IEEE working group focuses on accelerating fog computing adoption

To help meet the demand of fog and edge computing, the OpenFog Consortium recently announced its OpenFog Reference Architecture will provide a foundation for a new IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) working group. The purpose of the working group is to develop fog and edge computing for the IoT, 5G and embedded artificial intelligence (A.I.) applications that will accelerate wide-scale adoption.

Fog and edge computing have been heralded as a way to handle the massive amount of data churned by the internet of things (IoT). Cloud computing has traditionally been indispensable to handling IoT data; however, sending too much data to the cloud increases the threat of bottlenecks and security concerns. Fog and edge computing takes some of the workload off the shoulders of the cloud and closer to an edge server, which is necessary for applications that requires low latency. According to research firm IDC, the amount of data analyzed on devices that are physically close to the IoT is nearing 40%.

According to the Consortium, the OpenFog Reference Architecture is a universal, technical framework for meeting the data requirements of IoT, 5G and A.I. applications. The framework includes a horizontal system architecture for dispersing computing, storage, control and networking functions nearer to the network edge where the data is created.

“This represents a giant step forward for fog computing and for the industry, which will soon have the specifications for use in developing industrial strength fog-based hardware, software and services,” IEEE Standards Working Group on Fog Computing and Networking Architecture Framework Chair John Zao said in a statement. “The objective from the beginning was that the OpenFog Reference Architecture would serve as the high-level basis for industry standards, and the IEEE is looking forward to the collaboration in this effort.”

The fog extends the cloud through various nodes, such as industrial controllers, switches, routers and embedded servers, which can be launched anywhere within a network connection. The new framework includes different approaches to information technology (IT), communication technology (CT) and operational technology (OT) services using an information messaging infrastructure in addition to legacy and emerging multi-access networking technologies.

“The standards work produced by this new working group will be crucial in the continued growth of fog computing innovation and things-to-cloud systems,” said Dr. Mehmet Ulema, director of standards development at IEEE Communications Society. “This also is an outstanding example of the strategic alliance between IEEE and OpenFog to co-create and co-promote fog networking concepts and architectures.”

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