Last month we were invited by the European Commission to participate as a “Visionary Concept” in the Next-Generation IoT and Edge Computing Strategy Forum, an event designed to discuss Europe’s vision for edge computing. After having been selected at a recent EIC Investor Day as the most exciting technology in the IoT & Cloud category—and also as the Best Edge Computing Solution at Layer123 Europe 2021—this strategy forum was a great opportunity for us to explain our approach to edge computing and the details of our 🇪🇺-funded ONEedge initiative, which is behind OpenNebula’s transformation into a powerful open source cloud-edge orchestration platform. Personally, I found this event really inspiring, and I felt that there is a strong alignment between our vision of edge computing and the bold strategy that the European Commission is putting in place for Europe’s next-generation edge cloud.
A first EU strategy forum, IoT and Edge Computing: Future directions for Europe, took place in September 2020. With over 300 registered participants from industry, academia, and SMEs from Europe and beyond, this workshop drew attention to the future opportunities of edge computing, including its role in connecting devices and providing an orchestration with cloud services, and the importance of integrating connectivity and computing with AI-based reasoning and automation. This intelligent edge should enable the processing of data close to its sources and provide the real-time response that is essential in many applications. AI and machine learning, as well as other critical edge applications such as those involved in mobility, smart health, or manufacturing, require real-time access to data and responsiveness to incidents affecting the edge infrastructure and its connectivity. That first strategy forum was followed in December 2020 by a second one, IoT and Edge Computing II: The Far Edge, with the European Commission confirming their approach based on building an ecosystem where IoT, edge, and cloud converge towards a computing continuum.
As we explained during last month’s Next-Generation IoT and Edge Computing Strategy Forum, our ONEedge strategy is not intended to compete against the main cloud providers, but rather to offer a powerful open source middleware able to orchestrate and automate operations based on VMs or application containers along the Datacenter-Cloud-Edge Continuum. For that, we are working to build strong relationships with public cloud and edge providers of all types—including telecommunications companies and 5G providers starting to offer infrastructure resources at the edge of their networks—to make sure our platform is able to respond to the real needs of our users, turning the intrinsic heterogeneity of the edge into an substantial advantage.
OpenNebula provides a powerful alternative that prevents vendor lock-in, enabling private clouds to extend to the edge and to make use of infrastructure also provided by hyperscalers and telcos, with a technology that can also be used by new edge providers to offer their own infrastructure to customers. For all these reasons, as we highlighted during this event, we are really looking forward to contributing with ONEedge to the EU strategic plans to foster the use of edge computing and the emergence of a strong edge cloud infrastructure in Europe! 🚀
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