SDN and Virtualization Solutions for the Internet of Things: A Survey

Nikos Bizanis, Fernando Kuipers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

209 Citations (Scopus)
476 Downloads (Pure)


The imminent arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT), which consists of a vast number of devices with heterogeneous characteristics, means that future networks need a new architecture to accommodate the expected increase in data generation. Software defined networking (SDN) and network virtualization (NV) are two technologies that promise to cost-effectively provide the scale and versatility necessary for IoT services. In this paper, we survey the state of the art on the application of SDN and NV to IoT. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to provide a comprehensive description of every possible IoT implementation aspect for the two technologies. We start by outlining the ways of combining SDN and NV. Subsequently, we present how the two technologies can be used in the mobile and cellular context, with emphasis on forthcoming 5G networks. Afterward, we move to the study of wireless sensor networks, arguably the current foremost example of an IoT network. Finally, we review some general SDN-NV-enabled IoT architectures, along with real-life deployments and use-cases. We conclude by giving directions for future research on this topic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5591 - 5606
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2016


  • Software Defined Networking
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Network Virtualisation (NV)
  • network functions virtualization (NFV)
  • 5G
  • wireless sensor network (WSN)


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