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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - F-Interop (FIRE+ online interoperability and performance test tools to support emerging technologies from research to standardization and market launchThe standards and innovations accelerating tool)

F-Interop Report Summary

Project ID: 687884
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - F-Interop (FIRE+ online interoperability and performance test tools to support emerging technologies from research to standardization and market launchThe standards and innovations accelerating tool)

Reporting period: 2015-11-01 to 2017-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

By 2020, the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to connect 50 to 100 Billion smart things and objects, paving the way to great economic opportunities and challenges. Forrester expects the digital universe to grow by a factor of 32 by 2020 compared to 2012. According to Cisco, by 2018, over half of all IP traffic will originate with non-PC devices and the machine-to-machine (M2M) traffic will grow at an annual rate of 84%. According to McKinsey, only 10% of the economic value will be created by the “things,” while 90 percent will come from connecting these things to the Internet. However, according to the IERC and the ITU, the largest barriers hindering the Internet of Things market development is the lack of interoperability.
We are shifting away from independent products towards ecosystems of systems and solutions interconnected together and requiring interoperability. In order to be widely adopted, new technologies, products and solutions go through the following steps:
1. Standardization: stakeholders discuss and align their views on a common standard.
2. Conformance & Interop.: test and validate that an implementation conforms to the standard.
3. Optimization: in terms of Quality of Service, scalability, energy consumption, etc.
4. Market Launch: the solution is ready for roll-out into the market.

Each phase requires extensive testing. Verifying conformance to a standard, and verifying interoperability with other vendors typically requires interoperability testing events and interaction with third-party certification labs. The traditional approach is to organize interoperability events, where different vendors meet face-to-face to test interoperability by going through an exhaustive list of “interoperability tests”. Since this approach relies on face-to-face meetings, it has a direct impact on the speed of development of a standard, the cost of products implementing such standards, and their time-to-market. This is all the more problematic as it is commonplace for some tests to fail for trivial reasons (packet formats, addressing length, etc.). When this happens, vendors have to return home, change their implementation, and wait until the next event to re-test, usually months later.
The consequence is that:
• The current process is extremely labor-intensive, as engineers travel across the globe often only to find out what they need to make a minor fix;
• The cost associated with engineering time and travel expenses is often too high for SMEs;
• Time-to-market is unnecessarily stretched, giving vendors who want to adopt emerging standards a disadvantage compared to vendors who come to market with entirely proprietary solutions.
This process often scares vendors away from standards-based solutions. End users are therefore often and unnecessarily locked into proprietary solutions, as standards-based products haven’t hit the market when they buy their first product.

The goal of F-Interop is to extend FIRE+ with online interoperability and performance test tools supporting emerging IoT-related technologies from research to standardization and to market launch for the benefit of researchers, product development by SME, and standardization processes. Specifically, F-Interop will:

1. Integrate and extend several FIRE+ testbeds federations with a shared “Testbed as a Service”;

2. Extend FIRE+ through research and development of online testing tools for the IoT, including:

3. Support IoT standardization and enable closer cooperation with the industry.

The consortium includes the coordinators of the 3 targeted FIRE+ testbeds (Fed4Fire, OneLab, IoT lab). Its members bring expertise from complementary research projects and have strong links with standardization bodies (ETSI, IETF, IEEE, ITU, etc.) and international fora (IoT Forum, IPv6 Forum, etc.). This will ensure the alignment of the research with the industry needs, and an effective exploitation and transfer of F-Interop results into standards, products and services.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first half of the project, F-Interop has already develop a first iteration of:
- An innovative distributed architecture for online and remote IoT tests.
- Interop testing tools.
- Conformance testing tools.
- Performance testing tools.
- F-Interop Testbed as a service with a user interface.
- Vizualization tools.
- A universal resource repository for the IoT.
- Performed the open call and selected a set of new beneficiaries.
- Developed close cooperation with various standard development organizations (SDOs).

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

F-Interop research project intends to accelerate standards and innovation development.
The F-Interop platform is changing the way new standards are developed and interoperability tests are performed. This process traditionally required several face-to-face meetings with stakeholder that could afford to travel and attend these meetings. The F-Interop enables to perform these test remotely, without any travel cost barrier. It enables to perform test any time from any place.

It will more specifically provide support for:
• Standardization communities.
• SMEs and companies.
• Academic community.

The project expects to have a triple impact:
• Wider standards adoption.
• Faster availability of standards-based products.
• European support to global standardization.

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