Two organizations, the OpenFog Consortium and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) Industry Specification Group (ISG), recognize the benefits of the complementary, yet different, computing technologies working together to achieve optimal computing reliability for modern networking. The OpenFog Consortium’s collaboration with ETSI’s MEC ISG promises to advance computing to meet the requirements for the breadth of the Internet of Things devices predicted to be in use in the near future.
ARM, Cisco, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, and Princeton University founded OpenFog Consortium in 2015. Their central efforts are dedicated to building an open reference architecture for fog computing. Fog computing is similar to MEC as they are both forms of a distributed cloud, however, fog computing works with the cloud and the edge of a network to meet increasing computing demands. While both similar and complementary to fog computing, MEC is a distributed cloud on a network’s edge that’s outside of the centralized cloud. It’s closer to the end user as the edge of network originates from localized sources such as cell towers, microdata centers, and routers, to name a few.
In September 2017, Open Fog Consortium announced its partnership with an ETSI MEC ISG in a joint effort to advance edge computing. The ETSI MEC ISG chairman Alex Reznik stated that “establishing a cooperation framework with OpenFog represents a significant step toward adoption of our standards by the industry.” The two groups sealed their promise of collaborating on global standards development by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
Here’s a review of the some of the work this collaboration is identifying and producing.
The OpenFog Consortium’s Collaboration with MEC:
- Identifying information and communication technologies (ICT) standardization.
- Focuses on interoperability between the computing technologies.
- The OpenFog reference architecture will be able to extend the edge via hierarchical-placed fog nodes between the edge and the cloud.
- Developing APIs for both MEC and the fog. The ETSI MEC ISG comments that “by adopting and re-using APIs across the OpenFog and MEC architectures, it will be 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.”