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Researchers of active networks have been working on ways to make intermediate nodes (routers or switches) programmable, in order to accelerate the creation of new network services and to meet ever-changing user demands. However, one area has often been neglected: solution deployment on multi-provider networks. Because the Internet is composed of networks governed by different management entities with different policies, deploying new network solutions across different domains requires some form of contract to be already in place among the domains involved. We propose a framework we call FSP (federation of service providers), which will automatically allow management entities in different domains to formulate mutual agreements. Our framework is applicable, not only to active networks, but also to future solutions that could be deployed using existing devices.
Date of Conference: 30 June-3 July 2003