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Modern enterprises almost ubiquitously deploy middlebox processing services to improve security and performance in their networks. Despite this, the authors find that today's middlebox infrastructure is expensive, complex to manage, and creates new failure modes for the networks that use them. Given the promise of cloud computing to decrease costs, ease management, and provide elasticity and fault-tolerance, they argue that middlebox processing can benefit from outsourcing the cloud. Arriving at a feasible implementation, however, is challenging due to the need to achieve functional equivalence with traditional middlebox deployments without sacrificing performance or increasing network complexity.
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