Network Verification from Algorithms to the Real World

Enterprise networks have become complex software artifacts weaving together interdependent devices, protocols, virtualization layers, optimizations, software bugs, and security controls — often glued together with manual processes. In this complex infrastructure, outages and security vulnerabilities are common. How can we assure that the business intent is actually met by reality? This is the goal of the emerging area of network verification, which applies ideas of formal methods to network infrastructure. From its recent genesis in the research community, network verification blossomed into a hot area of innovation and quickly had impact on industry, with enterprises and hyperscale cloud providers deploying verification technology today. In this talk, we’ll briefly review key research advances in network verification. Then, based on experience with production deployments, we will discuss what principles of these research ideas persevered, what surprises we encountered, and how verification is solving problems in the real world and laying the foundation for future technologies.
Brighten Godfrey
Co-Founder and CTO at Veriflow, Associate Professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
P. Brighten Godfrey is Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Veriflow and associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Godfrey has conducted research in networked systems and algorithms for more than a decade, and is a co-inventor of key technology in use at Veriflow. His work has developed novel architectures and systems for Internet routing, data center networking, high performance data transport, and network data plane verification, as well as advancing theoretical analysis of network algorithms. In 2015, Dr. Godfrey received the ACM SIGCOMM Rising Star Award in recognition of outstanding research contributions, including contributions to network verification. Dr. Godfrey was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 2014, and has also received the UIUC Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, in addition to several best paper awards. He was a Beckman Fellow at the UIUC Center for Advanced Study in 2014-2015, and has served as program committee chair of several academic conferences. Dr. Godfrey continues to advise young researchers at the University of Illinois, and is co-instructor of the Coursera course “Cloud Networking”. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.