Modern network devices are becoming increasingly intelligent and programmable. Examples range from router scripting environments to fully programmable server blades. As a result, networked applications are no longer constrained just to servers that are interconnected via a network, but can migrate into and become embedded within the network itself. This promises to accelerate the current trend towards systems that are increasingly autonomous and to a certain degree self-managing. However, the next frontier lies in applications that go beyond traditional management and control functions and that are becoming increasingly decentralized, not constrained in scope to individual systems. Examples include decentralized monitoring, gossip-based configuration, network event correlation inside the network across multiple systems, overlay control protocols, and network-aware multi-media applications.

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