Today's computer networks perform a bewildering array of tasks, from routing and access control, to traffic monitoring and load balancing. To support wireless users accessing services hosted in the cloud, enterprise and data-center networks are under increasing pressure to support client mobility, virtual-machine migration, resource isolation between cloud services, and energy-efficient operation. Yet, network administrators must configure the network through closed and proprietary interfaces to heterogeneous devices, such as routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers, network address translators, and intrusion detection systems. Not surprisingly, configuring these complex networks is expensive and error-prone, and innovation in network management proceeds at a snail's pace.
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