Wireless Networks have become ubiquitous and dense to support the growing demand from mobile users. To improve the performance of these networks, new approaches are required, such as context and service aware control algorithms, which are not possible on today’s closed proprietary WLAN controllers.
In this work, we propose Ethanol, a software-defined networking architecture for 802.11 dense WLANs. This paper describes the benefits of programmable APs, and proposes Ethanol, an architecture for network-wide control of QoS, user mobility, AP virtualization, and security on 802.11 APs. The proposal is evaluated on a prototype using off-the-shelf APs over three use cases.