Pronto research will build upon the Aether platform, extending the programmability and adding fine grained measurement, verification and closed-loop control capabilities.

The Pronto research results will be iteratively incorporated back into Aether, both enhancing the platform while providing a faster route for commercial adoption for research results.

This synergistic relationship represents a unique collaboration and a transformational opportunity to more rapidly advance research into commercial adoption.

Network Verification

A P4 programmable forwarding path now allows for packet formats and forwarding treatments to be customized to carry information about their provenance (the path they took, the forwarding rules they followed, the delays they encountered, etc.). This is already possible with Inband Network Telemetry (INT).

Couple deep and comprehensive visibility with an understanding of the network state (the contents of forwarding tables, address translation, overlay tunnels, and topology), and it becomes possible to verify that the network’s behavior matches the specified behavior and expected result. If packets, flows, state, or code are found to deviate from what is expected, the network can be automatically repaired and re-verified to ensure the problem is resolved.

Closed-Loop Control

Networks that provide complete transparency, visibility, and verifiability become capable of being optimized and secured through programmatic real-time closed loop control.

By defining specific acceptable tolerances for specific settings, measuring for compliance and automatically adapting to deviations, a closed loop network can be created that dynamically and automatically responds to environmental changes.

We can apply closed-loop control for a variety of use cases including resource optimization (traffic engineering, RAN slicing), verification (network paths), security (DDoS mitigation), and others.

Focus on 5G + Edge Cloud

5G and Edge Cloud represent the two most important impending build-outs for networking infrastructure, so Project Pronto will also deliver a fully functional and operational end-to-end private 5G connected edge cloud interconnecting our respective campuses as well as our partner organizations.

We expect our private 5G connected edge cloud will be a platform for others in academia and industry to replicate and build on.

In so doing, Pronto will help to secure future network infrastructure., leveraging an open source foundation.