Development Environment for Software-defined Smart City Networks
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Smart cities are becoming the key technology as more and more people are attracted to living in urban environments. Increased number of inhabitants and current issues such as pandemic restrictions, terrorist threats, global warming and limited resources require maximum effectivity in all areas of city operations. To support these dynamic demands, software-based approaches for network management are being used. They provide programmability, which allows implementation of almost any functionality, but is dependent on quality of the developed application. To ensure the best possible quality, developers need an environment on which they can develop and test the application effectively. Such an environment should be as close to a real network as possible, but as easy to use as an emulated network. This paper describes a method for creating a flexible and inexpensive practical environment for developing and testing applications for software-defined smart city networks. The paper analyzes four relevant open source controllers, compares their features and suitability for smart city applications; and provides a guideline for creating inexpensive SDN capable switches from general purpose single board Raspberry Pi computers. The presented environment can be deployed easily, but its hardware nature allows real performance measurements and utilization of IoT-based nodes and sensors. This is verified in an use case smart city topology.