Written by Jim White, Vice Chair of the Technical Steering Committee and Distinguished Engineer and Project Lead of the IoT Platform Development Team within Dell Technologies IoT Solutions Division
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been traveling to China and Japan to attend the LinuxCon/Container Con/CloudOpen (LC3) conference in China as well as IoT meetups for EdgeX Foundry in Beijing and Tokyo.
As the name of the LC3 implies, it was actually 3 conferences in one and thus a full venue of keynotes, sessions and events spread over 3 days. I was impressed by the overall scope and attendance of the conference. While there was a predominance of Chinese companies and speakers as one would expect, this was a global event with attendees and speakers flying into Beijing from all over the world.
Speaking at the LC3 show were the likes of Linus Torvalds, Chris Aniszczyk (Cloud Native Computing Foundation – CNCF COO), Abby Kearns (Cloud Foundry Foundation Executive Director), Dan Kohn (CNCF Executive Director), and Alan Clark (director for openMainframe and member of the CTO office at SUSE). I presented a talk to around 50 attendees about using a microservice architecture to address the needs of edge computing – using EdgeX Foundry as an example. You can view the presentation here.
In addition to my talk on microservices and EdgeX, there were 11 talks over the three days in the IoT & M2M track. A few of the ones I found interesting were:
- Erno Aapa, Founder and CTO of Eliot, shared information about using Kubernetes-like technology to deploy software to the edge. You can view the presentation
- Tiejun Chen, Staff Engineer and Technical Leader for VMWare and fellow EdgeX Foundry contributor, spoke about putting Docker into IoT.
Tiejun and his team are doing great work on all sorts of IoT-related matters. I had a chance to visit with them at the VMware Beijing office and got to see one of his experimental robots using EdgeX!
Tiejun also played an integral role in orchestrating an EdgeX Foundry Meetup to occur simultaneously with LC3 – giving even more awareness to EdgeX in China. Around 40-45 people showed up at the Meetup to hear a great roster of speakers share their experiences with our open source project and EdgeX Foundry member The Zephyr Project. In fact, Professor Yonghua Li from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), which is a member of both EdgeX and Zephyr, brought a few of his students along so they could discuss how they are using the EdgeX framework and the Zephyr RTOS in their IoT solutions. You can read more about their work in this blog post.
Another one of the speakers was Huaqiao Zhang from VMware (pictured below) speaking about the EdgeX UI he recently contributed to the project. This will be released with the Delhi release in October. Check out the roadmap.
For those not keeping up on all the EdgeX Foundry news, the Industrial Internet Consortium, (IIC) recently announced the formation of the first Optimizing Manufacturing Processes by AI (OMPAI) testbed and it will be led by Wanxiang Group out of China. Read the blog post here.
China is a global leader in machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, which allows devices to wirelessly exchange information and execute tasks. M2M connections can communicate in various ways, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular. Interoperability is an important piece to this puzzle and I think that’s why there was so much interest in EdgeX Foundry in China. We hope to continue working with our members in China like VMware and the Wanxiang Group to coordinate more meetups and continue spreading awareness for EdgeX Foundry through WeChat. If you would like to be added to the EdgeX Foundry WeChat group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your WeChat ID.
Next on the Agenda: Tokyo
While in Japan visiting with a number of Dell Technologies customers, I had the pleasure of presenting at a Tokyo EdgeX Foundry Meetup. Around 50 people were at this event – making it the most well attended EdgeX Meetup at which I have had the pleasure to present. Even more impressive was the fact that more than half my audience had been up since 3 am that morning to watch the Japanese national team in elimination round of the 2018 World Cup! Interest in IoT is palatable in Japan – especially for use in the manufacturing sector.
The desire to learn more about edge computing and EdgeX Foundry was considerable from the Tokyo IoT crowd with the Q&A portion of my talk lasting almost as long as the talk itself. The Q&A discussion even spilled over into a great drink/appetizer social afterwards. It was truly an engaging group and a fun afternoon.
Questions from this community included:
-Why did EdgeX chose Go? Because of its multi-platform support, ability to compile to a native executable and run small/fast and its concurrency model among other reasons
– Is EdgeX Foundry involved in standards work? EdgeX Foundry community members are actively involved with Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), OpenFog Consortium, IEEE and many other industry and consortia groups and will work to be an implementation of edge standards we think are beneficial to the space, but we are not trying to get EdgeX to be a standard.
– Are EdgeX and Edgecross related projects? The Edgecross Consortium is a Japanese-based organization that is currently working on a Windows-based edge platform that members of our community continue to have discussions with, but there is no relation between the two projects today.
Next year, The Linux Foundation announced LC3 will simply be called Open Source Summit China, which will be held in Shanghai. If you’re interested in IoT, open source and more, put the Open Source Summit China or Open Source Summit Japan on your conference list. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in what you’ll see and learn there.
If you have questions or comments, visit the EdgeX Rocket.Chat and share your thoughts in the #community channel.