SDN-based management of heterogeneous home networks

Abstract

In recent years a lot of new consumer devices have been introduced to the home network. Modern home networks usually consists of multiple heterogeneous communication technologies such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi and power-line communications. Today, the user has to manually decide which transmission technology to use as there is no automated optimization across technologies. Load balancing algorithms can improve overall throughput while redundant links also provide the opportunity to switch flows in case of link failures. Current standards either lack real implementation in consumer devices or do not have the flexibility to support all necessary functionality towards creating a convergent hybrid home network. Therefore, we propose an alternative way by using Software-Defined Networking techniques to manage a heterogeneous home network. In this paper we specifically evaluate the ability of OpenFlow-enabled switches to perform link switching both under normal conditions and in case of link failures. Our results show that SDN-based management can be used to improve heterogeneous home networks by utilising redundant links for flow rerouting. However, they also show that improvements are still needed to reduce downtime during link failure or rerouting in case of TCP traffic.

Publication
In proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Management of SDN and NFV Systems