The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and the OpenFog Consortium said today that they are beginning the process of merging under the IIC umbrella. Both groups have been working on developing industry guidance and best practices for industrial IoT (IIot) as well as fog and edge computing.
The merge will bring existing OpenFog members into the IIC organization. The organizations expect the remaining details to be finalized in early 2019, but plan to merge similar projects, particularly with the technical work and the testbeds, according to Bill Hoffman, the president of IIC.
Hoffman noted that there were some overlaps between the two groups, but that two groups were largely complementary. Merging the two “is a great move for the IIoT market,” he said.
The IIC was formed in September 2016 by AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM, and Intel. At that time it released a common framework for security to help IIoT deployments better address security problems. Not all IIoT use cases and systems will require the same tools and procedures. The framework addresses this by allowing individual industries and companies to determine their own security priorities, particularly with regard to future investments and roadmaps.
The IIC now has 19 working groups and teams that are broken into seven areas: business strategy and solution lifecycle, liaison, marketing, security, technology, and testbeds. The testbed working group has a number a technologies, applications, products, services, and processes that it’s testing. Some of the cases the IIC is working on in these testbeds are connected cars, a deep learning facility, factory automation, smart manufacturing, smart printing factory, security claims evaluation, and microgrids.
OpenFog is an independent nonprofit organization that was also founded in 2016 by Arm, Cisco, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, and Princeton University. It operates under a board of directors, but its members run the committees and working groups. It has a technical committee that oversees the architecture, communications, manageability, security, software infrastructure, and testbed working groups.
In February 2017, it released its OpenFog Reference Architecture. The Reference Architecture establishes standards for fog computing to enable the data-intensive requirements of IoT, 5G, and artificial intelligence (AI) applications.