Merlin

Research Overview

Merlin is a new network management framework that allows administrators to express policies in a high-level, declarative language based on regular expressions. The compiler automatically partitions those policies into components that can be placed on a variety of devices including switches, middleboxes, and end hosts. The compiler uses a constraint-solver to determine the optimal placement strategy using paramaterizable heuristics. Sub-policies may be further constrained by network tenants, facilitating management of federated networks. Merlin provides techniques for verifying that both the partitioned program components and the delegated sub-policies conform to the global network policy. Overall, Merlin simplifies the task of network administration by providing high-level abstractions for specifying network policies and scalable infrastructure for enforcing them.

Papers

  1. Merlin: A Language for Provisioning Network Resources. Robert Soulé, Shrutarshi Basu, Parisa Jalili Marandi, Fernando Pedone, Robert Kleinberg, Emin Gün Sirer, and Nate Foster. CoNEXT ’14, December 2014.
  2. Merlin: Programming the Big Switch. Robert Soulé, Shrutarshi Basu, Robert Kleinberg, Emin Gün Sirer, and Nate Foster. ONS ’14, Mar. 2014.
  3. Managing the Network with Merlin. Robert Soulé, Shrutarshi Basu, Robert Kleinberg, Emin Gün Sirer, and Nate Foster. HotNets ’13, Nov. 2013. Talk.

Posters & Presentations

  1. Software Defined Networks and Gossip Protocols. Robert Soulé, Ken Birman, and Nate Foster. LADIS ’14, Oct. 2014.
  2. Merlin: Unified Management for Diverse Networks (work-in-progress), and poster. Shrutarshi Basu, Robert Soulé, Robert Kleinberg, Emin Gün Sirer, and Nate Foster. SOSP ’13, Nov. 2013.

Talks

  1. Merlin: A Language for Provisioning Network Resources. Presented at Distributed Software-Defined Networks, Paris, France, July 2014.
  2. Managing the Network with Merlin. Presented at Microsoft Research, Cambridge, October 2013.

People

Merlin logo photo credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/retiredinwasaga