[talks] 3pm talk today on content distribution and network evolution (room 402 in CS building)

Jennifer Rexford jrex at CS.Princeton.EDU
Mon Mar 30 08:25:17 EDT 2009

Speaker: Kobus van der Merwe, AT&T Lab--Research
Title: It's the Content, Stupid. How Content is driving Network Evolution.
Date/time: 3:00-4:00pm on Monday March 30
Location: room 402 in the CS building


Security and robustness, operational complexity and dealing with
demand growth are arguably the most significant challenges facing
large  scale networks. In this talk I will show how Internet growth is
driven by significant  increases in content related traffic. Efficiently
dealing with the distribution of this content presents a significant
challenge to service providers. I will present our work on load-aware
anycast which offers a cross-layer approach to content distribution
(considering both content and network layers) .  This work is
currently being readied for  trial in the AT&T network and directly
builds on our earlier work on  Closed-loop Route Control where route
selection is informed by network  intelligence. As such the work
presents a successful case study on the  transition from research
concept to production. However, this work also serves to illustrate
how difficult it is to make this transition, or indeed more generally,
how difficult it is to effect any change in a provider network.

In the second part of my talk I will present our recent work on a 
platform called
ShadowNet. With ShadowNet we aim to address this fundamental
challenge of network change by introducing an operational trial/test
network which "sits between" a lab testbed and the production network.
Specifically, each ShadowNet node is composed of a collection of
carrier-grade equipment (routers, switches and servers). Each node is
connected to both the Internet and other ShadowNet nodes via a
(virtual) backbone. ShadowNet exploits the strong separation between
logical functionality and physical realization that if offered by modern
equipment. As such ShadowNet is a sharable, programmable and composable
infrastructure, that allows multiple technology and service trials
to be executed in parallel in a realistic operational setting.
I will describe the ShadowNet control framework, our prototype
implementation and deployment plans.


Kobus Van der Merwe is a Principal Member of Technical Staff in the 
and Networking Systems Research Center at AT&T Labs - Research, where he is
fortunate to be doing networking systems research that are both forward 
and sometimes find application in the AT&T network. His current research 
include network management, control and operation, network security
and content distribution.

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