Year in Review: Charting a Path Through the Fog
Fog computing is the distributed cloud technology that enables many of the real-time, data-intensive capabilities of the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G mobile technology, and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. 2017 was a banner year for this emerging technology, reflected in the work that Cisco and other members of the OpenFog Consortium have been doing to develop and grow an open and interoperable fog technology ecosystem.
Here are a few highlights:
- We achieved a number of technical milestones for fog computing, beginning with the release in February of the first major guidepost document from the Open Fog Consortium, the OpenFog Reference Architecture. It provides invaluable architecture recommendations for anyone wishing to implement fog components, fog nodes, entire fog networks, or fog-based applications. And it includes several illustrative fog use cases in transportation, smart cities, and visual security.
- In October, the OpenFog Security Workgroup published OpenFog Security Requirements and Approaches, reflecting the workgroup’s thinking around the new security challenges presented by a distributed cloud environment. The paper describes the security landscape of the OpenFog architecture and serves as a first step in fostering future development of innovative fog security technologies and practices.
- OpenFog governance and membership continued to mature and grow. We now stand at 62 member organizations globally, including major technology enterprises and universities. The members met regularly throughout the year and elected new officers at the September meeting in Seattle. I was privileged to be re-elected for a second term as chair of the Consortium, a recognition of Cisco’s strong leadership in accelerating the fog adoption.
- Working groups continued to apply fog capabilities to real-world needs by publishing several technical use cases—from autonomous vehicles to smart buildings to energy. These use cases help to define the functions of an open and interoperable fog architecture, fog implementations and deployments.
- Validating OpenFog’s approach, in October the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE-SA) announced it will use the OpenFog Reference Architecture as the basis for its work on fog standards. The newly formed IEEE P1934 Standards Working Group on Fog Computing and Networking Architecture Framework expects to complete the first iteration of its work by April.
- Finally, the year culminated in Fog World Congress, the first multi-day conference dedicated to fog technologies. With more than 75 speakers in 55 session, it was a testament to how quickly fog is becoming a key technology for digital transformation.
Looking back on the last year, I am extremely proud of the work we’ve done, and grateful for the groundswell of industry interest and support. Looking forward into 2018, I’m confident that momentum will continue to build. Fog technology will continue to mature, delivering business agility, transformational digital capabilities, and the promise of automation.
As Cisco Chief Strategy Officer Hilton Romanski said in his Fog World Congress keynote, “We can define how the game is going to be made. We can be pioneers in fog computing. In the final analysis, fog will be every bit as important as cloud is. There will be hundreds of billions of things connected on the ground level. Fog is important now and into the future.”
Stay tuned—2018 promises to be an even more productive year for fog!