OpenFlow/Software Defined Network

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OpenFlow or more broadly Software Defined Networking is a new network architecture/approach that enables innovations by researchers, operators, application/service providers, and third parties as well as by network equipment vendors. The architecture uses: (1) separation of data and control planes with a well defined vendor agnostic API/protocol between the two (2) a logically centralized control plane with an open API for network applications and services; and (3) network slicing and virtualization to support experimentation at scale on a production network.

OpenFlow Wireless is a platform built on OpenFlow to enable research and innovations in mobile wireless networking. The goal is to open up both Internet and Cellular infrastructures for innovations to significantly reduce capex and opex and accelerate creation of interesting mobile services.

OpenFlow networks are being deployed for research and experimentation at several university campuses and within I2 and NLR backbones. An ecosystem of researchers, equipment and chip vendors, providers, and users is coming together around OpenFlow/Software defined networking due to its appeal to different stakeholders of the networking value chain.

For more information on OpenFlow, visit


To share this new found control and enable innovation, we build flexible slicing on top of OpenFlow. Through flexible slicing of the network, we allow multiple experiments to be carried out concurrently on the same physical infrastructure. This allows realistic and at-scale evaluations of ideas, while providing a natural path for deployment.

The architecture of OpenFlow Wireless is as shown. The platform allows easy incorporation of wireless technologies and network control can be implemented rapidly in software controllers.

The platform also provides simple APIs allows ease of development and rapid prototyping of ideas. For example, we were able to implement bicasting/tricasting mobility in 227 lines of C/C++. This includes handing over between heterogeneous technologies, such as WiFi and WiMAX.

To download and setup the platform, look at this wiki page for instructions.


Publications, Reports and Talks

  • OpenRoads: Empowering Research in Mobile Networks
    Kok-Kiong Yap, Masayoshi Kobayashi, Rob Sherwood, Te-Yuan Huang, Michael Chan, Nikhil Handigol, and Nick McKeown
    (Best Poster)
    In Proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM, Barcelona, Spain, August 2009
  • The Stanford OpenRoads Deployment
    Kok-Kiong Yap, Masayoshi Kobayashi, David Underhill, Srinivasan Seetharaman, Peyman Kazemian, and Nick McKeown WiNTECH, Mobicom, Beijing, China, September 2009

Technical Reports


Faculty Students Visiting Scholars Former Members
Nick McKeown
Guru Parulkar
Kok-Kiong Yap
Te-Yuan Huang
Nikhil Handigol
Peyman Kazemian
Yiannis Yiakoumis
Masayoshi Kobayashi
Rob Sherwood
Srinivasan Seetharaman
Ippei Akiyoshi
David Underhill
Michael Chan
Jiang Zhu

OpenFlow Wireless is sponsored in part by the NSF POMI (Programmable Open Mobile Internet) 2020 Expedition Grant No. 0832820.