EC-IoT and SDN/NFV Accelerate Digital Transformation of Industries

The China SDN/NFV Conference 2017 was jointly held by the SDN/NFV Industry Alliance, China Institute of Communications (CIC), and China Communications Standards Association (CCSA) under the guidance of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in Beijing from April 26 to 27, 2017. With the theme "Cloud Network, Smart Era", the conference focused on the development trends of software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV). In various themed activities, attendees talked about the evolution of traditional networks and shared success stories of global carriers, manufacturers, Internet corporations, and international standardization/open source organizations in network evolution. They also comprehensively analyzed challenges of applying the SDN and NFV technologies and discussed the innovation and evolution of network technologies.

The Edge Computing Consortium (ECC) attended the conference with three theme reports that were presented at the Vertical Market Deployment track. These reports describe the concept and architecture of edge computing IoT (EC-IoT), and methods of associating EC-IoT with the SDN and NFV technologies to provide better solutions for industry customers to implement digital transformation.


Shi Yang, Staff Chair of the Requirement and System Group of the ECC, delivered a report entitled Edge Computing Enabling Industrial Digital Transformation. He described challenges of digital transformation of industries in the software-defined era and introduced the newly issued Edge Computing Reference Architecture 1.0, which covers the application, data, network, and device domains. According to Shi Yang, the development of edge computing and applications presents higher requirements on network O&M and deployment flexibility. SDN and NFV enable networks to break through restrictions imposed by the traditional network architecture and support connections with a large number of devices, automatic O&M, and coordination between the network and security policies, meeting the requirements of edge computing.


As smart manufacturing develops, manufacturers require more flexible and reliable industrial networks. SDN can reshape the network architecture, but cannot meet requirements of manufacturers for real-time services. To address the problem, Li Dong, Deputy Secretary-General of the ECC, introduced a software-defined network that adapts to industrial control systems in Software Defined Industrial Networking Technologies and Applications. He described the architecture of the software-defined industrial network and also real-time assurance technologies, and predicted the applications of SDN in industrial control scenarios.


In the future, IoT will be applied more to urban infrastructure. Diverse sensors will become ubiquitous in cities, monitoring real-time running status of the cities and collecting data for Big Data analysis. In Total Solution for Smart City based on Cloud and Edge Computing, Cui Shiyong, an expert in the Experiment Platform Group of the ECC, described how the city IoT integrates cloud computing, edge computing, and AI to enable smarter city operations and promote more efficient and sustainable development of cities.


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To promote in-depth industry coordination, accelerate innovation, and boost the application of edge computing, six industry entities have joined together to establish the ECC. The ECC is dedicated to advancing cooperation among industry resources from government, vendor, academic, research, and customer sectors, and pushing forward the sustainable development of the edge computing industry.
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