Programming Abstractions for Wireless Multicasting in Software-Defined Enterprise WLANs


The increasing demand for multimedia content and for live broadcasting is bringing renewed interest in multicast applications. In many cases, users access such streams using Wi-Fi networks. However, multicast over Wi-Fi poses several challenges including low-data rates and coexistence issues with regard to other unicast streams. Software Defined Networking (SDN) has recently emerged as a novel approach to network control and management. In this paper we present SDN@Play, a novel SDN-based solution for multicast rate-adaptation in Wi-Fi networks. The solution builds upon a new abstraction, named Transmission Policy which allows the SDN controller to reconfigure or replace a certain rate control policy if its optimal operating conditions are not met. An experimental evaluation carried out over a real-world testbed shows that this approach can deliver an improvement of up to 80% in terms of channel utilization compared to legacy 802.11 multicast. We release the entire implementation including the controller and the data-path under a permissive license for academic use.

Proc. of IEEE IM. Lisbon, Portugal