous network?

Autonomous networks will be particularly suitable for requirements such as:

  • Unusual hardware, perhaps built from kits: (e.g. Raspberry Pis, Arduinos), sometimes in large numbers (e.g. one kit computer per student in a taught class)
  • Networks for robotics
  • Experimental software or unusual OSes where researchers and students need to experiment with the software itself or recompile the OS from scratch (eg Tor, FreeBSD)

What technical restrictions are there on autonomous networks?

  • One autonomous network can be set up for each PI / research group
  • By default NO outbound internet access allowed, you need to request internet access when applying
  • Autonomous networks have no inbound (unsolicited) internet access by default, however this can be enabled by setting a static public IP
  • No access to network printers
  • HTTP(S) DHCP and SSH traffic is permitted into the autonomous network from the University campus, Resnet, and Wireless (Nomadic/Eduroam) networks (on the standard TCP ports only)
  • Autonomous networks have access to central UoB NTP, DNS and other services (e.g. WSUS)
  • They have no outbound (unsolicited) access to any other University networks
  • Each network is isolated from each other
  • Autonomous networks must be kept secure and effectively managed by their users. Vulnerable hosts e.g. those needed for research equipment but with legacy operating systems should not be placed in autonomous networks with internet access

How to request an autonomous network

To start the process, the PI for the group will need to create an incident requesting an autonomous network, please put "Request for Autonomous Network" in the brief description.

For a step by step guide to what happens next, see How to request and set-up a Autonomous Network


Q) Can I access the RDSF?
A) By default no access to RDSF is available

Q) What is my DNS name?
A) This will be the mac address of the device with the suffix e.g.

Q) Can I SSH to from inside the Autonomous Network?
A) Yes

Last updated:16/05/2016

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