Wu & Chen Auditorium (101 Levine Hall)
Grace Hopper Lecture Series
Department of Computer Science
Putting the "Inter" in Internet
The Internet is a "network of networks," where global connectivity relies on the competitive cooperation of tens of thousands of separately-administered networks. Over the last several years, the structure of the Internet has changed dramatically with the rapid growth of cloud services and the increasing popularity of video content. However, the Internet's underlying routing system has been slow to adapt. In this talk, we argue that the emerging technology of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) enables a fresh rethinking of how the Internet delivers traffic. In SDN, a logically-centralized software controller can use a standard interface (e.g., OpenFlow) to install packet-processing rules in the underlying network devices. While initially applied within individual networks, SDN can enable a wide variety of new functionality between administrative domains, including application-specific peering, blocking of unwanted traffic, traffic redirection through so-called "middleboxes," inbound traffic engineering, and server load balancing. Internet eXchange Points(IXPs)---major juncture points where many networks meet to exchange traffic---are a compelling place to start. We present the design and evaluation of a Software-Defined eXchange (SDX), including new programming abstractions that enable participating networks to create and run applications without conflicting with each other or with today's global routing system. We also describe a server load-balancing application that we deployed at an operational SDX in New Zealand.