Democratizing the Network Edge

Larry Peterson, Tom Anderson, Sachin Katti, Nick Mc Keown, Guru Parulkar, Jennifer Rexford, Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Oguz Sunay, Amin Vahdat


With datacenters established as part of the global computing infras- tructure, industry is now in the midst of a transition towards the edge. Previous research initiatives laid the groundwork for this transition, but that is no guarantee the emerging edge will continue to be open to researchers. This paper argues that there is a tremendous opportunity to innovate at the edge, but having impact requires understanding the nature of the current industry momentum, and making a concerted effort to align with that momentum. We believe there are three keys to doing this: (1) focus on the intersection of the cloud and access networks, (2) contribute to the relevant open source projects, and (3) address the challenge of operationalizing the results. The paper puts forward a concrete proposal for all three, and discusses the opportunity to influence how the Internet evolves at the edge and enable new and transformative edge applications.

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