Fabric: A Retrospective on Evolving SDN

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Executive Summary

MPLS was an attempt to simplify network hardware while improving the flexibility of network control. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) was designed to make further progress along both of these dimensions. While a significant step forward in some respects, it was a step backwards in others. In this paper, the authors discuss SDN's shortcomings and propose how they can be overcome by adopting the insight underlying MPLS. They believe this hybrid approach will enable an era of simple hardware and flexible control.

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