Speaker: Gisli Hjalmtysson, AT&T Laboratories Research
Date: September 17, 1998
The Pronto Control Platform
In the Pronto (Programmable Networks of Tomorrow) project, we are testing the belief that service level differentiation can be achieved by, i) developing commodity network elements that provide a simple, common set of open core primitives, which ii) then can be combined and customized in proprietary ways to provide enhanced services. We are pursuing these concepts at two levels of abstraction, network element level exploring programmability of switches and routers, and services level exploring programmability of servers and higher level services.
The Pronto Control Platform is a project within the Pronto framework, focused on the programmability of routers. The primary focus of this work is to identify a universal set of primitive router facilities, and defining the interface(s) to these facilities. Service level differentiation is achieved through lightweight signaling enabling the dynamic installation of new control programs. The Pronto Control Platform is designed to support a range of programmability, ranging from support for store-execute-and-forward type of active networking, to lighter weight control plane programmability. Moreover, the Pronto platform is designed to exploit hardware facilities of modern high-speed routers. As a proof of concept of these ideas, we have built a software router wit h the forwarding plane implemented in the operating system's kernel space and the control plane implemented in user space.
In this talk I will describe the architecture of the Pronto Control Platform, and discuss some Pronto applications we have experimented with.
This work was done in collaboration with Pawan Goyal, Jasleen Sahni, and Samrat Bhattacharjee.