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Network operators must configure networks to accomplish critical, complex, and often conflicting requirements: they must ensure good performance while maintaining security, and satisfy contractual obligations while ensuring profitable use of inter-domain connections. Unfortunately, today they have no choice but to implement these high-level goals by configuring hundreds of individual network devices. These interact in complex and unexpected ways, often resulting in mis-configurations or downtime. The authors propose a new approach: rather than configure individual network devices, operators should program the network holistically, according to high-level policies.
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