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Recent developments in the broader networking community involve the decomposing and/or refactoring of network functions in order to ease the introduction of new protocols and services and indeed new networking architectures. At first blush this appears to be a most desirable development from a service provider point of view, because it enables the introduction of new features/services without the need for industry wide standards or even buy-in from vendors. However, to some extent, as a community the authors have been here before: recall the network programmability efforts of the late 1990's. These earlier efforts met with limited (if any) success.
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