Complementing IoT Services through Software Defined Networking and Edge Computing: A Comprehensive Survey

Wajid Rafique, Lianyong Qi, Ibrar Yaqoob, Muhammad Imran, Raihan Ur Rasool, Wanchun Dou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations


Millions of sensors continuously produce and transmit data to control real-world infrastructures using complex networks in the Internet of Things (IoT). However, IoT devices are limited in computational power, including storage, processing, and communication resources, to effectively perform compute-intensive tasks locally. Edge computing resolves the resource limitation problems by bringing computation closer to the edge of IoT devices. Providing distributed edge nodes across the network reduces the stress of centralized computation and overcomes latency challenges in the IoT. Therefore, edge computing presents low-cost solutions for compute-intensive tasks. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) enables effective network management by presenting a global perspective of the network. While SDN was not explicitly developed for IoT challenges, it can, however, provide impetus to solve the complexity issues and help in efficient IoT service orchestration. The current IoT paradigm of massive data generation, complex infrastructures, security vulnerabilities, and requirements from the newly developed technologies make IoT realization a challenging issue. In this research, we provide an extensive survey on SDN and the edge computing ecosystem to solve the challenge of complex IoT management. We present the latest research on Software-Defined Internet of Things orchestration using Edge (SDIoT-Edge) and highlight key requirements and standardization efforts in integrating these diverse architectures. An extensive discussion on different case studies using SDIoT-Edge computing is presented to envision the underlying concept. Furthermore, we classify state-of-the-art research in the SDIoT-Edge ecosystem based on multiple performance parameters. We comprehensively present security and privacy vulnerabilities in the SDIoT-Edge computing and provide detailed taxonomies of multiple attack possibilities in this paradigm. We highlight the lessons learned based on our findings at the end of each section. Finally, we discuss critical insights toward current research issues, challenges, and further research directions to efficiently provide IoT services in the SDIoT-Edge paradigm.

Original languageBritish English
Article number9099866
Pages (from-to)1761-1804
Number of pages44
JournalIEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Edge computing
  • Internet of Things
  • IoT service orchestration
  • network virtualization
  • software-defined IoT
  • software-defined networking


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