October 10, 2017

SDN-based service automation for IoT

  • Chang H.
  • Lakshman T.
  • Mukherjee S.
  • Uddin M.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a personal area wireless network technology that is of increasing importance for emerging Internet of Things (IoT) deployments. By design, BLE supports short-range, single-hop communication between a pair of BLE devices. As such, native BLE does not allow network-based policy control or in-network functions for service enhancement. These limitations are impediments to any large-scale BLE based IoT deployment (e.g., in hospital environments), where such sophisticated network-based visibility and control may be required. Relying on cloud-based solutions to meet these requirements has many known shortcomings. This paper proposes an SDN-based architecture for enabling wide area IoT deployments using BLE devices at the edge. We introduce a programmable BLE service switch (BLESS) that is transparently inserted between two communicating BLE devices. BLESS can be programmed at the service layer by a central controller to enable flexible, policy-based switching, as well as various in-network operations in BLE networks. We describe the design of BLESS, its implementation using P4 and OVS, and illustrate its utility through practical use cases.

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