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The Tempest: a framework for safe, resource assured, programmable networks

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4 Author(s)

Most research in network programmability has stressed the flexibility engendered by increasing the ability of users to configure network elements for their own purposes, without addressing the larger issues of how such advanced control systems can coexist both with each other and with more conventional ones. The Tempest framework presented here extends beyond the provision of simple network programmability to address these larger issues. In particular, we show how network programmability can be achieved without jeopardizing the integrity of the network as a whole, how network programmability fits in with existing networks, and how programmability can be offered at different levels of granularity. Our approach is based on the Tempest's ability to dynamically create virtual private networks over a switched transport architecture (e.g., an ATM network). Each VPN is assigned a set of network resources which can be controlled using either a well-known control system or a control system tailored to the specific needs of a distributed application. The first level of programmability in the Tempest is fairly coarse-grained: an entire virtual network can be programmed by a third party. At a finer level of granularity the Tempest allows user supplied code to be injected into parts of an operational virtual network, thus allowing application specific customization of network control. The article shows how the Tempest framework allows these new approaches to coexist with more conventional solutions

Published in:

Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 10 )

Date of Publication:

Oct 1998

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