ORCHESTRA: Virtualized and Programmable Orchestration of Heterogeneous WLANs

Abstract

Local area networks (LANs) are employed by a plethora of heterogeneous consumer devices, equipped with the ability to connect to the Internet using a variety of different wireless network technologies. Existing solutions and the lower layers of the OSI stack are unfit to cope with this heterogeneity. For instance, dynamical inter-technology switching is user-of application-based. We propose the ORCHESTRA framework to manage the different devices in heterogeneous wireless local area networks (WLANs) and introduce capabilities such as packet-level dynamic and intelligent handovers (both inter- and intratechnology), load balancing, replication, and scheduling. The framework consists of a controller that is capable of communicating with both existing Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) controllers and with devices containing a newly introduced virtual Medium Access Control (MAC) layer. We show that the virtual MAC enables transparent and real-time inter-technology handovers and that our solution scales up to two thousands of clients.

Publication
Conference on Network and Service Management (CNSM)