MEC towards multi-cloud federation

A lot of time has passed since my last blog post, sorry for not reaching out to you, folks! Very busy period. Also, a lot of nice things are happening, and ISG MEC is continuously growing in membership, attracting new companies that are actively contributing to the standardization.

Our collaboration with 5GAA (now joining MEC!) is also well established with the identification of two MEC observers, Maxime Flament (CTO, 5GAA) and Luca Boni (Stellantis) who are acting as 5GAA representatives in MEC. The collaboration with Akraino is now also moving forward with the guidance of Jane Shen (Mavenir, Akraino TSC member and ETSI MEC Technical Expert) and Oleg Berzin (Equinix, Akraino TSC Co-Chair and PCEI PTL). Finally, we’ve recently held the 2021 edition of the MEC Hackathon (see results here, published as part of our renewed MEC Wiki page, MEC Sandbox is continuously updated with new functionalities, also used for the MEC Hackathon.

But also, very importantly, ETSI MEC is deeply involved in the standardization activities related to MEC Federation, which is an emerging concept built on top of the Operator Platform (OP) defined by GSMA. Many global operators and technology providers in this industry organization are collaborating together to define a federation model and its related technical requirements. In this perspective, GSMA OPG (Operator Platform Group) is asking SDOs (Standard Developing Organizations) to define interoperable and open standards that can cover the requirements of this OP architecture, connecting multiple edge computing infrastructures between operators and with hyperscalers.

Recently Faisal Zia (GSMA, project lead of OPG) invited both ETSI MEC and 3GPP to an informational webinar, with the goal to share with those groups the current level of standards coverage (as identified by GSMA so far), the possible overlaps and synergies in order to facilitate a proper SDO mapping and complete standard definition of the platform. In fact, ETSI MEC and 3GPP (and in particular SA6, for the activities related to edge computing) have been selected by OPG as the relevant bodies that can cover together the huge set of requirements in this heterogeneous framework. We call it MEC Federation, and it includes both MEC-to-MEC and MEC-to-Cloud communication.

The ETSI MEC priority is to carefully define an open standard in collaboration with the other stakeholders, and I’m always repeating that the common goal of all organizations should be to complement and avoid duplication of work (both among SDOs and also with open source communities, for example). In fact, on the standardization side, I’m very pleased to collaborate with my friend Suresh Chitturi (Samsung, Chair of 3GPP SA6), who is sharing this view and authorized me to put here his quote on this nice collaboration: “In the larger interest of Telco-Edge computing ecosystem, it is extremely important that GSMA Operator Platform is built on interoperable standards such as 3GPP and ETSI MEC, and both our organizations are working closely with GSMA OP to harmonize and leverage the best of both architectures.

And I’ve agreed with him when he said: “It is a very complex effort, but I’m optimistic that we can find a suitable solution that can leverage the capabilities from both organizations as we continue to evolve this process.”. In fact, next plan is to have a further joint meeting with GSMA OPG, that will be more interactive and provide an elaboration and response from ETSI MEC and 3GPP on the requests coming from GSMA. This will thus be an equally busy period, and the groups are working hard to satisfy the needs for federation, that are coming from the industry.

So, stay tuned for my next Blog Post! Nice things are happening. Not sure if I’m able to write to you before Xmas, so in any case, Happy Holidays!

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