Bringing SDN to the Mobile Edge

Konstantinos Poularakis, Qiaofeng Qin, Erich Nahum, Miguel Rio, Leandros Tassiulas

Nowadays, Software Defined Network (SDN) architectures and applications are revolutionizing the way wired networks are built and operate. However, little is known about the potential of this disruptive technology in wireless mobile networks. In fact, SDN is based on a centralized network control principle, while existing mobile network protocols give emphasis on the distribution of network resources and their management. Therefore, it is challenging to apply SDN ideas in the context of mobile networks. In this paper, we propose methods to overcome these challenges and make SDN more suitable for the mobile environment. Our main idea is to combine centralized SDN and distributed control in a hybrid design that takes the best of the two paradigms; (i) global network view and control programmability of SDN and (ii) robustness of distributed protocols. We discuss the pros and cons of each method and highlight them in an SDN prototype implementation built using off-the-shelf mobile devices.

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