ETSI White Paper on MEC Support for Edge-Native Designs: An Application Developer’s Perspective | VanillaPlus – The Global Voice of Telecom IT

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ETSI extension just released a new white paper on MEC support for Edge Native Design written by members of the ETSI Industry Specification Group on Multi-access edge computing (ISG MEC). This white paper provides an overview and insight into the edge native approach, as a natural evolution of cloud native.

It details the concept of Edge Native, describes what Edge Native means for edge developers to build their applications, and introduces how ETSI ISG MEC and other organizations support this Edge Native design paradigm. In particular, the white paper guides developers on the specific principles and requirements of edge computing and how to combine them with the modern architectural approach introduced by Cloud Native. It also provides insight into the general technical community interested in ETSI MEC solutions or Edge Native application design concepts.

Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) is a promising technology that brings applications and services closer to the end user, thus providing lower network latency, better data privacy and other key benefits for enterprise scenarios such as V2X, AR/VR and industry 4.0.

MEC provides a flexible environment for deploying and managing edge applications by adopting cloud-based technologies, such as virtualization, service-based management, and heterogeneous hardware management. However, the edge environment has some key characteristics that distinguish it from the traditional cloud environment, leading to specific requirements for both edge applications and the edge system.

For example, the edge environment usually has limited resources and is geospatially distributed and users/customers are likely to move around while using edge services. These features led to the birth of the Edge Native concept. Edge Native, which is inspired by cloud native, refers to building and running edge applications that take into account the characteristics of the edge environment mentioned above and can make best use of the capabilities of the edge environment.

Since its founding in 2014, the MEC ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) has focused on defining and standardizing the MEC system, taking into consideration the challenges of the edge environment. In addition to ETSI, other organizations such as Eclipse and the Linux Foundation (LF) are also working in this area, such as investigating how to enable Edge Native design and providing tools and guidelines for application developers. This white paper provides a summary of existing industry work and its support for Edge Native design.

The white paper authors conclude that the ETSI MEC standard (in synergy with the 3GPP specification) can offer a footprint for interoperability, basic API design principles to ensure universal adoption, and possibly also some guidelines for implementation. ‘abstraction of the API, integrating the work of open-source projects. Therefore, joint efforts from open source and standards will be required to take full advantage of edge capabilities and for the application development communities to adopt edge-native design principles.

This effort is also in line with ETSI MEC’s ​​plans to transition to the upcoming MEC Phase 4 from 2024 to 2026, says Dario Sabella, president of ETSI ISG MEC. Indeed, the recently approved MEC terms of reference include arguments for MEC evolution towards support of cloud native communication systems and edge native design for application developers (even with container support). These are key technologies that should play a role for the future of MEC.

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