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Published on Jul 6, 2015
Authors: Radu Stoenescu, Vladimir Olteanu, Matei Popovici, Mohamed Ahmed, Joao Martins, Roberto Bifulco, Filipe Manco, Felipe Huici, Georgios Smaragdakis, Mark Handley, Costin Raiciu
Abstract: Network Function Virtualization is pushing network operators to deploy commodity hardware that will be used to run middlebox functionality and processing on behalf of third parties: in effect, network operators are slowly but surely becoming in-network cloud providers. The market for innetwork clouds is large, ranging from content providers, mobile applications and even end-users.
We show in this paper that blindly adopting cloud technologies in the context of in-network clouds is not feasible from both the security and scalability points of view. Instead we propose In-Net, an architecture that allows untrusted endpoints as well as content-providers to deploy custom in-network processing to be run on platforms owned by network operators. In-Net relies on static analysis to allow platforms to check whether the requested processing is safe, and whether it contradicts the operator's policies.
We have implemented In-Net and tested it in the wide-area, supporting a range of use-cases that are difficult to deploy today. Our experience shows that In-Net is secure, scales to many users (thousands of clients on a single inexpensive server), allows for a wide-range of functionality, and offers benefits to end-users, network operators and content providers alike.