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OpenFog Sharpens Focus on Interoperability and Growing Global Footprint


February 27, 2018 - 2 Comments

Fresh from the OpenFog Consortium members meeting last month in Hong Kong, I couldn’t be more pleased with our direction heading into 2018.

First, the meeting provided an opportunity to tighten the focus of our technical workgroups, zeroing in on interoperability. Developing interoperability for fog solutions has been one of our primary objectives since OpenFog was formed in 2015. We have made tremendous progress since then, including the release of the OpenFog Reference Architecture (RA) a year ago. This past fall the IEEE Standards Association endorsed this work by deciding to use it as the basis for a new set of standards around fog computing and networking.

The OpenFog Technical Committee has also done excellent work defining detailed use cases and extracting the first wave of detailed requirements that are consistent with the OpenFog RA. Now it’s time to make this work more directly applicable to early fog-based market offerings. The next step will be to create a small number of very concrete examples of implementation-independent interfaces that will satisfy a specific set of use-case requirements that can be put into production more quickly.

We believe this approach will benefit our members and the industry in two ways: It will deliver interoperable interfaces that member companies can write code for; and it will create a specific set of interfaces that will help focus OpenFog testbed activities.

The Consortium will be working to define, document, and publish these concrete implementation-independent interfaces over the next few months. Then we will work to fill in the remaining areas of the OpenFog Interoperable Architecture Framework and generate a comprehensive set of technical deliverables.

The Hong Kong meeting was also a demonstration of the growing global footprint of the OpenFog Consortium. Our membership continues to grow, and today we have 66 members in 18 countries, prompting us to begin holding at least one of our four meetings each year outside of the United States. About half of our contributing members are based in Asia, so Hong Kong was a natural place to hold the meeting.

Many of us stayed an extra day in Hong Kong for the Asia Fog Summit run by OpenFog’s Greater China Region. Dozens of people from the region attended this educational event designed to create greater awareness of fog computing and to provide information about OpenFog membership. As chair of OpenFog, I welcomed the attendees with an overview of what the Consortium is and why it was founded. Several other members delivered keynotes on the various aspects of fog, testbeds in progress, and why this sort of industry group is crucial to the growth of IoT, 5G, artificial intelligence, and other transformative technologies.

I look forward to seeing the impact of both of these events unfolds over the coming months. The refocused work of the OpenFog Technical Committee will accelerate deployment of an interoperable framework for valuable use cases. And we’ll continue to see growing interest in fog in Asia and around the world.

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2 Comments

  1. This is certainly an exciting initiative that Cisco is driving, and I think especially in the IoT field this could be crucial to the future. I'd definitely like to get involved.

    • Thank you Joshua! Please reach out to Chuck Byers and/or Frank Michaud who certainly can appraise you on multiple ways to get involved. Best H