Monthly Archives

March 2018

Meetup: Open Source IoT Enthusiasts Unite!

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Guest blog post by Rodney Hess, Principal Member Technical Staff at Beechwoods Software

If you missed the Open Source IoT Meetup last month, here’s a recap of the interactive meeting and where you can find details for upcoming meetups.

 

The Open Source IoT Meetup in Boston took place at WeWork’s North Station on February 15.  (A shout out to Wework!  Their location in the historic Bulfinch Triangle of Boston is quite cool.)  The panel included myself—I work on the northbound and southbound interfaces of the EdgeX stack—and:

  • Brad Kemp (moderator), CEO of Beechwoods Software and a member of the EdgeX Foundry Governing Board
  • Tony Espy, Technical Architect at Canonical and EdgeX Foundry Technical Steering Committee (TSC) member and chair of the EdgeX Foundry Devices Working Group
  • Riaz Zolfonoon, an RSA Distinguished Engineer who collaborates with members of the EdgeX Foundry Security Working Group.

Our panel (L-R): Tony Espy, Riaz Zolfonoon, Rodney Hess, and Brad Kemp, our moderator and co-host.

 

Suffice to say, it was an excellent panel of which to ask questions.

This was our second Meetup for EdgeX, the first one was October 2017.  EdgeX Foundry had just wrapped up the Barcelona release and was in the process of defining the California release.  Since then, there’s been a lot of community feedback and discussions—we even had a TSC Face-to-Face meeting in Orlando—and finalized more details for the California release and preview.  It was time to bring our Meetup members up to speed.

Our moderator and co-host Brad Kemp introducing the group to EdgeX.

 

Around 25-30 participants, which is the largest audience we have had, attended the meetup and asked a lot of questions.  They were quite engaged.  They wanted to understand EdgeX and what you could do with it.  How did the microservices work together?  We delved into how the data flowed from sensors residing off of the Southbound interface to the clouds floating above the Northbound interface.

A question was raised as to whether EdgeX could handle video streams, for example video feeds from security cameras, with a follow up question as to whether one could set triggers based on values within the data stream.  The panel explained that EdgeX has been built for discrete, event based data collected from sensors and devices.  In a building automation use case, examples of discrete data include current temperature and humidity, target temperature, whether the heating system was on or off, and the like.   When a camera or audio sensor generate a discrete data point, for example, a count of people in a room, then EdgeX can work with that data.  EdgeX today does not handle raw video or audio streams.  The discussion then moved on to how the Rules Engine microservice along with the Alerts and Notification microservice can be configured to trigger actions and notifications based on data arriving from the sensors.

Rodney Hess (yours truly) providing an overview of the EdgeX architecture.

 

When asked about implementing support for multiple cloud services, the panel discussed the modular nature of the Export Distribution microservice; that some services were already implemented, including Azure IoT Hub and Google IoT Core, but that work supporting other cloud platforms remains.  Do they need to be clouds?  No, the Export-Distro can export data to any application or enterprise HTTP/S or MQTT/S endpoints—cloud or otherwise—that is external to the EdgeX framework with support for additional endpoint types already in the EdgeX roadmap.

When asked, how does the security framework protect sensors, especially those legacy networks that have no inherent security, the panel talked about the security initiatives the EdgeX Foundry Security Working Group is undertaking, including a reverse-proxy that all external applications must go through to access sensors off of the EdgeX southbound interface.

Riaz Zolfonoon speaking to a point on security within EdgeX.

 

The panel spoke to the larger IoT landscape and how EdgeX fits in and brings unique value, what the TSC has accomplished and what work lies ahead.

We are working on an agenda for the next Meetup.  Suggestions for topics or speakers are always welcome.  Find out more here and join our group:  https://www.meetup.com/Open-source-IoT/.

If you have questions or suggestions, please reach out to Brad or Geof Cohler, our Open-Source IoT Meetup hosts.  We meet every six weeks to hear from engaging industry experts, to network with other talented locals with diverse backgrounds, and to share our passions for all things IoT.

For more technical details, visit the EdgeX Foundry wiki page.

If you have questions or comments, visit the EdgeX Rocket.Chat and share your thoughts in the #community channel.

The Linux Foundation Announces Expanded Industry Commitment to Akraino Edge Stack

By Akraino, Announcement

Intel Corporation to contribute Wind River® Titanium Cloud Software and Intel® Network Edge Virtualization Software Development Kit

LOS ANGELES (Open Networking Summit), March 27, 2018 – The Linux Foundation today announced expanded industry support, along with Intel Corporation’s commitment to open source major components of its Wind River® Titanium Cloud portfolio of technologies and the Intel® Network Edge Virtualization Software Development Kit (Intel® NEV SDK). These production quality components from Intel Corporation will be contributed to Akraino Edge Stack, the open source community creating an open source software stack that supports high-availability cloud services optimized for edge computing systems and applications. These contributions supplement AT&T code designed for carrier-scale edge computing applications running in virtual machines and containers to support reliability and performance requirements.

Intel, along with Altiostar, China Electronics Standardization Institute (CESI), China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Docker, Huawei, iFlyTek, New H3C Group, Tencent, ZTE, and 99Cloud will join the open source community working to improve the state of edge computing infrastructure.

While several open source projects exist to help solve pieces of the puzzle, no single project currently meets the need for an edge infrastructure solution. Integration of existing technologies with Akraino Edge Stack will help deliver ease of use, greater reliability, unique features, and network performance.

The Wind River Titanium Cloud components have a foundation built on open source standards, but extended and hardened to address critical infrastructure requirements, such as the high availability, fault management, and performance management needed for continuous 24/7 operation, as well as the low latency, high performance, scalability, and security needed for edge and IoT workloads. These contributions alleviate the challenges of assembling an edge cloud stack from the ground up. In addition, Wind River Titanium Cloud brings field proven and mature technology to the open source community. Already compact and performant for edge computing, these technologies will reduce the effort needed to optimize the packages for deployment, and enable operational efficiencies and reliability. The components include new open source assets, as well as many patches to existing open source projects, such as OpenStack, QEMU and Ceph.

The Intel NEV SDK contribution provides a suite of reference libraries and APIs to enable edge-computing solutions for different network deployment scenarios, including small cells, macro cells, wireline, aggregation sites, and central offices. The SDK is designed to remove the need for application developers to understand the complexity and implementation attributes of the underlying network protocols. The Intel NEV SDK libraries have already been validated and deployed with Wind River Titanium Cloud technology.

The community has established a lightweight governance structure that welcomes technical contributions from all participants. The technical steering committee, responsible for setting the technical direction of the project, will be composed of active committers within the community with no prerequisite of financial contribution.

“We’ve seen strong interest in Akraino Edge Stack since introducing the project, and are gratified that Intel is taking a leadership role with key Wind River code contributions,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “As we move toward a full launch of Akraino Edge Stack in the coming months, we invite organizations and developers interested in contributing to the community to join us in working to define an open source solution for edge computing.”

“Intel’s contribution of production-quality edge computing infrastructure software offers users new levels of flexibility to scale edge cloud services faster, maximize the applications or subscribers supported on each server, and help ensure the reliability of systems,” said Imad Sousou, corporate vice president and general manager of the Open Source Technology Center, Intel. “This project helps provide an open and scalable platform to encourage broad community involvement, accelerating innovation and edge stack productization across the ecosystem.”

“The industry needs to address the gaps that exist from building solutions with ‘best-of-breed’ components from multiple open source projects. Until now there hasn’t been a single open source platform that can reduce fragmentation and drive the scale and acceleration needed,” said Jim Douglas, president of Wind River. “We look forward to collaborating with industry leaders under The Linux Foundation and contributing Wind River’s proven infrastructure software assets to the Akraino Edge Stack, and we are confident this project will accelerate the industry towards a common open source edge platform.”

Industry Support for Akraino Edge Stack

“We welcome Intel along with other key industry players to the Akraino Edge Stack community. Their collaboration with AT&T and The Linux Foundation will help to expedite the maturity and adoption of edge cloud and enable a new ecosystem of applications and services.”
— Mazin Gilbert, vice president of Advanced Technology at AT&T

“Altiostar uses Titanium Cloud technology as part of our carrier grade NFV platform to support our vRAN VNFs. We are highly encouraged to see this technology becoming open sourced as part of the Akraino Edge Stack. The Titanium Cloud contributions will help create a reliable and mature platform for Akraino and help address the challenges of developing a carrier grade edge cloud stack from scratch. Our customers will be excited that these powerful technologies are now part of the open source community.”
— Ashraf Dahood, president and CEO of Altiostar

“Edge is a new open platform that provides the most nearby services by integrating network, storage, computing, application, and other core capabilities on the data source side. Facing the explosively increasing and massive data, Edge can fully exploit the distributed computing capability of edge devices and reduce pressure on the cloud computing center. Edge plus Cloud is an industrial trend. As the standardization leader of the electronic information technology field in China, China Electronics Standardization Institute will leverage our experience and resources to contribute to the development of Akraino Edge Stack and the definition of related Edge standards. We are committed to accelerate the development of the Edge industry and use of Edge to help our enterprise customers to conduct their business.”
— Wenlong Sun, vice president of China Electronics Standardization Institute

“China Mobile is honored to join the Akraino project. The Akraino project is committed to the research and application of edge computing technology, which is very conforming to China Mobile’s next generation network development goals. China Mobile Suzhou R&D center will invest in the product development of edge computing. We wish Akraino a huge success.”
— Junwei Liu, assistant general manager of the Cloud Computing Department, Suzhou R&D Center, China Mobile

“Edge computing is of great significance to our future 5G deployment, which will facilitate ultra-low latency and high bandwidth applications. And it is also an indispensable component of our network evolution plan (CTNet 2025), which is based on key technologies of NFV, SDN, and Cloud. We hope to join the Akraino Edge Stack project to propose ideas and requirements of FMC (Fixed and Mobile Convergence), and cooperate with other members to create more innovative solutions.”
— Bo Wang, senior project manager, Department of Technology, China Telecom

”The Akraino Edge Stack open source project will help accelerate the construction of the edge network ecosystem. With the new CUBE-Net 2.0 architecture, China Unicom has launched large-scale Edge-Cloud field trials nationwide, and started up the planning and construction of thousands of edge DCs. We have built a strong edge computing R&D center in cooperation with Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and JD.com. Based on virtualization technologies such as lightweight OpenStack and Kubernetes, China Unicom is now working on the establishment of an Edge-Cloud service platform, focusing on low-latency and high-bandwidth services such as 4K/8K HD video, VR/AR, industrial IoT, and V2X to promote 5G network reconstruction and digital transformation.”
— Yongsheng Chi, vice president, Network Technology Institute, China Unicom

“Through our collaboration, the Docker container runtime technology is being used by Intel in its efforts to drive innovation around Edge Computing and IoT with its donation of Wind River Titanium Cloud to Project Akraino. This sets the foundation for Project Akraino implementers to use Docker Enterprise Edition to provide container management with integrated security for carrier-grade deployments of a new wave of edge and IoT services.”
— Justen Stepka, senior director of product management at Docker

“Edge computing, as a key enabler of the digital transformation of the industry, is comprised of a huge software stack and also requires openness and an abundant ecosystem. Huawei has established a good foundation on the architecture, platforms, and key technologies of edge computing. Through the Akraino Edge Stack open source project, we will have better synergy with industrial partners to promote openness and innovation, build an industrial ecosystem, and assist in the digital transformation of the industry.”
— Swift Liu, vice chairman of ECC, president of Network R&D, Huawei

We are honored to be part of the Akraino Edge Stack project. In the field of AI training and AI service, iFlyTek AI Cloud uses VMs and containers to provide computing power, and we have done a lot of exploration and optimization to meet big demand from millions of terminal devices. The Akraino Edge Stack project will have significant impact on the AI field to solve the security and performance issues, and we believe that we can greatly promote AI development through this project.”
— Zhijiang Zhang, vice director and chief cloud architecture engineer, Cloud Computing Research, iFlyTek

“Digital transformation is an inevitable trend. We are very excited to see the open source community making great efforts to launch the Akraino Edge Stack project, which will enable customers to build and enhance fog/edge cloud capabilities. New H3C is proud to be joining this project to contribute our technology innovation and consulting services. As a leading provider of digital solutions, New H3C also offers customers a one-stop, complete portfolio of digitalization solutions and consulting services that include Big Internet, Big Security, Cloud Computing and Big Data. New H3C is committed to becoming a most reliable partner for customers and helping them achieve business and industrial upgrading.”
— Lizhong Wang, vice president, general manager of the Corp. Solution Planning Department, New H3C Group

“Edge computing leverages distributed deployment to provision computing power and data nearby to the terminal nodes, which makes service response and reliability tremendously higher than traditionally centralized cloud computing. We’re excited to support the Akraino Edge Stack project, as it offers a workable edge computing framework.”
— Kals Wu, director of TStack Product, Tencent

“We have seen strong demand from our customers to deploy edge applications in the IoT, smart city, and telecommunication industries. The Akraino Edge Stack project is a great community effort to build an open platform to accelerate the adoption of edge services. We will actively contribute to this project by leveraging our expertise in building reliable and manageable open infrastructure.”
— Yongsheng Gong, CTO of 99Cloud, Inc.

The Akraino Edge Stack community is forming now and expects to release code in the second quarter of 2018. To get involved in the project’s formation, go to http://www.akraino.org.

About The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and industry adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at www.linuxfoundation.org.

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The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our trademark usage page: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

EdgeX Foundry @ OpenIoT Summit

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Written by Dell’s Jim White, EdgeX Foundry TSC Member and Chair of Core Services Working Group

Last week, several members of the EdgeX Foundry community were at the OpenIoT Summit in Portland, OR, which was co-located with the Embedded Linux Conference.  According to Linux Foundation representatives, the attendance of the conference was around 730, which is an increase from last year.

I was impressed by the level of content and quality in the presentations as well as the participant level and engagement at this conference.  The booth displays were low-key (not a lot of big equipment demos or flashy give-aways) yet the engagement level between participants and the booth representatives was very high.  During non-session periods, the showroom floor was packed with a constant stream of participants stopping by each booth to get background and details about the products and services shown (versus just trying to get the free t-shirt as you might see at other conferences).

From top: Janko Isidorovic and Drasko Draskovic (Mainflux), Jim White (dell) and Trevor Conn (Dell)

 

Several members of the EdgeX community presented talks and provided information about their work in the community.  Notably, Janko Isidorovic and Drasko Draskovic (from Mainflux) as well as Trevor Conn and I (from Dell Technologies) gave session talks (links below).

Jim White (Dell) and Tony Espy (Canonical)

 

Tony Espy (Canonical) and I also presented two beginner’s training labs on EdgeX.  The link to the lab session is below, and you might find the training materials (located at the bottom of the session notes) helpful in your own spin-up on EdgeX. In total, almost 100 participants attended these sessions and was introduced to or engaged with EdgeX Foundry in one way or another.

https://elciotna18.sched.com/event/DYf2/getting-started-with-edgex-foundry-a-hands-on-lab-jim-white-dell-tony-espy-canonical-ltd

Additionally, Dell Technologies’ own Patricia Flores made a good plug for EdgeX and put on a great show during her talk in one of the morning keynote sessions entitled “Federated Analytics at Scale.”

Patricia Flores (Dell) giving a keynote speech

 

In discussing EdgeX with the attendees, I believe EdgeX’s open, interoperable, microservice architecture is still drawing a lot of attention and consideration from companies exploring IoT solutions.  It was also clear that the current EdgeX developer focus and emphasis on targeting smaller footprint devices (with Go) was significant and left a resounding positive impression on the global IoT community.  EdgeX will also need to deliver – in measured steps starting with the California release – security and system management capabilities.

Next year’s OpenIoT Summit is in Monterey California.  Hope to see your there!

Electronic Design: EdgeX Foundry Delivers Framework for IoT Edge Computing

By EdgeX Foundry, In the News

EdgeX Foundry is a vendor-neutral, open source project from the Linux Foundation that provides a common framework for IoT edge computing. The target is industrial IoT, although it can be applied to other IoT applications such as supporting consumer products. It defines a collection of loosely-coupled microservices that communicate via network (Fig. 1) interfaces in a manner similar to other network frameworks like the Robot Operating System (ROS). This allows services to be collected on a single gateway or distributed across a number of nodes based on application requirements.

Read more at Electronic Design.

Connected World: Turning to the Edge, Fog or Cloud?

By EdgeX Foundry, In the News

There are several organizations out there that are working toward advancing fog computing by addressing some of the hurdles, as noted earlier.

One great example is EdgeX Foundry, a vendor-neutral open source project that’s building an open framework for IoT edge computing. There is a lot going in fog, edge, and cloud, and there is no shortage of opinions and ideas. It’s certainly educational and, at the very least, worth checking out what they all have to say.

Read more at Connected World.

DZone/AIZone: How Open-Source Software Drives IoT and AI

By EdgeX Foundry, In the News

One of the most promising emerging developments is the intersection of the IoT and AI. Expect more of this as open source continues to speed development in these exciting technologies.

Twenty years ago, open source was merely a new buzz phrase. Some scoffed at it, many misunderstood it, and only a small subset of people believed it could change the world. Today, open-source software lies at the heart of the most exciting technology developments.

The term may go back to the late ’90s, but open sharing of software source code dates back even further to the ’50s, when mainframe companies shared operating system source code with others. The movement rapidly gathered force with the success of the World Wide Web and now drives a significant portion of the economy. Open-source software has touched everything from word processing applications to databases and has recently enjoyed success in a major growth area: the Internet of Things (IoT). The movement has proven useful in both the development of edge-based IoT equipment and the evolution of back-end analytics systems that make sense of the data.

Read more at DZone/AIZone.

EdgeX Foundry Member Spotlight: CloudPlugs Inc.

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

The EdgeX Foundry community is comprised of a diverse set of member companies that represent the IoT ecosystem. The Member Spotlight blog series highlights these members and how they are contributing to and leveraging open source solutions. Today, we sat down with Jimmy Garcia-Meza, Co-Founder and CEO of CloudPlugs, to discuss architecture, the ecosystem and Industrial IoT.

What does your company do? 

CloudPlugs enables energy, utility and manufacturing companies, service providers, building managers and municipalities to i) digitize and securely connect their legacy and new device infrastructure; ii) to manage end-to-end the lifecycle of their devices, applications and data; iii) to add intelligence to the edge to gain better insights and automate actions, and to easily integrate operations technology with IT systems and 3rd party applications and cloud services.

CloudPlugs offers a secure, fully integrated edge to cloud stack using state-of-the-art container technology in the cloud and in the edge.  Our suite of integrated tools for connectivity, fast service development and deployment enable companies to implement and deploy their digital transformation projects in record time. For example, a large electrical utility developed a smart micro-grid service and deployed it within 35 days making it an internal example of how technology should be implemented.

Why is your company investing in the IoT ecosystem?

The IIoT space is so large and complex that it is impossible for a single company to address the needs of the market.  For our customer projects to be successful, we need close relationships with the sensor, PLC, gateway and other edge device manufacturers, and upstream with the companies that provide data lakes, advanced analytics, machine learning tools and operations and business support systems.  A real, field deployable solution must provide integration on the edge side and integration on the cloud or data center side.  Only this way can companies truly integrate and digitize their vertical and horizontal value chains.

How has IoT impacted your company? What benefits have you seen or what do you expect to achieve? 

IoT is what we do from inception, so we live and breathe the opportunities and challenges that surround this new world.  Industrial customers tend to have 6-9-month evaluation cycles since the decisions will impact their operations and digital service and business model creation. However, what we have learned is that when they experience success, they will invest more.  Some of the benefits we saw in adding Edge One™ to Thermal and Power plants to ingest and process legacy data that is pushed to a data lake, are that the customer is now able to use data scientists to create predictive models to further optimize operations.  The confidence they gained help them venture into incorporating LoRa and sensors to transport data inside the plants and they now have an advanced material tracking system.  Other customers are building their new connected systems to change their business model from selling expensive machines to selling outcomes.  The impact of IoT and IIoT is just beginning to be felt and it will drive the Industry 4.0 initiatives in the years to come. 

Businesses currently have to invest a lot of time and energy into developing their own edge computing solutions. What are some of the business or technical challenges you have faced when adopting edge computing technologies? How have you overcome them?

We have believed in edge computing since day one. Since then, we have built Edge One™ on top of the SmartPlug™ to deliver a container based, high performance, extensible platform for edge connectivity and computing.  Coming up with an architecture that delivers flexibility, performance, scalability and extensibility has not been easy and it requires deep understanding of 1) the problem you want to solve, and 2) the technologies available and that need to be created to create a solution that can solve most of the challenges.  Extensibility is key, and we are building an ecosystem of partners who can build and sell their own container applications and services on Edge One™ to complement the modules available from CloudPlugs.

Why did your company join EdgeX Foundry?

In many ways, EdgeX Foundry mimics what we do on the edge, but we expect to contribute to the technology and use cases and to make our Edge One™ platform compatible with EdgeX products and services.

How are you going to use the framework?

We are going to add to our products the pieces that allow interoperability with other edge devices that are EdgeX enabled.

Where do you see industrial IoT in 20 years?

I hope that in 20 years we’ll be talking about something else and that most of the industrial sector will have had great experiences in deploying their Industry 4.0 initiatives.  One of the core elements of Industry 4.0 is the implementation of cyber-physical systems with the ability to learn and make autonomous decisions.  Currently, companies are overwhelmed with the tasks of connecting everything and trying to gain better insights from the data.  In a few years, as technology evolves and more, easy to integrate and use solutions become available, the number of companies using AI as part of their daily operations will grow. I expect that this will enable new battlegrounds for increased operational efficiency and new, innovative digital service and business models will emerge.

Arc Web: EdgeX Foundry Previews California Code Release and New Vertical Solutions Working Group Focused on IIoT

By EdgeX Foundry, In the News

EdgeX Foundry, an open source project building a common interoperability framework to facilitate an ecosystem for Internet of Things (IoT) edge computing, announced early access to some elements of the California code release. Demonstrating performance increases and size reductions, these elements support more efficient microservices and a path toward scalability. The full California release will be available in Summer 2018 and represents a major step in evolving the EdgeX framework to support the developer requirements for deployment in business-critical IIoT applications.

Read more in Arc Web.