In modern enterprise and Internet-based application environments, a separate middlebox infrastructure for providing application delivery services such as security (e.g., firewalls, intrusion detection), performance (e.g., SSL off loaders), and scaling (e.g., load balancers) is deployed. However, there is no explicit support for middleboxes in the original Internet design; forcing datacenter administrators to accommodate middleboxes through ad-hoc and error-prone network configuration techniques. Given their importance and yet the ad-hoc nature of their deployment, we plan to study application delivery (in general) in the context of cloud-based application deployment environments. To fully leverage these opportunities, ASPs need to deploy a globally distributed application-level routing infrastructure to intelligently route application traffic to the right instance. But, since such an infrastructure would be extremely hard to own and mange, it is best to design a shared solution where application-level routing could be provided as a service by a third party provider having a globally distributed presence, such as an ISP. Although these requirements seem separate, they can be converged into a single abstraction for supporting application delivery in the cloud context.


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