On the Design of Network Control and Management Plane

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Executive Summary

The authors provide a design of a control and management plane for data networks using the abstraction of 4D architecture, utilizing and extending 4D's concept of a logically centralized Decision plane that is responsible for managing network-wide resources. In this paper, a scalable protocol and a dynamically adaptable algorithm for assigning Data plane devices to a physically distributed Decision plane are investigated, that enable a network to operate with minimal configuration and human intervention while providing optimal convergence and robustness against failures. The work is especially relevant in the context of ISPs and large geographically dispersed enterprise networks, where robust and scalable network-wide control of a large number of heterogeneous devices is required.

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