This week, I’m joining leaders from industry, academia, and government at the Internet of Things World Forum (#IoTWF) in Dubai, and fog computing is a hot topic in many of our discussions. As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more pervasive in our homes, cars, city services, and across industries, fog computing will become an essential technology for capturing value in many IoT use cases.

Anil Menon President, Smart + Connected Communities at Cisco and John Defterios, Emerging Market Editor with CNN talk briefly about the newly formed OpenFog Consortium at the IoTWF.

That is why I am particularly happy to be representing the OpenFog Consortium, as well as Cisco, at this global event. The consortium was formed to accelerate the deployment of fog technologies and to provide industry and academic leadership in developing fog computing frameworks and architectures. Cisco has been working for many months with the other founding members—Intel, Microsoft, Dell, ARM, and Princeton University—to form this new industry body. Since our announcement of the OpenFog Consortium on November 19, interest has gained momentum and there is now a healthy pipeline of new members in the process of joining.

Exciting possibilities of a fog approach are coming to life in Barcelona, Spain. Last week, I participated in a live demo of a proof of concept project that brings together a number of disparate smart city services within a single unified architecture, rather than in disconnected, siloed efforts. Barcelona has been working for several years to develop “smart” urban services, including lighting, traffic management, event-based video, and on-demand connectivity. For the most part, however, these services have been developed and deployed independently by different city departments—resulting in a dazzling array of sensors, gateways, repeaters, and other devices positioned on poles, posts, and walls around the city. The proof of concept project consolidates and integrates these separate systems in secure, strategically placed outdoor cabinets, and provides a single-screen view to monitor and manage data, applications, virtual switches and routers, fog nodes, fog services, and the network. This project represents a paradigm shift for smart city services, leveraging both cloud and fog capabilities to integrate a rich set of use cases on a multi-vendor software platform.

A rich set of use cases demonstrates the Barcelona software platform supporting digitization at the edge.

If you are at the IoTWF this week, be sure to stop at the Nebbiolo Technologies booth at the IoT World Forum to see a live demo of many of the use cases we piloted in Barcelona, running on a Nebbiolo fog node.

The formation of the OpenFog Consortium is “just in time,” as fog technology becomes an increasingly important IoT enabler for smart cities such as Dubai. OpenFog Consortium members are working to develop an open architecture and core technologies—including distributed computing, networking, and storage capabilities—that will reduce the time required to deliver end-to-end IoT scenarios across a range of industries. Having interoperable architectural building blocks from the cloud to the fog at the edge of the network will accelerate not just the deployment of IoT, but the value it can deliver.

You can stay informed about the many activities and developments of the OpenFog Consortium by following us on Twitter—or click here if you’re interested in learning how to become an OpenFog member.


Helder Antunes

Senior Director

Corporate Strategic Innovations Group