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To support the increasing diversity of systems and protocols in the Internet, modern routers offer a variety of data path processing functions. Such "Network Services" are easy to implement on a single node, but a network-wide deployment is difficult. The authors discuss the implementation of a network service architecture that uses novel end-to-end abstractions to access and control advanced data path functions. To make such functions available to end-system applications, they introduce a "Service Socket" API. They demonstrate the operation of this network architecture and its socket API in the context of a video distribution scenario that they have implemented on a 60-node Emulab testbed.
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