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Playlist "DENOG 10"

Presenting the Powerful Properties of Packet Processing with P4

Aaron A. Glenn

The next movement in network programmability is the data plane itself. Beyond APIs to the control plane, a domain specific language for data plane programming is emerging as a powerful tool in reasoning about packet networks.

Programming network devices has stopped being a responsibility exclusive to the vendors selling them. Today, with control plane standards deployed and evolving, the next evolutionary step in software defining networks is in the data plane. A domain specific language to represent data plane packet processing called P4 has unlocked a wide range of powerful abilities.

This talk will give a brief introduction to what P4 is; the motivations behind it's development; and how P4 is being used in networks today. Then, a discussion on how network operators and designers of nearly any scale can wield the power of the language to model and reason about their networks -- even with their existing (fixed function) networks right now.