Unifying Packet and Circuit Switched Networks

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Executive Summary

There have been many attempts to unify the control and management of circuit and packet switched networks, but none have taken hold. This paper proposes a simple way to unify both types of network using OpenFlow. The basic idea is that a simple flow abstraction fits well with both types of network, provides a common paradigm for control, and makes it easy to insert new functionality into the network. OpenFlow provides a common API to the underlying hardware, and allows all of the routing, control and management to be defined in software outside the datapath.

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