Don't Mind the Gap: Bridging Network-wide Objectives and Device-level Configurations (Brief Reflections on Abstractions for Network Programming)

Computer Communications Review (CCR), special issue on the first fifty years of ACM SIGCOMM, 49(5):104-106, October 2019.
Ryan Beckett, Ratul Mahajan, Todd Millstein, Jitendra Padhye, David Walker
We reflect on the historical context that led to Propane, a high-level language and compiler to help network operators bridge the gap between network-wide routing objectives and low-level configurations of devices that run complex, distributed protocols. We also highlight the primary contributions that Propane made to the networking literature and describe ongoing challenges. We conclude with an important lesson learned from the experience.

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