The terminology and layered architecture for SDN systems has been defined by the Software Defined Networking Research Group (SDNRG) of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) in [1]. Although it is not intended to standardize any layer or interface, it provides a reference for approaches that can be followed when defining SDN architectures. The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) proposed a different architecture in [2], more service-oriented, while the one proposed by the IRTF has a more functional vision [3].

Figure #1 describes the proposed IRTF architecture which consisting of:

  • Application Plane: this layer is where the applications that define the behavior of the network reside.
  • Network Services Abstraction Layer (NSAL): provides access to applications to the control and management plane.
  • Control Plane: is responsible for decisions on how packets should be forwarded by one or more network devices and for forwarding those decisions to the network devices for execution.
  • Management Plane: this layer is in charge of monitoring, configuring and maintaining network devices, e.g., generating decisions based on the state of a network device.
  • Device and resource Abstraction Layer (DAL): abstracts resources from the operational and device forwarding planes to the control and management planes.
Figure #1: **SDN** layer architecture according to RFC 7426.

Following a SDN approach, some examples of proposed architectures can be found in the literature: in [4], the EmPOWER architecture was presented which integrates different Radio Access Technologies (RAT) and proposes a set of programming abstractions in order to model some important aspects of wireless networks. This architecture was also used in [5], where an algorithm for mobility management was proposed; the objective of the algorithm is the adaptation rate for multicast communications in 802.11 networks. Another architecture was presented in [6], which is aimed at minimizing packet-level delay; in this case, all base stations (BSs) are configured to use the same MAC address; specific virtual BSs are created to manage each service. All these proposals include a central controller in charge of network management.


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