New applications such as video conferencing, video on demand, multimedia transcoders, Voice-over-IP (VoIP), intrusion detection, distributed collaboration, and intranet security require advanced functionality from networks beyond simple forwarding congestion control techniques. Examples of advanced functionality include self-reconfiguration, traffic monitoring and analysis, distributed and secure communication, and the ability to adjust to application requirements through deployment of new services. Traditional network devices such as routers and switches are closed, vertically integrated systems. Their functions are rigidly programmed into the embedded software and hardware by the vendors. Their functions are usually limited to simple management, routing, congestion control, etc. The traditional architectures often have difficulty integrating new technologies and standards into the shared network infrastructure. The new services can dynamically extend the capabilities of the existing networking architectures.
This forward-looking reference introduces a new generation of network technologies and architecture that allows the creation, customization, and management of new services and applications deployed dynamically into network nodes. The author outlines the architecture of active and programmable networks, discusses the enabling technologies for network programmability in detail, and introduces several paradigms and prototypes. He then explores packet scheduling, management, routing, and security in active and programmable networks and examines active wireless and mobile networks. The final chapter presents several real-world examples of currently deployed active and programmable networks.