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Implementation of the MQTT Broker using the P4 language and PSA Architecture


[ 1 ] Instytut Sieci Teleinformatycznych, Wydział Informatyki i Telekomunikacji, Politechnika Poznańska | [ P ] employee

Scientific discipline (Law 2.0)

[2.3] Information and communication technology

Year of publication


Chapter type

chapter in monograph / paper

Publication language


  • Software Defined Networks
  • Protocol-independent Packet Processor Programming
  • MQTT
  • SDN
  • OpenFlow
  • SDN Switch
  • SDN Controller

EN In the article, the versatility of the Protocol-independent Packet Processor Programming (P4) language and the Portable Switch Architecture (PSA) is presented. Both elements have been designed for the construction of Software Defined Networks (SDNs). In typical SDN solutions, the control plane is separated from the data plane, transferring them to different devices while ensuring data exchange between them using the OpenFlow protocol. The introduction of the P4 language and PSA architecture allows for the definition of the entire packet processing process in the data plane. To demonstrate the universality of P4 and PSA, the article presents a simplified implementation of an MQTT broker, which is a very important element of the Internet of Things. The role of the MQTT broker is to receive messages from publishers and send them to subscribers interested in a specific type of message. The use of an MQTT broker separates the operations of the publisher from the subscriber. Publishers and subscribers are unaware of each other's existence. The data exchange shifts from synchronous to asynchronous. This simplifies the connection pattern. These features of MQTT indicate why it is often used in smart home automation systems and the broader IoT. These systems use IP routers and Ethernet switches. Of course, due to the environment in which they operate, they do not need to be highly performant, allowing them to be implemented using general-purpose processors. However, the increasing number of network devices and the growing demand for bandwidth by network applications indicate that this situation will soon change, and more efficient solutions will be necessary. One direction in which home networks may develop is SDN, of course scaled for such applications. Introducing the capability of SDN switches to implement additional functions, such as MQTT brokers, becomes a necessity. The article presents an implementation of an MQTT broker using the current P4 language standard. Due to the limitations of the P4 language, the presented implementation covers only the basic functions of the MQTT protocol. However, it provides an excellent starting point for the development of SDN networks and the P4 language for IoT applications.

Pages (from - to)

326 - 334



Proceedings of the 42nd International Business Information Management Association Computer Science Conference IBIMA, 29-30 November 2023, Seville, Spain. Theory and Practice in Modern Computing: From Artificial Intelligence to Computer Security

Presented on

42nd International Business Information Management Association Computer Science Conference IBIMA, 29-30.11.2023, Seville, Spain

Ministry points / chapter


Ministry points / conference (CORE)


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