Software-defined networking as an enabler for future industrial network management

Marco Ehrlich; Dennis Krummacker; Christoph Fischer; René Guillaume; Santiago Soler Perez Olaya; Ansah Frimpong; Hermann de Meer; Martin Wollschlaeger; Hans D Schotten; Jürgen Jasperneite

In: 2018 IEEE 23rd International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA). IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA-2018), located at 23rd International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation, September 4-7, Turin, Italy, Pages 1109-1112, Vol. 1, ISBN Electronic ISBN: 978-1-5386-7108-5, IEEE Xplore, 2018.


The overall Industry 4.0 (I4.0) developments combined with the disruptive process of IT-based digitalisation create a vast amount of new opportunities but also challenges for the industrial automation domain. The combination of hybrid (wired & wireless) communication architectures, already widely installed legacy technologies, new approaches, such as Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) or 5G, and the general heterogeneity of the industrial landscape results in a high configuration complexity. This creates the necessity for future-proof industrial communication network management systems. Therefore, this paper summarises the current state of the art in this area in order to identify the specific requirements towards future industrial network management systems. The most promising candidate is the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) concept. To evaluate SDN as a possible enabler, specified industrial requirements are compared with the current technological and conceptual capabilities of SDN. In addition, drawbacks resulting in future research questions are identified.


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Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence