A fable of the Internet of Things. When the cloud comes down to earth it is called fog. In IT terms, we have the “cloud” as in servers, but we also have distributed computing at the edge–the cloud coming to earth or fog. Thank you Cisco.
Now a coalition of companies in the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, including ARM, Cisco, Dell, Intel, Microsoft Corp., and the Princeton University Edge Laboratory have come together to form the OpenFog Consortium. The goal of this consortium is to accelerate the deployment of Fog technologies through the development of an open architecture, core technologies including the capabilities of distributed computing, networking, and storage as well as the leadership needed to realize the full potential of IoT.
The OpenFog architecture brings seamless Intelligence from the Cloud to the IoT endpoints using an open standardized approach. The founding members will build initial frameworks and architectures that reduce the time required to deliver the end-to-end IoT scenarios.
Fog computing technology distributes the resources and services of computation, communication, control, and storage closer to devices and systems at or near the users. The OpenFog non-profit global consortium will drive industry and academic leadership in fog computing architectures with whitepapers, testbeds, and other deliverables that demonstrate best practices for interoperability and composability between cloud and edge architectures. By utilizing existing standards work and proven approaches, the consortium will reduce the time required to deliver the end-to-end IoT scenarios (technologies, architectures, testbeds, and business development) that the market is demanding.
Additional details on Fog
The Consortium intends to solve some common challenges, such as high latency on the network, support of end point mobility, loss of connectivity, unpredictable bandwidth bottlenecks and distributed coordination of systems and clients.
The Open Fog Consortium will promote an ecosystem to accelerate the adoption of open fog computing by bringing together companies, universities and individuals. It will define a common framework for distributed computing based on open standard technologies. The Open Fog Consortium will also identify best practices, liaise with standards organizations and hold industry events to foster interoperability.
The Open Fog Consortium will focus on the following activities:
- Developing an architecture framework.
- Facilitating an open forum to share ideas regarding open fog computing.
- Creating educational material about fog research and development.
- Branding and promoting open fog computing implementations.
- Influencing standards development through strategic partnerships.
- Setting up a technology test-bed at Princeton University.
- Hosting “plugfests” with educational tracks to expand the open fog computing community and promote innovation.
Dell VP on Internet of Things
Meanwhile, Dell Vice President and Senior Fellow in the Office of the CTO Liam Quinn, says on his blog, “We’ve been deep in the trenches of working with customers to help enable IoT solutions in the past six months since we announced our new IoT division and gateway products. We are learning a great deal and one of the core lessons is pretty simple: we need to go faster. While the Internet of Things is fascinating and offers almost limitless opportunities to change the world, it is still an emerging set of technologies and projects can become highly customized and time-consuming very quickly. We are connecting things that have never been connected before and each industry, each process, each ‘thing’ comes with its own quirks. To help accelerate this time to deploy for our customers, Dell believes in standards and ‘better together’ approaches for our products. ”
He continues, “Whether you call it ‘fog’ or ‘edge’ or ‘distributed computing’ – the idea of pushing computing closer to the end devices makes sense for many use cases. This is why we announced our new Dell Edge Gateway 5000 Series at Dell World last month. These systems are intelligent, industrial-grade devices that offer local analytics and other middleware to receive, aggregate, analyze and relay significant data to the cloud or datacenter for further analytics in a secure manner.”