An Energy-Efficient SDN Controller Architecture for IoT Networks with Blockchain-Based Security
Internet of Things (IoT) is a disruptive technology in many aspects of our society, ranging from communications to financial transactions to national security (e.g., Internet of Battlefield/Military Things), and so on. There are long-standing challenges in IoT, such as security, comparability, energy consumption, and heterogeneity of devices. Security and energy aspects play important roles in data transmission across IoT and edge networks, due to limited energy and computing (e.g., processing and storage) resources of networked devices. Whether malicious or accidental, interference with data in an IoT network potentially has real-world consequences. In this article, we explore the potential of integrating blockchain and software-defined networking (SDN) in mitigating some of the challenges. Specifically, we propose a secure and energy-efficient blockchain-enabled architecture of SDN controllers for IoT networks using a cluster structure with a new routing protocol. The architecture uses public and private blockchains for Peer to Peer (P2P) communication between IoT devices and SDN controllers, which eliminates Proof-of-Work (POW), as well as using an efficient authentication method with the distributed trust, making the blockchain suitable for resource-constrained IoT devices. The experimental results indicate that the routing protocol based on the cluster structure has higher throughput, lower delay, and lower energy consumption than EESCFD, SMSN, AODV, AOMDV, and DSDV routing protocols. In other words, our proposed architecture is demonstrated to outperform classic blockchain.