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The authors argue that applications can benefit from the offloading of processing tasks into the data path of next-generation networks, where custom packet processing functions can be implemented. They present the concept of application-layer services and how they can be integrated into their existing network service architecture for easy use and control. Using a web server application as an example, they discuss how an application can be partitioning between end-system and offloading tasks. Their prototype implementation based on an Intel IXP2855 network processor demonstrates that web page access times can be improved by using their application-layer services.
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