Our ultimate goal is to improve networks in general, and carrier networks in particular, by making them easier to manage, less reliant on custom hardware, and more amenable to innovation. To accomplish these goals, we leverage two existing trends in networking: software-defined networking (SDN) and flexible software packet processing (SPP). These approaches each have their limitations, but our research effort blends them to achieve the best of both. For instance, SDN provides a programmable management interface, which has led to increasing adoption in datacenters, but has limited forwarding flexibility. SPP, whose increasing speeds has made NFV possible, has great flexibility but limited notions of orchestration. In our approach we use SDN as an overarching orchestration framework, but rely on SPP to provide forwarding flexibility at the network edge. This approach is conceptually simple, but seamlessly merges SDN and NFV and is far more scalable and modular than more standard SDN and NFV approaches.

We have a wide range of projects in progress, which can roughly be broken down into the following categories: