This paper presents Merlin, a framework for managing resources in software-defined networks. With Merlin, administrators express high-level policies using programs in a declarative language. The language includes logical predicates to identify sets of packets, regular expressions to encode forwarding paths, and arithmetic formulas to specify bandwidth constraints. The compiler maps these policies into a constraint problem that determines bandwidth allocations using parametrizable heuristics. It then generates a code that can be executed on the network elements to enforce the policies. To allow network tenants to dynamically adapt policies to their needs, Merlin provides mechanisms for delegating control of sub-policies and for verifying that modifications made to sub-policies do not violate global constraints. Experiments demonstrate the expressiveness and effectiveness of Merlin on realistic scenarios. Overall, Merlin simplifies network administration by providing high-level abstractions for specifying and enforcing network policies.
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