Participatory Networking

Andrew D. Ferguson, Arjun Guha, Jordan Place, Rodrigo Fonseca, and Shriram Krishnamurthi
USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Management of Internet, Cloud, and Enterprise Networks and Services (HotICE), 2012

Software Defined Networks, which provide a programmable, logically centralized abstraction of network control, offer an escape from the current state of enterprise and datacenter network configuration, plagued by brittle, static solutions involving manual setting of myriad devices. But if SDNs provide an operating system for the network, we are missing the analog to system calls–an API for end-users and their applications to take part in network configuration. In response, we propose participatory networking, a new paradigm for network configuration in which users submit requests or hints for current and future network properties such as quality of service, access control, and path selection. We describe the initial design and implementation of a participatory networking system, PANE, and its solutions to the challenges of resource arbitration and privilege delegation.

Our SIGCOMM 2013 paper is the full version of this work.