A Programmable, Generic Forwarding Element Approach for Dynamic Network Functionality

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Executive Summary

Communication networks are growing exponentially, and new services and applications are being introduced unceasingly. To meet the demands of these services and applications, current network systems have to be modified, replaced or supplemented. Various technologies, such as reconfigurable devices or active networks, have attempted to address this problem. In this paper, the authors introduce a programmable, Generic Forwarding Element (GFE), which can be used as a platform for a flexible and reconfigurable network system. This platform and the resulting network system enable on-the-fly definition of adaptive and dynamic network functionalities, so that the demands of new services and applications can be met.

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