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Meeting Agenda Network Function Virtualization (nfvrg) RG Snapshot
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Last updated 2017-09-18

Meeting Agenda

   Interim Meeting Theme:             Re-thinking VNF Architectures towards a
Cloud-native Deployment

Interim Meeting Time:                10:00am to 12:00pm Sept. 18th Monday

Interim Meeting Location:
Conf - Creekside C - Darwin (CSC1139)(Seats 72, Projector)
900 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, California, 94304
VMware campus map --

Webex link:

•       A New Approach to Network Functions, Aurojit Panda                     
         40 minutes (30 minutes talk + 10 minutes Q&A) •       Building a
better network through disaggregation, Eric Keller                   40 minutes
(30 minutes talk + 10 minutes Q&A)

Brainstorming Discussion                                                       
                                          30 minutes •       Progressing this
topic in NFVRG leveraging current work on lightweight virtualization
technologies •       Progressing this topic in Open Source Efforts such as

Abstract - A New Approach to Network Functions
Modern networks do far more than  just deliver packets, and provide network
functions -- including  firewalls, caches, and WAN optimizers — that are
crucial for scaling networks, ensuring security and enabling new applications. 
Network functions were traditionally implemented using dedicated hardware
middleboxes, but in recent years they are increasingly being deployed as VMs on
commodity servers. While many herald this move towards network function
virtualization (NFV) as a great step forward, I argue that accepted
virtualization techniques are ill-suited to network functions. In this talk I
describe NetBricks — a new approach to building and running virtualized network
functions that speeds development and increases performance.

Abstract - Building a better network through disaggregation
To improve performance, security, and reliability, network practitioners have,
over time, moved away from the principle of a stateless network and added
stateful processing to the network with devices such as firewalls, load
balancers, and intrusion detection systems. In doing so, networks have become
increasingly complex and brittle, because the state held in these devices (such
as the connection tracking information in a firewall) is needed to process the
traffic. The conventional approach forces practitioners to configure or
architect the network to get the right traffic to the right (physical or
virtual) appliance (i.e., where the relevant state is), and introduce costly,
and sometimes ineffective, mechanisms to back up state (e.g., to recover from
failures).  In a world where agility is increasingly important, a new approach
is needed.

In this talk, we present our a network architecture based on disaggregated
network functions. Our foundational work breaks the underlying assumption that
state needs to be tightly coupled to a specific device, the state is maintained
separately and the network functions can access that state from anywhere and at
any time through a well-defined interface – creating a highly flexible network.
 After years of research, we proved this architecture viable (publishing the
results at NSDI), and now we are commercializing at Stateless, Inc.  In this
talk we will present the background and technical details of this disaggregated
architecture, discuss the challenges we are currently working on, and the use
cases driving the commercial adoption.

Aurojit Panda Bio
Aurojit Panda is currently a software engineer at Nefeli Networks, and starting
in Fall 2018 an assistant professor in computer science at the Courant
Institute in New York University. He received his PhD in Computer Science from
the University of California, Berkeley, where he was advised by Scott Shenker. 
His work spans programming languages, networking and systems, and his recent
work has investigated network verification, consensus algorithms in software
defined networks, and frameworks for building network functions.

Eric Keller Bio
Eric Keller is co-founder and CTO of Stateless, Inc. a spin-off from the
University of Colorado, Boulder where he is also an Assistant Professor. Dr.
Keller joined CU after receiving a PhD from Princeton, and generally works on
networking and security, with special interest in building and leveraging
programmable infrastructures (SDN, virtualization, etc.).  Stateless was
founded to commercialize the research of Dr. Keller and his first PhD student
(and now CEO of Stateless), Murad Kablan.  The company is a recent graduate of
Techstars Boulder, has grown to a team of 9, received an SBIR award, and has
two deployments in progress.