Study on configuration change practices

Aaron Gember-Jacobson agemberjacobson at
Sat Sep 8 20:42:02 UTC 2018

The key distinction of our research is that it focuses on networks running
traditional distributed routing protocols. In an SDN you have significant
flexibility over how you decide to route/filter traffic, whereas in a
traditional network you have to satisfy intents using the capabilities of
existing routing protocols. Obviously SDN's flexibility is what makes it
attractive, but there is also (significant) overhead to (partially) switch
to this architectures. We recognize that traditional routing protocols
still far outstrip SDN in terms of deployment, so there is a real need for
intent-driven frameworks that work with traditional routing protocols.

We are not alone in building intent-driven frameworks for traditional
routing protocols. Other research (e.g., and has also taken an intent-driven
approach for traditional routing protocols. What differentiates our work is
a focus on _updating_ existing configurations rather than generating new
configurations from scratch each time the intents change.


P.S. Thanks for taking the survey!

On Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 11:53 AM Aaron Gould <aaron1 at> wrote:

> Hi Aaron, interesting     …making routers do what you intend…hmmm… Sounds
> like SDN J   …how does what you are doing differ from the
> intent-based-controller driven sdn concepts that I hear so much about these
> days.
> BTW, I did the survey.
> - Aaron
> *From:* NANOG [mailto:nanog-bounces at] *On Behalf Of *Aaron
> Gember-Jacobson
> *Sent:* Friday, September 7, 2018 8:52 AM
> *To:* nanog at
> *Subject:* Study on configuration change practices
> We are a team of networking researchers at the University of
> Wisconsin-Madison and Colgate University investigating methods for
> automatically synthesizing router configurations from high-level
> requirements (or intents). To guide our research, we seek to better
> understand the configuration change practices used in production networks.
> We would appreciate if you could take 3 minutes to complete our brief, anonymous
> survey:
> To learn more about our research, visit
> Thanks,
> Aaron Gember-Jacobson
> *Assistant Professor of Computer Science*
> *Colgate University*
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