Last week 80 people came together in Seattle for the sixth meeting of the OpenFog Consortium. The excitement and engagement at the meeting reflected a market segment that is growing up, and growing strong. Still shy of its second birthday, the Consortium boasts 59 members and counting, including leaders of industry and academia from around the world.

Why is this important?

I believe that fog computing is one of the most important accelerators of the Internet of Things (IoT). Fog pushes computing power and storage from the cloud into devices at the edge of the network, where they can process, analyze, and store data for real-time and near-real-time applications—the very things that drive value in IoT. Fog provides enhanced latency, reliability, security, and bandwidth efficiency compared to cloud-based solutions.  Without fog, we wouldn’t be able to have self-driving cars, autonomous drones, or real-time production control systems.

As fog enables IoT adoption, IoT’s need for fog capabilities is accelerating the development of widespread fog architectures and standards. And that’s where the OpenFog Consortium comes in. The Consortium’s committees and workgroups have been hard at work defining an open, interoperable fog computing architecture to ensure interoperability as fog technology develops.

The OpenFog founders celebrate with a little fun.
The OpenFog founders celebrate with a little fun.

We published our Reference Architecture last February and it’s been gratifying to work with other organizations to influence standards development. I’m particularly excited that IEEE is in the process of certifying the OpenFog Reference Architecture as the defacto industry standard for fog computing. We continued our work with IEEE representatives in Seattle last week to move this process forward.   Stay tuned for the announcement of Version 1 of the standard, which I expect will be finalized within a few weeks. In the future, any sub-architectures that derive from the Reference Architecture will go through a similar process.

The OpenFog membership also elected officers, board members, and workgroup chairs last week. I was honored to be unanimously reelected for a second term as chair of the Consortium—a testament to Cisco’s leadership in shepherding the organization through its formative stages. Now that the Consortium is going strong, I view this as a mandate to continue growing the membership, solidify the architecture, and further develop policies on test beds and certification of fog technologies and devices.

The next important event for fog computing will be Fog World Congress, October 30-November 1, presented by the OpenFog Consortium and IEEE Communications Society, and co-sponsored by Cisco and other industry leaders. The agenda is packed with industry luminaries, including Cisco’s own Chief Strategy Officer Hilton Romanski. Cisco will have a strong presence on panels and the demo floor, where we will showcase our existing fog technologies and architectures.

I hope you’ll join me there—at the intersection of fog and IoT—to be part of the next stage in fog computing.




Helder Antunes

Senior Director

Corporate Strategic Innovations Group