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Managing the Network with Merlin

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This talk will introduce Merlin, a new framework for managing software-defined networks. With Merlin, administrators express high-level policies using programs in a declarative language based on regular expressions. The compiler automatically partitions these policies into components that can be placed on a variety of devices including switches, middleboxes, and end hosts. It uses a constraint solver based on parameterizable heuristics to determine allocations of network resources such as paths and bandwidth. To facilitate management of federated networks, Merlin also provides mechanisms that allow sub-policies to be delegated and further constrained by tenants, and tools for verifying that delegated sub-policies conform to the global policy. Overall, Merlin simplifies the task of network administration by providing high-level abstractions for specifying network policies and scalable infrastructure for enforcing them. Merlin is joint work with Shrutarshi Basu, Robert Soulé, Robert Kleinberg, and Emin Gün Sirer.

This talk is part of the Microsoft Research Cambridge, public talks series.

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