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Your Path to Edge Computing: Akraino Edge Stack’s Release 1

By | Akraino, Blog

By Kandan Kathirvel, Akraino Edge Stack TSC-Chair and Tina Tsou, Akraino Edge Stack TSC Co-Chair

The Akraino community was proud to announce the availability of its release 1 on June 6th. The community has experienced extremely rapid growth over the past year, in terms of both membership and community activity: Akraino includes broad contributions from across LF Edge, with 60% of LF Edge’s 60+ members contributing to project, as well as several other developers across the globe.

Before Akraino, developers had to download multiple open source software packages and integrate/test on deployable hardware, which prolonged innovation and increased cost. The Akraino community came up with a brilliant way to solve this integration challenge with the Blueprint model.

An Akraino Blueprint is not just a diagram; it’s real code that brings everything together so users can download and deploy the edge stack in their own environment to address a specific edge use case. Example use cases include IoT gateway, MEC for connected car, and a RAN intelligent controller that enables 5G infrastructure.

The Blueprints address interoperability, packaging, and testing under open standards, which reduces both overall deployment costs and integration time by users. The Akraino community will supply Blueprints across the LF Edge portfolio of projects, with plans to address 5G, IoT and a range of other edge use cases.

The key strength of the Akraino community is the well-defined process to welcome new Blueprints, new members, users and developers. The technical community is comprised of a Technical Steering committee (TSC), which consists of representatives from across member companies. The TSC acts as a “watchdog” to set process, monitor the community, and ensure open collaboration. In addition to the TSC, the Akraino community has seven sub-committees focused on much-needed areas such as security, edge APIs, CI and validation labs, upstream collaborations, documentation, process and community. Regular meetings are scheduled to ensure broader collaboration and accelerate progress on the various projects. The community calendar can be found here. It is not necessary to be a member to join the community calls, we invite anyone interested in learning more to join!

The above picture illustrates the primary use of Akraino R1 Blueprints and its targeted deployment areas. The release 1 Blueprints cover everything from a larger deployment in a telco-based edge cloud to a smaller deployment, such as in a public building like a stadium. Each Blueprint is validated via community standards on real physical lab hardware, hosted by either the community or the users.

Akraino Edge Stack prides itself on continuous refinement and development to ensure the success of Blueprints and projects. The community is already planning R2, which will include both new Blueprints and enhancements to existing Blueprints, tools for automated Blueprint validations, defined edge API’s, new community lab hardware, and much more. For future events and meetings please visit: https://wiki.akraino.org/display/AK/Akraino+TSC+Group+Calendar.

 

Hello System Management!

By | Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Written by Akram Ahmad, EdgeX Foundry contributor and Principal Software Engineer at Dell Technologies

For those of you not yet familiar with the canonical way of introducing new technology-centric stuff, at least the way we do it in the world of computer programming–and thinking here specifically to the “Hello World!” first-ever program introduced to the world by programming legends Kernighan and Ritchie with their C programming language–please allow me to clarify what may be an admittedly enigmatic title we’ve got for this blog post. Essentially, it was with the EdgeX Foundry Delhi Release that the team had the pleasure of introducing EdgeX System Management capability to the world! Hence, “Hello System Management!” (More on the Edinburgh Release in just a bit.)

It’s my ongoing privilege to be a part of helping design, implement, and shepherd System Management (or “SM” for short) to date, and going forward. With that in mind, I would like to give you a flavor of the capabilities that SM brings to the table.

You can think of the System Management Agent (SMA), in particular, as a brand-new service which serves as the coordinator for control plane information (i.e. status, configuration, and metrics for EdgeX services). The SMA also control actions on EdgeX services (i.e. starting, stopping, and restarting services). Cloud or third-party systems can, in turn, call on the API provided by the SMA to trigger the actions or to get the control plane data they need. In a nutshell, the SMA can serve as a one-stop shop for managing a deployed instance of EdgeX.

Each EdgeX micro service has a corresponding management API that the SMA calls on to help control that service (e.g. to stop the service) or fetch its latest configuration or metrics. The SMA, along with the management API provided by each service, will be expanded in future releases of EdgeX and will one day offer control plane data and actions via alternate protocols (for example via the well-known protocol SNMP that is part of the TCP/IP suite that powers the Internet as we know it today).

I invite you to hold on to the thought that, for the constellation of services that will be offered via EdgeX, there needs to be “controller” of sorts…

Now, let’s turn to the truism that an IoT platform like EdgeX is used to collect the data from “Things.” Put another way, the platform ingests data that is physically sensed from IoT sensors and devices. Work associated with collecting, managing, and disbursing sensed data is exactly the kind of work associated with a “data plane.” On the other hand, the kind of work associated with operating and managing the IoT platform software and infrastructure is best described as “control plane” operations.

This includes getting the IoT platform and infrastructure running (or shutdown), configuring the platform software for the particular use case, and understanding the health and status of the software platform (is it running and what type of resources is the IoT software platform using?). Analysis of any control plane data may be used to take action as well, but action revolves around the IoT platform itself–not the sensed or controlled world. For example, in the control plane, it may be determined that a service needs to be restarted because it is consuming too much memory.

This is where the SMA comes in!

The System Management (SM) service will assist in protecting EdgeX and reducing the surface area of an API attack. Rather than opening up access to all services to the central management system, the SM service serves as a single point proxy to the control plane for all of EdgeX services for the central management system. The SMA, therefore, reduces the number of access points to EdgeX and reduces potential security vulnerabilities. It also allows the central management system to be loosely coupled to all of EdgeX—requiring the central management system to again have just one access address (the address of the SM service) that it needs to know about for any EdgeX deployment.

Before digging deeper, let’s recap what we’ve learned so far: System Management (SM) functionality, as determined by the EdgeX community, is generally associated with control plane data and operations.  The control plane (and System Management) is about managing the IoT platform and infrastructure. The data plane is all about managing and understanding the physical world that the IoT platform is there to observe and control. Think about it: Whether one is talking about towering skyscrapers or flimsy tents rigged on the grounds of a park, there remains, as ever, the crucial need for control. Without coordination, things can get chaotic in a heartbeat.

Also, and crucially, SM is also about providing information—having retrieved that information in the first place—about the status of the services it manages. Eventually, building on this capability, SM will provide the means to reconfigure the services themselves. At this time, with the Edinburgh Release, SM can provide performance and memory metrics for requested services. Likewise, SM can provide detailed configuration information for the services requested by users of SM, as well as the health status of those services (whether given services are up or down.)

In other words, while control is a critical capability, SM is about more than just control. By the same token, we want to make it abundantly clear that we are building System Management (SM) capability to facilitate other central systems, and not be those central systems. In a nutshell, EdgeX SM is about helping promote interoperability—in this case, allowing you to manage EdgeX with your choice in central management system.

Let’s shift gears a bit now: When you look at a typical fog deployment, a larger management system will want to manage the control plane of the edge systems as well as all the intermediate and upper level nodes and resources of the overall deployment. Just as there is a management system to control all the nodes and infrastructure within a cloud data center, and across cloud data centers, so too there will likely be management systems that will manage and control all the nodes (from edge to cloud) and infrastructure of a complete fog or IoT deployment.

If you will be so kind as to allow me the use of just one more metaphor, it will be this one: Think to a team of workhorses ploughing the land (EdgeX services). Then think to the driver (System Management). Finally, and without going too crazy about the farming metaphor—all metaphors, including this one, can carry only so much water—I invite you to imagine two scenarios (1) First, the one without the other, and (2) Second, the two (i.e. the team of workhorses and the driver) working in unison. If you associated chaos with the first scenario, and clockwork unison with the second, you are in good company.

So with the Edinburgh Release, we will continue building SM capability to facilitate other central systems. Again, the goal is not to be those central systems, but rather to facilitate those systems. May your System Management (SM) learnings continue, and may the community be the better for it!

If you have questions or comments, visit the EdgeX Foundry Slack Channel and share your thoughts in the #community channel. Or, join the LF Edge Slack Channel and share your thoughts in the #EdgeX channel.

Project EVE Code Now Available

By | Blog, Project EVE

Project EVE (Edge Virtualization Engine), part of LF Edge since the organization’s inception, earlier this week marked an important milestone: the official handover of code from ZEDEDA. EVE provides an open standard for edge virtualization, helping make it as easy and secure to manage applications on edge devices as it is in the cloud. With EVE, enterprises can run a wide variety of applications on any edge-class gateway while enjoying the benefits of data center virtualization, like zero-touch provisioning and secure, one-click software update rollouts at IoT scale.

“Project EVE’s release under LF Edge is an important milestone for the edge computing industry,” said Melissa Evers-Hood, senior director of Google Operating Systems for Intel System Software Products, and chair of the LF Edge Governing Board. “An open approach to virtualization can help companies address the growth in diverse services and hardware configurations being deployed at the edge. Using virtualization to consolidate workloads provides companies with a more flexible and elastic infrastructure, allowing them to secure and manage these services while containing costs.”

Project EVE  allows applications ranging from legacy software programs running in virtual machines (VMs) to the latest microservices architectures to operate in a secure and reliable way on smaller edge devices. This is accomplished through the use of a type-1 hypervisor, an Edge Container runtime, and a hardened root-of-trust implementation, enabling workloads to run in either a VM or standard container environment. By decoupling software from hardware, EVE also allows for multi-tenant deployments that can operate in complete isolation from each other, increasing security and decreasing complexity.

Key features of Project EVE include:

  • Compatibility with all major edge hardware and cloud providers—no vendor lock-in
  • Ability to support any application that can run in a VM or standard container
  • Simplified application management through standardized APIs
  • Smarter hardware usage through coordinated resource allocation and partitioning
  • Ability to create a zero-trust approach to security, leveraging a hardened root-of-trust implementation

As the number of IoT devices continues to skyrocket, it’s becoming more and more important for businesses to be able to process, analyze, and act on sensor data in real time via local edge gateway systems. Project EVE provides a key component of the technology stack needed for powerful computing at the edge. By contributing the code for Project EVE to LF Edge, ZEDEDA is furthering the organization’s mission to create an open framework for edge computing.

For more information about Project EVE, visit https://www.lfedge.org/projects/eve/.

 

LF Edge at IoT World

By | Akraino, Blog, EdgeX Foundry, Project EVE

LF Edge will be at IoT World 2019 in Santa Clara, Cali. from May 13 to 16. The event is the leading IoT showcase that features the top technologies, strategies, and case studies for the key industries implementing IoT. This year, LF Edge projects Akraino, EdgeX Foundry & Project EVE will be at the show floor to show off their latest demos in booth #610.

Akraino will be on-site to show off it’s it’s latest line of blueprints, which are designed to support a wide variety of edge use cases. Akraino will show off it’s SDN Enabled Broadband Access (SEBA) blueprint, ELIOT (Edge Lightweight and IoT) Blueprint, Micro-MEC Blueprint and the Future Network Lab Connected Vehicle Blueprint. The Akraino community tests and validates the blueprints on real hardware labs supported by users and community members.

EdgeX Foundry will showcase it’s building automation demo, which highlights EdgeX’s ability to bring together a real-world, smart flexible office space environment based on components from a variety of vendors leveraging numerous connectivity standards, operating systems and hardware types.

EdgeX will also be featured in a demo from Beechwoods Software that showcases the AMD Edge Gateway reference running EdgeX and supporting IBM Watson IoT for both the cloud and the analytics engine.

In addition, Project EVE will also be on the scene with its new wind turbine model. Based on the EdgeX framework and the Project EVE technology, the demo will showcase turbine  operations analytics.

LF Edge members will be also be on-site to provide background on any of the projects or walk you through an interactive demo. Stop by booth #610 to learn more or attend any of the following IoT presentations on Thursday, May 16:

  • Jason Shepherd, LF Edge Governing Board Member and CTO of IoT and Edge Computing at Dell Technologies, will present a session at 11:40 am – Noon in Grand Ballroom F. The presentation titled, “The Holy Grail for Digital & Data,” explores where companies are today with their data strategy and where they might be in five to ten years.
  • Arpit Joshipura, GM of Networking & Orchestration + Edge / IOT at the Linux Foundation, will present on a panel titled “The Fast and The Curious: Smart, Safe Ways to Accelerate Building and Deployment,” at 1:40 pm – 2:20 pm in Grand Ballroom G. He’ll be joined by Frederic Desbiens,  IoT & Edge Program Manager at The Eclipse Foundation, Christopher Konopka, Developer Evangelist at Twilio & Brian Buntz, Content Director at IoT World Today. Attendees of this session will learn about the latest methods for bringing a commercial or in-house IoT application or device into production more quickly, efficiently and securely.
  • Arpit Joshipura will then join Sue Troy, IoT World Today Executive Editor and Alexander Olesen, Founder of Babylon Micro-Farms, for the last panel of the day titeld, “What’s the deal with…?” From 4:20 – 5 pm in the Grand Ballroom G, the panel will discuss  new IoT technologies, projects, hardware, software and services and a wide range of other topics like edge and IoT, starting an IoT company , 5G, WIFI 6, digital twins, challenges and concerns.

If you have questions or comments, visit the LF Edge Slack Channel and share your thoughts in the #community or project channels.

EdgeX Foundry Is a Finalist for The IoT World Awards

By | Blog

EdgeX Foundry, the vendor-neutral, operating system and hardware independent, open source, microservice, software edge computing platform, is a finalist for the “Best Edge Computing Solution & Achievements in IoT Integration” award for the IoT World Awards. The awards celebrate the success and outstanding contributors to the very best in the world of IoT.

Other finalists in this category include Dell Technologies and FogHorn – both are currently LF Edge members and are still very active in EdgeX Foundry – as well as Itron Inc and Lantronix Inc.

Not only will EdgeX Foundry be attending the award celebration but will be on-site on the exhibition floor. To see interactive EdgeX Foundry demos, which include building automation and a wind turbine, visit the LF Edge booth (Booth 610). For more information about the activities planned for IoT World, visit https://www.lfedge.org/event/iot-world-2019/.

EdgeX Foundry focuses on IoT Edge, and helps simplify the process to design, develop and deploy solutions across industrial, enterprise, and consumer applications. Since it’s launch in 2017, EdgeX has met several technical milestones in its roadmap including the Barcelona release, California release, & Delhi release.

In January 2019, EdgeX Foundry joined Akraino, Project EVE, The Open Glossary of Edge Computing and Home Edge to form LF Edge, an umbrella organization dedicated to establishing an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating systems.

The winner of the award will be announced at the IoT Awards Dinner & Gala in Santa Clara, CA on May 15. To learn more about the awards or any of the other categories, click here.

Arm at the Edge: Telco and IoT Akraino Blueprints debut at ONS 2019

By | Akraino, Blog

By Tina Tsou, co-chair, Akraino Edge Stack Technical Steering Committee & Enterprise Architect, Arm. A version of this post also appeared on the Arm Community blog

Last week at Open Networking Summit in San Jose, there was a lot of buzz about the Akraino Edge Stack Project. Launched in 2018, Akraino Edge Stack was developed to create an open source software stack that supports high-availability cloud services optimized for edge computing systems and applications.

Significant progress has been made in this community since the launch, and many member companies showcased their Akraino blueprints last week. Arm is very active in the Akraino community and is excited about the Akraino Edge Stack Blueprints.

Here are some additional details about the four blueprints that were shown:

1) SDN Enabled Broadband Access (SEBA) on Ampere-based servers

For users of Virtual broadband access (XGS-PON which is a higher bandwidth, symmetric version of GPON), Ampere demonstrated SDN Enabled Broadband Access (SEBA) validation on Arm. The SEBA blueprint in the Akraino Edge Stack Project, can run applications of Virtual broadband access – vOLT access and aggregation for 5000 edge locations. There are three servers per POD, with x86 and Arm (with 8-16 cores each). The power consumption is restricted to less than 1 kW and includes NEBS compliance and 48V DC. The Ampere eMAG-based server delivers competitive performance per watt with 32 Armv8 CPU cores at 3+ GHz with Turbo. 

The foundation of the SEBA validation on Arm demo is built on Integration Edge Cloud (IEC) blueprint family. The Integrated Edge Cloud (IEC) enables new functionality and business models on the network edge with benefits such as lower latency for end users, less load on the network since more data an be processed locally, and full utilization of the computational power of the edge devices.

VMWare proposed multi-cloud xConnection to interconnect different kinds of clouds of IT and Telco. The IEC had several deployment models that each support different business case such as telco/enterprise edge cloud (ex. MEC or brand office data center) or telco/enterprise remote edge locations (ex. SD-WAN, IoT Gateways). The demonstration included Ubuntu, Kubernetes, and Calico on Arm.

2) ELIOT (Edge Lightweight and IoT) Blueprint on Huawei IoT Gateway 

We were excited to partner with Huawei to demonstrate the ELIOT: Edge Lightweight and IoT Blueprint Family.  The ELIOT blueprint was designed to service the need of many diverse business applications that require a converged IoT gateway, and Enterprise WAN edge use of SD-WAN solutions or universal CPU (uCPE). The IoT gateway can be deployed in smart cities, smart homes, connected farming, agriculture logistics industrial, and Industrial IoT.  SD-WAN, WAN edge, uCPE are designed to be used for hybrid WAN, hybrid cloud deployment, and BYOD.  ELIOT is very scalable, from 1 single unit to 10K, 100K, 1000K, or more. ELIOT also supports diverse types of edge applications in many industries and market segments, including but not limited to: telcos, operators, service/cloud providers, medicine, smart cities, industrial IoT, home, and enterprise. The cloud/network infrastructure for ELIOT includes containers, Kubernetes, and the Kubernetes ecosystem. At the same time, the blueprint is designed to use lightweight operating systems and container runtime environments.

“The IoT gateway and enterprise edge SD-WAN gateway are two great examples of computing or power resource constrained edge nodes. The ELIOT project provides end-to-end light-weight open source blueprints for deploying and managing these use cases, built on any processor architecture, to foster a vibrant ecosystem around edge gateways in both hardware and software.”

–  Bill Ren, Chief Open Source Liaison Officer, Huawei

3) Micro-MEC Blue Print from Nokia

Nokia, Arm, and other ecosystem partners within the Akraino/LF Edge community have formed an edge blueprint for a Smart Cities platform called Micro-Mec (uMEC) targeted for a range of use cases. Nokia is using an Arm-based Marvell CN83xx uMEC design to show a highway traffic monitoring application. The uMEC enables new functionalities and business models on the network edge. The benefits of running applications on the network edge include lower latencies for end users, less load on the network since more data can be processed locally, and better security/privacy since sensitive data need not be transferred to a centralized location.

All these new services support the business case for building new high-speed networks which in turn enable new things. The uMEC has several deployment models that each support different business cases including:

  • Fixed installation as part of 5G NR base station enabling new services that require low latency such as AR/VR.
  • As an extension of the previous, the “Smart City” deployments have additional functions such as weather stations, cameras, displays, or drone charging stations.  The control software for these functions would run on the uMEC.
  • In an Industry 4.0 use case set, the uMEC is deployed as part of a 5G network and would provide a platform for running services for the factory floor.
  • In a train, the uMEC could collect and store surveillance camera data for later uploading. 

“Nokia is very excited to demo the the new edge blueprint for operators and smart cities called Micro Multiaccess Edge (uMEC). It demonstrates how even a very small ARM- based system can implement a Smart City use case, and complements the industry standard Open Edge hardware that is used in the Radio Edge Cloud and the 5G Radio Access Network,” said Tapio Tallgren, Project Technical Leader for uMEC and Akraino Technical Community

4) Tencent Future Network Lab Connected Vehicle Blueprint

The Connected Vehicle Blueprint focuses on the MEC platform, which is the backbone for V2X (Vehicle to Everything) applications. The blueprint can be used in multiple use cases, including but not limited to: 

  • Accurate Locations: The blueprint is designed to deliver more than 10X finer granularity in location. GPS is 5-10 meters level location which can be improved to <1 meter.
  • Smart Navigation: Real-time traffic information update reduces the latency from minutes to seconds to provide the more efficient path for drivers.
  • Safer Driving: Insight into potential risks which can’t be seen by drivers’ eyes.
  • Reduced Violation in Traffic Rules: Let the driver understand the traffic rules in some specific area.  For example, change in lines for an upcoming and narrow street, avoiding opposite way drive in the one way road, and avoiding carpool lanes for a single driver.

The blueprint can be flexibly deployed in multiple environments, including bare metal, virtual machine, and container based on commodity hardware (Arm/x86 server). The major software component of this blueprint is Tars, a Linux Foundation microservice Framework project. Tars can be deployed in Arm and x86 servers.  For more detail information for Tars, refer to the github link.

Learn more about connected vehicle blueprint on Google Drive or read the blog post here

“Tencent continuously promotes network innovation from various application perspectives. We believe that application-based network innovation promotes a stronger ecosystem, which brings tremendous benefits to our customers and stakeholders.” –– Zhang Yun Fei, Director of Future Network Lab, Tencent

“Open source is an important technical strategy for Tencent. As both a platinum member and board member of the Linux Foundation, Tencent continuously makes contributions to the Linux Foundation and its projects. After the Tars project contributed to the LF in 2018, and recent Akraino blueprint, Tencent will continue to contribute several new open source projects focused on cache and configuration. We welcome additional participation from more Linux Foundation member companies!” — Xin Liu, Linux Foundation Board member, and Tencent General Manager

We are excited about these great Blueprint demonstrations and the others shown last week. I want to acknowledge the Akraino Edge Stack Project Technical Steering Committee, PTLs, committers, and contributors, for their support with our activities at the conference.  It is truly a team effort! Special recognition goes to:

  • Aaron Byrd, AT&T
  • Matt Taylor, Ampere
  • Trevor Tao, Arm
  • Gabriel Yu, Huawei
  • Tapio Tallgren, Nokia
  • Robert Qiu, Tencent
  • Xinhui Li, VMware
  • Ken Yi, DiDi
  • Wenhui Zhang, PSU

Connected Vehicle Blueprint Debuts at ONS NA 2019

By | Blog

The  Connected Vehicle Blueprint, established within the Akraino community by contributions from Tencent Future Network Lab, Arm, Intel, and Nokia, was demonstrated onsite at Open Networking Summit this week in San Jose. The blueprint demo clearly depicts features, architecture as well as the potential benefits for customers. The Connected Vehicle Blueprint focuses on the MEC platform, which is the backbone for the V2X (Vehicle to Everything) Application.

The blueprint can be used in multiple use cases, including, but not limited to:

  • Accurate Location: The blueprint brings more than 10X fine gratuity location. GPS is 5-10 meters level location, that can be improved to <1 meter, which is the distance of a typical street lane.
  • Smart Navigator: The real-time traffic information update, reduces the latency from minutes to seconds, figures out the most efficient route for drivers.
  • Safe Drive Improvement: Helps the driver figure out any potential traffic risks that may not be seen by the driver.
  • Reduces traffic violations: Helps the driver understand local traffic rules. For instance, changing the lane prior to a narrow street, avoiding driving on the wrong side of a one-way road, avoiding carpool lanes as a single driver, etc.

“Tencent continuously promotes network innovation from various application perspectives. We believe that application-based network innovation promotes a stronger ecosystem, which brings tremendous benefits to our customers and stakeholders,” said Zhang Yun Fei, Director of Future Network Lab, Tencent.

“Open source is an important technical strategy for Tencent. As both a platinum member and board member of the Linux Foundation, Tencent continuously makes contributions to the Linux Foundation and its projects. After the Tars project contributed to the LF in 2018, and recent Akraino blueprint, Tencent will continue to contribute several new open source projects focused on cache and configuration.  We welcome additional participation from more Linux Foundation member companies!” said Xin Liu, Linux Foundation Board Member and Tencent General Manager

The blueprint can be flexibly deployed in multiple environments, including bare metal, virtual machine and container-based environments on commodity hardware. The major software component of this blueprint is Tars, a Linux Foundation microservice framework project.  For more detail information on Tars, refer to the link:  https://github.com/TarsCloud/Tars

For more information regarding the connected vehicle blueprint, refer to:

EdgeX Foundry is now available as a Snap

By | Blog

Tony Espy, EdgeX Foundry Technical Steering Committee Member & Technical Architect – Devices & IoT at Canonical, gives details on the recent availability of EdgeX Foundry in snap format. The new availability gives millions of Linux users and developers access to the continuously growing Snap Store.

EdgeX Foundry is a vendor-neutral open source project that concentrates on building a common framework for IoT edge computing. With a focus on the IoT Edge, EdgeX simplifies the process to design, develop and deploy solutions across industrial, enterprise, and consumer applications. Since it’s launch in 2017, EdgeX has met several technical milestones in its roadmap including the Barcelona release, California release, & Delhi release.

In January 2019, EdgeX Foundry joined Akraino, Project EVE, The Open Glossary of Edge Computing and Home Edge to form LF Edge, an umbrella organization dedicated to establishing an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating systems.

In adopting the universal Linux app packaging format, EdgeX Foundry will make its IoT Edge platform available to an ever-growing community of Linux developers, including those on Debian, Fedora, Manjaro, OpenSUSE, Zorin and Ubuntu. Automatic updates and rollback capabilities are staples of snap software, meaning EdgeX Foundry users will always have the best and latest version running.

Snaps are containerised software packages, designed to work perfectly and securely within any Linux environment; across desktop, the cloud and IoT devices. Thousands of snaps have been created since the first one in 2016. EdgeX Foundry joins Plex, Spotify, Skype, and Slack, who have all benefited from snaps’ update and security features.

“Canonical’s Snap Store provides an easy and secure way to distribute our software to an increasing number of developers and users,” said Jim White, Vice Chair – Technical Steering Committee at EdgeX Foundry. “What’s more, snaps help cater to EdgeX Foundry developers, who benefit from snap confinement, binary delta downloads, ease of deployment/configuration, and sophisticated service management.”

The EdgeX snap is fully confined, which means snapd ensures that applications and services provided by the EdgeX snap may only use hardware and system resources that have been explicitly granted to the snap. Binary delta downloads is a feature which benefits users of snaps by lowering the bandwidth required for software updates. Ease of deployment/configuration stems from the fact that the snap provides all of the EdgeX reference services as a single package. This makes it trivial to build an appliance-like image using the EdgeX snap with Ubuntu Core.

Finally, it also should be noted that all of the EdgeX reference services in the snap are deployed as system services. This ensures that EdgeX will be automatically started when a device boots, services can be individually managed (i.e. enabled/disabled/started/stopped/restarted), and services will be automatically restarted by the system if they exit due to an error condition.

For more details on how to use the EdgeX Foundry snap click here. EdgeX Foundry is available to download as a snap by clicking here.

This blog originally ran on Canonical’s Ubunto blog. You can view the blog here.

An Enhanced Delhi Code with More Bells and Whistles

By | Blog, EdgeX Foundry

A few weeks back, the EdgeX Foundry community released Delhi.  This release (the third public major release of EdgeX in a little more than a year) included many new features and I outlined them in my last blog post . Today, the project announced the availability of an enhanced Delhi release, with a smaller collection of new and updated capabilities built on top of Delhi.  

The Delhi code release offers so many new features, I’m not going to list them all. Instead, I’d like to focus on what’s new with this enhanced Delhi release.  In particular, the enhanced version of Delhi begins to allow for freedom of choice with regard to databases in EdgeX. With this release, several of the services (core data, metadata and export client specifically) have been engineered to use either MongoDB (the long used default persistence for EdgeX) or Redis. This improvement to the EdgeX platform is significant for several reasons:

  • It highlights the ability for organizations to select and more easily use the data store that best fits their use case and system needs.  Platform support, performance characteristics, licensure issues, in-memory options, etc. are all architectural considerations when looking at persistence in your IoT platform.  
  • It is the first step in providing proper abstraction and loose coupling around the persistence layer.  Eventually, this work which we hope will be completed for the Edinburgh release (April 2019) will allow architects more freedom to customize, extend, and replace this layer based on their persistence needs.
  • EdgeX is all about providing interoperability, flexibility and facilitating choice at the edge – choice in sensor connectivity, analytics, cloud connectivity, deployment, etc. This new feature again showcases EdgeX’s flexibility – flexibility in persistence realm.  Future releases of EdgeX, using patterns established with this database abstractions, are looking at offering even more flexibility and interoperability in areas like messaging, security, communications, system management, etc.

The EdgeX community (which includes members of the Redis Labs team) worked throughout the Delhi release to simultaneously refactored several of the EdgeX microservices to offer Redis as embedded data services.  Specifically, this means we:

  • Incorporated the EdgeX services with the tools needed to connect to databases such as Redis and MongoDB
  • Leveraged Redis’ multi-model capability and data structures to serialize EdgeX data models for persistence, and index them for queries
  • Decoupled the EdgeX models from a single persistence mechanism
  • Solve identity issues, such as identifying sensor readings, in a database-independent way
  • Added Redis to the EdgeX deployment/orchestration facilities
  • Provided Redis initialization and bootstrapping scripts in support of EdgeX

Again, all of this work is important first steps toward more unilateral independence and choice with regard to persistence in EdgeX in future releases.

In addition to the work to provide alternate database connectors in several key EdgeX microservices, the enhanced Delhi code will also include the following:

  • New device service connectors, created from the new SDKs made available for Modbus and MQTT.  These were device services created with the new Go and C Devcie Service SDKs that were made available with the Delhi release.  Device connectors provide the “thing” or sensor/device connectivity in EdgeX.
  • A simple example device service simulator that developers can use to learn the EdgeX device service framework and speed up their development efforts.
  • Additional and improved documentation that includes all the new features from the Delhi release.
  • The EdgeX Foundry snap published in the the Snap Store (https://snapcraft.io/edgexfoundry) for the first time.

It should be mentioned that with the new Device Service SDKs, we are seeing a real escalation in EdgeX “thing” connectivity.  As I write this post, several additional Device Services have been created beyond what is offered in the “dot” release. So stay tuned to the EdgeX community outlets for more in this area coming soon.

Big shout out to the technical community for helping us achieve another technical milestone To learn more about the Redis connection, please click on this blog.

If you have questions or comments, visit the EdgeX Foundry Slack Channel and share your thoughts in the #community channel.

ETRI unveils Time-Sensitive Networking IIoT Gateway based on EdgeX

By | Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Guest post written by Geun-Yong Kim, EdgeX Foundry member and Researcher at ETRI

EdgeX Foundry member, ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute) exhibited the EdgeX-based gateway system at the 2018 Photonics Convergence Industry Road Show held in Gwangju, Korea, on November 20- 21, 2018. The Photonics Convergence Industry Road Show is an annual event that companies related to Korean photonics convergence showcase their products and technologies, share best practices and build a stronger network.

< ETRI booth at 2018 Photonics Convergence Industry Road Show >

ETRI’s Time-Sensitive networking IIoT gateway is based on the Go version of the EdgeX framework. It is equipped with hardware that can install a device module with legacy device interface such as RS-232/485, Modbus, etc. It also provides time synchronization accuracy of less than 300ns error for Time-Sensitive Networking, which is a new Ethernet standard that guarantees bounded latency of data transmission.

< ETRI TSN IoT Gateway collecting measured data from BMT Smarteye sensors>

Since BMT gateways collect data sequentially from Smarteye sensors, there was a limit to the data analysis. Therefore, ETRI developed the device that can acquire data from multiple RS485 interfaces at the same time and implemented a new Device Service of EdgeX Foundry to handle it. The ETRI gateway is able to collect 27 kinds of data from BMT Smarteye power measurement sensors. It also collects measured data from three Smarteyes simultaneously per second and the demo included collecting data, exporting data, and rules detecting from data.

Additionally, ETRI developed GUI optimized for EdgeX micro service structure, and users can easily install and delete micro services for gateway by GUI. ETRI has also developed the TSN micro service, rules engine for analyzing power measurement data for TSN networking function, and implemented the GUI to visually express data flow between micro services.

< Micro service management GUI >

< Data collection and graph from BMT Smarteyes >

ETRI will continue researching and developing industrial IoT gateways for the renewable energy industry and power utility sectors based on the EdgeX Foundry framework. For more information, you can email Geun-Yong Kim at gykim@etri.re.kr. 

If you have questions or comments, visit the EdgeX Foundry Slack Channel and share your thoughts in the #community channel.