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LF Edge

Building Automation: A Sweet Spot for EdgeX Foundry

By | Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Written by Andy Foster, active member of the EdgeX Foundry technical community and Product Director at IOTech

The key objective for LF Edge’s EdgeX Foundry is to create a flexible and open edge computing IoT platform that can support a range of different vertical use cases across markets such as manufacturing, oil & gas and smart energy. A key vertical market that has emerged for the community and IOTech, in particular, has been involved in multiple projects is Building Automation.

Why is Building Automation proving to be such a sweet spot for EdgeX? In our experience, the requirements of the next generation of Building Automation applications align perfectly with the capabilities of EdgeX.  In particular, a modern building is a sophisticated and heterogeneous environment consisting of diverse subsystems including lighting, HVAC and access control. Data can be generated from multiple sources using a range of different device/sensor technologies and protocols (e.g. Modbus, BACnet, DALI, MQTT and others).

The sensor data must be normalized by the IoT platform running on an Edge node e.g. an industrial Gateway or on-premise server. The data can then be fed into the building management analytics which can make smart control decisions in “near” real-time on how to automatically optimize the building environment for the benefit of the users and also the building owners.  As an open source project, EdgeX Foundry (can support any “Southbound” OT protocol or “Northbound” Cloud endpoint) and its platform independence (not tied to a specific operating system or hardware/silicon) is key to its suitability for Building Automation use cases. Most importantly, EdgeX also provides “out-of-the-box” connectivity for a number of the protocols most commonly required in a smart building system. As of the most recent EdgeX Edinburgh release the list includes Modbus, BACNet, MQTT and OPC UA Device Services.

The below video showcases the demo created by IOTech on behalf of the Linux Foundation to highlight the key capabilities that make EdgeX a great choice of Edge IoT Platform for use in Building Automation applications. It shows the integration of multiple devices commonly found in commercial buildings (light and temperature sensors, HVAC controller, DALI lighting controllers, power meter and access control system). Based on occupancy data, the Edge Analytics automatically regulates the building environment, controlling the light levels and HVAC settings in multiple independent zones based on the ambient light and temperature readings from each zone. Overall power consumption of the building is also monitored and key data streams are exported to a Big Data application running on AWS Cloud.

For more information about EdgeX Foundry, visit the website here. To learn more about the other edge computing projects under the LF Edge umbrella, visit the website here.

IoT World Today: Now a Part of LF Edge, EdgeX Foundry Gains Momentum

By | Akraino, Akraino Edge Stack, EdgeX Foundry, In the News

When grappling with the enormity of IoT platforms, a sort of herd mentality has emerged, leading scores of vendors to create unique IoT platforms. But the problem is, no single IoT platform can accommodate all potential enterprise and industrial IoT use cases, according to Jason Shepherd, former chair of the EdgeX Foundry governing board. So organizations can become overwhelmed by the complexity of platform integration on the one hand or creating a platform from scratch on the other, Shepherd said. “I liken it to a riptide current. Your natural inclination is to swim into the current, but you risk drowning if you do that,” added Shepherd, who is the IoT and edge chief technology officer at Dell Technologies. “What you’re supposed to do, which is not intuitive, is to swim sideways.”

The EdgeX Foundry was created to sidestep the IoT platform battles. “While most people were trying to create their own platforms, we went open,” Shepherd said. “We swam sideways. And that’s what’s actually going to win.”

The EdgeX Foundry recently announced growing momentum with its latest release, known as “Edinburgh.” The product of a global ecosystem, Edinburgh is the latest example of the EdgeX Foundry’s open source microservices framework. The approach enables users to plug and play components from a growing number of third-party offerings.

In other LF Edge–related news, LF Edge’s Akraino Edge Stack initiative launched its first release in June to establish a framework for the 5G and IoT edge application ecosystem. Known as Akraino R1, it brings together several edge disciplines and offers deployment-ready blueprints.

Kandan Kathirvel, a director at AT&T and Akraino technical steering committee chair, invokes the early days of cloud computing to explain the mission behind the initiative. “In cloud computing, one of the pain points many users had when deploying the cloud was integrating multiple open source projects together,” Kathirvel said. “A user might need to work with hundreds of different open source communities.” And after deploying a cloud project, sometimes gaps were evident. Many organizations found themselves individually in this situation without realizing other users were essentially doing the same. “And this situation increases the cost and deployment time.”

Read more about EdgeX Foundry’s Edinburgh release and Akraino Edge Stack’s R1 release in this IoT World Today article here.

The Manufacturing Connection: Open Source IoT Project Reaching Maturity

By | EdgeX Foundry, In the News

It is great to see things mature–whether kids or adults or technologies. Or an open source project called EdgeX Foundry. Yesterday I had the pleasure of two exciting teleconferences regarding the latest release of EdgeX Foundry, named Edinburgh, from the Linux Foundation’s LF Edge organization. I’ve had many conversations with Jason Shepherd, LF Edge Board Member and Dell Technologies IoT and Edge Computing CTO, over the past three years. When we finally got a chance to catch up yesterday afternoon, he could not have concealed his excitement had he tried.

I have written about EdgeXFoundry here from Hannover 2017again in 2018, and when incorporated in Linux Foundation’s LF Edge umbrella. This IoT platform is more than a platform. During my Hannover visits of 2017 and 2018 it seemed that all God’s children need to develop their own IoT platform. Of course, when a company develops a platform the goal is to connect as many apps as possible to its main application.

Read more of Gary’s article in the Manufacturing Connection.

IoT Evolution World: EdgeX Foundry Platform Reaches Commercial Readiness and Linux Foundation Arms IoT Edge at Scale

By | EdgeX Foundry, In the News

As the IoT and Industrial IoT grows, so grows EdgeX Foundry, an open IoT project of The Linux Foundation, which was established several years ago, and became part of the LF Edge umbrella, including Akraino Edge Stack, Edge Virtualization Engine, Open Glossary of Edge Computing and Home Edge.

The umbrella organization, led by Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge and IoT, the Linux Foundation, is working with its members, and with other open technology non-profit organizations to build and support an industry framework for IoT and edge-related applications.

This includes the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), which announced earlier this year a liaison to work together to advance their shared interests, working “together to align efforts to maximize interoperability, portability, security and privacy for the industrial Internet,” jointly identifying and sharing practices, collaborating on test beds and experimental projects, working towards interoperability by harmonizing architecture and other elements and collaborating on common elements.

Read the complete article at IoT Evolution World.

FierceWireless: EdgeX Foundry’s Edinburgh release provides framework for IoT

By | EdgeX Foundry, In the News

The internet of things gets a lot of flak for its fragmentation, but attempts are being made to rectify the situation. Case in point: The EdgeX Foundry on Thursday announced the availability of its Edinburgh release, created for IoT use cases across vertical markets.

It’s not going to completely eliminate fragmentation—that would be an impractical challenge to mount. But whereas a few years ago everybody was trying to do edge and IoT implementations in a proprietary manner, “I would say open source is ready for prime time from an edge perspective,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge and IoT with the Linux Foundation, in an interview.

EdgeX Foundry is a project under the LF Edge umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation. It’s where the Edinburgh release was created as an enabler for IoT use cases, although the EdgeX movement actually started with a small team at Dell before it contributed the code to the Linux Foundation.

Read the FierceWireless article here.

The Internet of All Things: EdgeX Foundry’s ‘Edinburgh’ v1 version ready to go “live”

By | EdgeX Foundry, In the News

EdgeX Foundry, an open source interoperable framework for edge IoT computing, is all set to make “live” its 1st version of product, ‘Edinburg’. This comes after four iterations of code development. It has been built with the aim of having consistency and inter-operability in projects, standards groups, and industry alliances across the Internet of Things (IoT) spectrum.

Calling it a milestone, the company said in its official blog that the release of EdgeX Foundry Edinburgh (Version 1.0) represented “a significant milestone” in EdgeX development.

Read more of the Internet of All Things article here.

SDxCentral: EdgeX Foundry Edinburgh Release Signals IoT Platform ‘Ready for Primetime’

By | EdgeX Foundry, In the News

EdgeX Foundry, an open source interoperable framework for edge IoT computing, dropped its fourth code release titled Edinburgh.

“We’re calling it an anchor release for commercial adoption across IoT use cases,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager for Networking, Edge, and IoT at the Linux Foundation. At this point in the platform’s lifecycle, EdgeX community members have created a range of complementary products and services to support commercial deployments, he explained. This includes training and customer pilot programs, and plug-in enhancements for device connectivity, applications, data and system management, and security.

Read the SDxCentral article here.

The New Stack: How the Linux Foundation’s EVE Can Replace Windows, Linux for Edge Computing

By | In the News, Project EVE

Whether or not Edge computing serves as the backbone of mission-critical business worldwide depends on the success of the underlying network.

Recognizing the Edge’s potential and urgency to support Edge network, The Linux Foundation earlier this year created LF Edge, an umbrella organization dedicated to creating an open, agnostic and interoperable framework for edge computing. Similar to what the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has done for cloud development, LF Edge aims to enhance cooperation among key players so that the industry as a whole can advance more quickly.

By 2021, Gartner forecasts that there will be approximately 25 billion IoT devices in use around the world. Each of those devices, in turn, has the capacity to produce immense volumes of valuable data. Much of this data could be used to improve business-critical operations — but only if we’re able to analyze it in a timely and efficient manner. As mentioned above, it’s this combination of factors that has led to the rise of edge computing as one of the most rapidly -developing technology spaces today.

This idea of interoperability at the edge is particularly important because the hardware that makes up edge devices is so diverse — much more so than servers in a data center. Yet for edge computing to succeed, we need to be able to run applications right on local gateway devices to analyze and respond to IoT and Industry 4.0 data in near-real time. How do you design applications that are compatible with a huge variety of hardware and capable of running without a reliable cloud connection? This is the challenge that LF Edge is helping to solve.

Part of the solution is Project EVE, an Edge Virtualization Engine donated to LF Edge by ZEDEDA last month. I think of EVE as doing for the edge what Android did for mobile phones and what VMware did for data centers: decoupling software from hardware to make application development and deployment easier.

Read more at The News Stack here.

Using DockerHub in Akraino Edge Stack & Other Linux Foundation Projects

By | Akraino, Blog

By Kaly Xin, Eric Ball,  and Cristina Pauna

DockerHub is the world’s largest library and community for container images. It offers a huge repository for storing container images and it is available world wide. It can automatically build container images from GitHub and Bitbucket and push them to Docker Hub. These are just a few of the features it provides, but maybe one of the best features is that it offers seamless support for multi arch images through fat manifest.

Why Docker Hub is recommended for Multi-Arch

Docker Hub registry is able to store manifest list (or fat manifests). A manifest list acts as a pointer to other images built for a specific architecture thus making it possible to use the same name for images that are built on hardware with different architectures.

Figure 1: Docker registry storing amd64, arm64 images and their fat manifest

In the picture above akraino/validation:k8s-latest is the fat manifest, and its name can be used to reference both images akraino/validation:k8s-amd64-latest and akraino/validation:k8s-arm64-latest. Inspecting the manifest offers the details on what images it has, for what hardware architecture and what OS.

Figure 2: Docker fat manifest details

How does it work?

When building an image for a specific arch, the arch is added in the tag of the image (akraino/validation:k8s-amd64-latest and akraino/validation:k8s-arm64-latest).

After the images are pushed in the Docker Hub repo, the manifest can be created from the two images. Its name will be the same as the two images but with the arch removed from the tag (akraino/validation:k8s-latest).

To do this in CI with Jenkins, the Jenkins slave has to have docker and a couple of other LF tools installed. The connection to Docker Hub is done through LF scripts (see releng-global-jjb for more info) and all you need to do is define the jjb jobs .

The Akraino validation project is already pushing to Dockerhub, so if you would like to check out some template code, take a look at ci-management/jjb/validation. The docker images are pushed in the official repo and the docker build jobs are running daily. 

In the figure below, the main Jenkins job (validation-master-docker) triggers two parallel jobs that build and push into the Docker Hub registry the amd64 (akraino/validation:k8s-amd64-latest ) and arm64 (akraino/validation:k8s-arm64-latest ) images.  At the end, the fat manifest (akraino/validation:k8s-latest ) is done in a separate job. 

When pulling the image, the name of the manifest is used  (akraino/validation:k8s-latest); the correct image will be pulled based on the architecture of the host from which the pull is made.

Figure 4: Pulling a docker image from two different hardware architecture servers using the same name

What’s next

Docker Hub has been integrated in LF projects like OPNFV from the beginning and is now integrated in Akraino too, so other open source projects can refer to this successful experience to integrate Docker Hub in their pipeline.

What to Expect from the Open Glossary of Edge Computing in 2019

By | Blog, Open Glossary of Edge Computing

By Alex Marcham, LF Edge and State of the Edge Contributor and Technical Marketing Manager at Vapor IO, and Matt Trifiro, Co-Chair at State of the Edge; Chair at Open Glossary of Edge Computing and CMO at Vapor IO

The Open Glossary of Edge Computing began as a utilitarian appendix to the 2018 State of the Edge report. It had humble goals: to cut through the morass of vendor- and pundit-driven definitions around edge computing and, instead, deliver a crisply-defined common lexicon that would enhance understanding and accelerate conversations around all things edge.

Very quickly, it became clear that the Open Glossary could be a powerful and unifying force in the fledgling world of edge computing and that no one entity should own it. Instead, everybody should own it. Thus began our partnership with The Linux Foundation. We converted the glossary into a GitHub repo, placed it under a Creative Commons license, and created an open source project around it.

In January 2019, the Open Glossary became one of the founding projects of LF Edge, the Linux Foundation’s umbrella group for edge computing projects. The Open Glossary now plays a critical role that spans all of the LF Edge projects with its mission to collaborate around a single point of reference for edge computing terminology. This community-driven lexicon helps mitigate confusing marketing buzzwords by offering a foundation of clear and well-understood words and phrases that can be used by everyone.

In 2019, the momentum of the Open Glossary project will continue unabated. Open Glossary has four main projects this year, building on its successes in 2018:

Grow the Community

The Open Glossary project depends on open collaboration, and the community is actively building engagement by seeking out participation from key stakeholder groups in edge computing. Within The Linux Foundation itself, the Open Glossary team has sought input from not only all of the LF Edge projects but also adjacent projects, such as the CNCF’s Kubernetes IoT and Edge working group. In addition, the Open Glossary has formed alliances with other edge computing groups and foundations, including the TIA, iMasons, and the Open19 Foundation. Partnering with other non-profits and consortia will help the project grow its base of passionate collaborators who are dedicated to expanding and improving the Open Glossary.

The Taxonomy Project

Readers of the Open Glossary want more than mere definitions; they want to know how the constituent parts fit together as a whole. To answer this request, the Open Glossary has begun the Taxonomy Project, a working group that seeks to create a classification system for edge computing across three core areas:

  • Edge infrastructure
  • Edge devices
  • Edge software

The Taxonomy Project will draw upon the expertise of subject matter experts in each of the core areas to define and hopefully also visualize the complex relationships between the different components in edge computing. The Taxonomy Project WG is being led by Alex Marcham and the Open Glossary will publish the first taxonomies in Q3 2019.

The Edge Computing Landscape Map

At the request of The Linux Foundation, the State of the Edge project also contributed its Edge Computing Landscape Map, which is now a working group under the auspices of the Open Glossary. The Landscape WG is being led by Wesley Reisz and has just started out. Currently, they have regular weekly meetings (Tuesdays at noon Pacific Time) and the group is actively working on refining the categories the LF Edge Landscape. The group seeks wider participation and will be asking for help to test and validate the proposed categories.

You can see the landscape map evolve at https://landscape.lfedge.org and join the mailing list here.

Glossary 2.0

Edge computing is a rapidly evolving area of development, deployment and discussion, and the Open Glossary contributors aim to keep the glossary up to date with the latest developments in industry and academia, driven by contributions from our project members. During 2019, the Open Glossary team aims to release its 2.0 version of the Open Glossary, which will be a timely update that continues to form the basis for clear and concise communication on the edge.

To see open issues and pull requests or to make contributions, visit the GitHub repo. Go here to join the mailing list.

In Summary

2019 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for edge technologies, their proponents and of course their end users. The Open Glossary project, as part of The Linux Foundation, is dedicated to continuing its unique mission of bringing a single, open and definitive lingua franca to the world of edge computing. We hope you’ll join us during 2019 as we focus on these goals for the project, and look forward to your contributions.

Contributors can get involved with the Open Glossary project by joining the mailing lists and contributing and commenting on the GitHub repository for the project.

Alex Marcham is a technical marketing manager at Vapor IO. He is one of the primary contributors to the Open Glossary and leads the Taxonomy Project working group. Matt Trifiro is CMO of Vapor IO and is the Chair of the Open Glossary project.