The efforts behind establishing interoperability for edge computing applications stem from two organizations, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the OpenFog Consortium. ETSI released its first set of edge APIs in July 2017 and at the same time announced a collaboration with the OpenFog Consortium to build fog-enabled edge technologies for 5G and the “Cloud-to-Things continuum”.
More edge computing API standards were subsequently released by ETSI, one later in 2017 and the other in 2018. When ETSI released these seven standards, it called the technology “mobile edge computing,” but now refers to it as it “multi-access edge computing.”. However, it should be noted that while “multi-access edge computing” (MEC) is now the accepted term, it is only used in an update to one of ETSI’s MEC standards papers.
Here’s a review of the current standards on edge applications.
Edge Applications: The Original Five APIs:
These principles are the processes for documenting RESTful multi-access edge service APIs, including naming conventions, directions for making APIs compliant to the OpenAPI specification, and outlining API patterns. This standards document was updated in January 2019. The main difference is the new “Patterns of RESTful MEC service APIs,” which include a representation of lists in JSON, attribute selectors, and attribute-based filtering.
GS MEC 010-2 — Mobile Edge Management; Part 2: Application Lifecycle, Rules and Requirements Management
This standard details the application’s lifecycle management while using the edge of a network. It also covers the interfaces, reference points, information models, and the application’s rules and requirements.
This standard explains the process of how applications communicate with the edge by detailing the activity of a reference point between the edge applications and the edge platform. This standard provides how the information flows between the application and the platform, what information is necessary for the communication to work, and illustrates the data model.
ETSI used this paper to define the Radio Network Information API and how it functions on the edge. The Radio Network Information Service (RNIS) is described as “a service that provides radio network-related information to mobile edge applications and to mobile edge platforms.” The benefit of this API is that it can optimize services on the edge using radio.
The details of this paper are about the Location Service API is and how it functions on the edge. The purpose of this API is that the “edge platform or applications perform the active device location tracking, location-based service recommendation, etc.”
Edge Applications: New Additions
This API tags the user’s equipment (UE) to map it in the network operator’s system so the system can enforce its traffic rules for that UE.
When many edge applications are running at the same time on the same edge host, bandwidth resources may need to either be kept steady or be able to change. The API for the Bandwidth Management Service (BWMS) allows applications to register for the bandwidth allocation needed to run.
Edge Applications and the OpenFog Reference Architecture:
The main eight principles that guide the OpenFog reference architecture. Source: The OpenFog Consortium
Open Fog’s RA is a horizontal, system-level architecture for fog nodes and networks. Similar to edge computing, it allows computing functions to be moved closer to the data center, which brings a faster connection and lower latency to IoT devices and 5G networking. OpenFog describes the benefit behind the joint integration of ETSI’s APIs and the RA as “easier for developers to create common architectures, unify management strategies, and write a single application software modules that run on both OpenFog and MEC architectures.”
In June 2018, the IEEE Standards Association announced it is using the OpenFog Reference Architecture as their official standard for fog computing. Their trademarked name for the standard is “IEEE 1934.”
Updated March 2019