Category

Blog

EdgeX Foundry China Day 2020

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Written by Ulia Sun, Project Specialist, Ecosystem & Communications of  VMware China R&D

EdgeX Foundry, a Stage 3 project under LF Edge, is a leading framework on edge computing with open and vendor neutral architecture. Lead by VMware and Intel, they launched the EdgeX Foundry China Project in late 2019. The group quickly gained attention and began hosting meetups and online meetings. Within the year, their efforts have helped EdgeX become the largest edge computing community in China.

With the mission of increasing collaboration in the edge computing community and expanding the impact of edge computing technologies, the EdgeX Foundry China Project hosted EdgeX Foundry China Day 2020 last year on December 22-23.

The event was a huge success and included: 

  • 9 Ecosystem Partner:Intel 英特尔,IBM, ThunderSoft 中科创达,JiangXing Intelligence江行智能, IO Tech, Linux Foundation, EMQ 杭州映云科技,Agree Technology赞同科技, Celestone 北京天石易通信息技术有限公司
  • 4 Live broadcast channels:VMware Official Live Streaming Platform (VMware大会官方直播间) Bilibili – EdgeX Foundry China  (EdgeX中国社区B站官方直播间),CSDN Website Home Page Recommendation (开发者专区官网首页推荐直播间), OpenVINO Community Wechat Live (OpenVINO社区直播)
  • A global reach: 10,000+ touch points across the country
  • New collaborators: 249 new group members of EdgeX Foundry China Community
  • 4 interactive workshops led by LF Edge member companies
    • “AI/Open VINO”  by Intel
    • “ EdgeX Coding Camp”  by Thundersoft & Jiangxing Intelligence
    • “ How to use Rule Engine in EdgeX”  by EMQ
    • “Deep Dive into Open Horizon”  by IBM
  • 2 Sessions Related to VMware:
    • Alan Ren, General Manager of VMware China R&D, attended and gave the opening speech with a recognition of VMware’s contributions to EdgeX Foundry China community 
    • Gavin Lu,  Technical Director of VMware China R&D gave the keynote speech  with the theme of “EdgeX Foundry China 2020 Yearly Review and 2021 Plan”

Partners & Keynote speakers

Live Steaming Platforms

Highlights

Watch the video here: https://live.csdn.net/room/edgexfoundry/Wp2vsTYG 

For more information, visit the EdgeX Foundry China Project Wiki: https://wiki.edgexfoundry.org/display/FA/China+Project.

Open Horizon Mentorships with LFX

By Blog, Linux Foundation News, Open Horizon

Joe Pearson, Open Horizon Chair of the Technical Steering Committee and Edge Computing and Technology Strategist at IBM

Late this summer, a representative from the Linux Foundation’s LFX Mentorship program attended the LF Edge Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) bi-weekly meeting and gave a presentation about their mentorship program.  The program potentially gives open-source projects a turn-key mentorship program with minimal work needed to get it started, which sounded great to me!  At the end of the presentation, they offered to speak to each project’s leadership teams if they would like to learn more.

The Open Horizon project eagerly accepted the offer, since we had plenty of opportunities for interesting work and few volunteers. We were told that once we began accepting applications, we would be flooded with more than enough well-qualified mentee candidates.

Easy onboarding experience

The project sign-up process was ridiculously easy. We filled out the forms and specified that we wanted to see each candidate’s CV/resume, a link to their GitHub repo, and a cover letter explaining in a single paragraph why they wanted to be a mentee of our project.

Incredible applicant pool

The applications began to come in. At first two (pretty easy to handle), then two more (great!), then four more (OK, this is quite a few). Within two weeks, we had over 15! By the end of our open application period, we had over 30 which was more than enough to handle. In fact, we ended up identifying both a primary and a secondary applicant for each open slot in our initial fall term.

Choosing our mentors

To select our project’s mentors, we looked for maintainers in our project with a natural teaching ability, approachability, maturity, and availability. We also assembled a pool of potential items for our mentees to work on. The four mentors selected were:

  • David Booz (Dave) – Chief Architect and founder of the project, Chair of the Agent Working Group, and a member of the team from the start almost six years ago. Dave understands the project code from both the macro level as well as the specific details about how the client software — the Agent — functions.
  • Liang Wang (Los) – Technology Advocate and Chair of the China Manufacturing Special Interest Group (SIG). Los is building up the SIG, overseeing translation of the project materials, and creating a community around manufacturing and industry 4.0 use cases.
  • Troy Fine – Software Engineer and Chair of the Developer Examples Working Group. Troy oversees creation and maintenance of all code and services that demonstrate all project solution functionality from the simple to the complex.
  • Joseph Pearson (Joe) – Project Chair and Chair of the Documentation Working Group. Joe ensures that people looking to use Open Horizon, develop it, extend or port it, and to build solutions with it have the information they need.

Choosing our mentees

We created a set of filtering criteria to shorten the list down to candidates who were not only qualified, but also exhibited a natural curiosity about our project, and were eager to get started. We also approximately matched the geographic location of the candidates as well as their linguistic abilities.

The mentors then interviewed those candidates on the short list over Slack, email, and Zoom or WebEx. It was not an easy task, and we wish that we could have accepted double our limit of four mentees.

For the work the mentees would be completing, the mentors identified tasks that fit the candidate’s natural abilities and strengths and yet would stretch them a bit. We also aimed for tasks that could be completed within the timeframe of the fall term.

Anukriti Jain

Dave selected Anukriti Jain as the mentee for his Working Group. Anukriti is a Computer Science Engineering student in the last year of her undergraduate program. She is based in India.

Han Gao

Los chose Han Gao as mentee. Han Gao is pursuing his doctorate in the Netherlands.  His goals are:

*  Become an effective contributor to the Open Horizon project with a deep understanding at the code level around its architecture and key policy-based management flow.

*  Contribute by translating Open Horizon technical documentation into Chinese, as well as creating new hands-on guidance for getting started with an end-to-end example.

*  Broaden his view and build insight across other LF Edge projects.

Clement NG

Troy went with Clement Ng for the Examples Working Group. Clement, like Troy, is based on the US west coast.

Edidiong Etuk

Joe tapped Edidiong Etuk to assist with the Documentation Working Group. Eddie is from Nigeria and is pursuing a degree in Computer Science.  He has natural leadership qualities and is an eager self-starter with a gift for intuition.

Lessons learned from the mentorship program

Now that we’re about 2/3 of the way through the fall term, we have gained some perspective through the benefit of hindsight.  It turns out that four mentees is just about the right number for our small project to handle.

The tasks have been adjusted to ensure that each mentee can complete the work in the allotted time without too much stress.  And several of them have already gained such a sense of belonging and ownership that they plan to continue working with the project after their mentorship term is complete.  We highly recommend that other projects take advantage of this opportunity.

For more details about Open Horizon, click here. Stay tuned here for updates about the next mentorship.

EdgeX Foundry and Forbes

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Written by Andrew Foster, EdgeX Foundry Contributor and Product Director and IOTech Co-Founder

I read a very interesting article recently in Forbes on the Future of Industrial IoT Gateways. The thrust of the piece is that IoT gateways play a key role as the main integration point between the OT and IT worlds in an industrial IoT system. They provide important functions such as protocol translation for the myriad of industrial protocols that users often have to deal with, enable edge processing for latency sensitive applications and provide a secure firewall between the open internet and possible vulnerable devices/sensors.

However, unlike more general IT environments, the problem with IoT gateways is that they typically require a lot of customization and bespoke software configuration to support each specific use case, and this is slowing down IoT adoption.

The article identifies the solution to the problem as being the need for service-oriented gateway frameworks in the form of plug and play microservices that are not tied to any specific hardware or operating system. The key benefit is that these gateways can be delivered with very little customization and it’s much easier for the platform to be configured using IT native techniques (e.g. docker, Kubernetes), or new microservices (e.g. to support a new device protocol) written in cloud friendly languages instead on having a heavy reliance on specialized embedded development skills. It also facilitates an ecosystem of reusable components, many of which are open source but also encourages a thriving commercial marketplace for new microservices.

In particular, it was great to see that alongside ARM’s Pelion open source initiative, the Linux Foundation’s EdgeX Foundry is highlighted. EdgeX is an open-source, vendor-neutral, project hosted by the Linux Foundation under the LF Edge umbrella focused on the development of a service-oriented edge software framework that is being adopted by a number of the major the gateway vendors. The project was established in 2017 and 6 releases later with over seven million downloads, adoption is still growing fast.

In fact, EdgeX is already incorporated into a number IoT gateway products from Accenture, HP, Jiangxing, ThunderSoft, TIBCO and Home Edge (another LF Edge project). Dell also provides IoT solutions with EdgeX for Dell gateway hardware. My company IOTech develops a commercial implementation of EdgeX called Edge Xpert that is used on some of the gateways mentioned including the Dell 3000 and 5000 series ruggedized Industrial IoT gateways.

Check out the article here.  For additional information on EdgeX, visit the new EdgeX Foundry website.

Scaling Ecosystems Through an Open Edge (Part Two)

By Blog, Industry Article, Project EVE, Trend

Why an Open, Trusted Edge is Key to Realizing the True Potential of Digital Transformation

By Jason Shepherd, LF Edge Governing Board member and VP of Ecosystem at ZEDEDA

This content originally ran on the ZEDEDA Medium Blog – click here for more content like this.

In  of this series, I walked through various approaches to ecosystems and highlighted how business value tends to find a natural equilibrium across stakeholders. In this second installment I’ll walk through the importance of an open edge for scaling ecosystems and realizing the true potential of digital transformation, as well as providing some tips on building ecosystems that I’ve picked up over the past years.

Enabling increasingly connected Intranets of Things

Imagine if the overall internet was built as a closed ecosystem, controlled by a small set of organizations, much less one. Of course, there are browsing restrictions placed at a company level and in some countries, but the internet simply wouldn’t have made the same massive impact on society without fundamental openness and interoperability.

All data is created at the edge, whether it be from user-centric or IoT devices. A few years ago, the number of devices on the internet surpassed the global population and the growth for IoT devices is expected to continue at an exponential rate. This will not only unlock new paths to value, but also .

However, as it turns out, the term “Internet of Things” is actually a bit of a misnomer. It’s really about a series of increasingly connected Intranets of Things. Starting with simple examples like the story of Fred and Phil from part one of this series, ecosystems will get increasingly larger and more interconnected as the value to do so exceeds the complexity and risk. So how do we carry this out at scale?

The importance of an open edge

Previously, I’ve outlined the  when deploying applications closer to devices in the physical world, outside the confines of a traditional data center. Edge and IoT solutions inherently require a diverse collection of ingredients and expertise to deploy and over the past five years the emerging market has attempted to address this fragmentation with a dizzying landscape of proprietary platforms — each with wildly different methods for data collection, security and management.

That said, having hundreds of closed, siloed platforms and associated ecosystems is definitely not a path to scale. As with the internet itself, it is important to have an open, consistent infrastructure foundation for IoT and edge computing, and from there companies can decide how open or closed they want to build their business ecosystems on top.

The diversity of the IoT edge makes it impractical to develop one catch-all standard to bind everything together. Open source software frameworks are an excellent way to bridge together various ingredients, unifying rather than reinventing standards, accommodating legacy installations, and enabling developers to focus on value creation.  is an example of a collaborative effort to build an open edge computing foundation in partnership with other open source and standards-oriented initiatives. The key to this being the base for a truly open edge ecosystem is the vendor-neutral governance offered by the Linux Foundation.

In this recent  I highlighted that the winners in the end will be the ones creating differentiated value through their domain knowledge, building necessarily unique software and hardware and offering great services — not those that are reinventing the middle over and over again. AI models for common tasks such as identifying a person’s demographic, detecting a license plate number or determining if an object is a water bottle or weapon will be commonplace, meanwhile there will always be room to differentiate with AI when specific industry context is in play.

Trust is essential

I’ve written in the past about the “” being selling or sharing data, resources and services across total strangers, all while maintaining privacy on your terms. This is the ultimate scale factor, but we need to turn to technology for help because it simply isn’t feasible to take people out to dinner fast enough one by one to build the necessary trust relationships.

Consumers are often comfortable pledging allegiance to specific brands and giving up a little privacy as long as they trust the provider and get value. However, in order to build more complex ecosystem relationships that span private and public boundaries at scale we not only need open interoperability but also ensure that no single entity owns the trust.

As such, we also need to collaborate on a technology foundation that automates the establishment of trust as data flows across heterogeneous systems. We’re seeing the industry increasingly step up here, from distributed ledger efforts like IOTA and Hyperledger that provide smart contracts to the  and the emerging  which aims to build out the concept of data confidence fabrics by layering trust insertion technologies with a system-based approach. Both the ToIP Foundation and Alvarium are focused on facilitating trust in both machine-generated data and across human relationships.

While these efforts don’t replace the need to build business relationships (and take people out to dinner!), they will provide necessary acceleration. Moreover, beyond helping us scale complex ecosystems these tools can also aid in combating the increasing issue with deepfakes and ensuring ethical AI solutions, in addition to accelerating workload consolidation at the edge and dealing with regulatory requirements like GDPR… but these are blog topics for another time!

Tips on building an ecosystem (hint, hint: domain knowledge rules)

When I started building the IoT ecosystem with the team at Dell back in 2015 it was clear that the market was going to go vertical before going horizontal. This is a typical pattern in any new market and proprietary offers often get the initial traction while solutions based on an open foundation always win in the end when it comes to sheer scale (recall the Apple — Android discussion from part one…).

So, our ecosystem strategy starting in 2015 was to go super broad before going deep, partnering widely and enabling the “cream to rise to the top”. I joked with the team back then that we were going to do “Tinder” and then “D-Harmony”. Sure enough, the partners that had the most initial traction were those that were laser-focused on one use case, meanwhile the horizontal “peanut-butter platforms” were stalling. Case in point, if you do a little bit of everything you rarely do one thing really well.

But it was really about these vertically-focused platforms’ domain knowledge that resonated with a specific customer need and desired outcome. They built their technology platforms to get to data but their real value was that domain knowledge. Over time as we get to a more consistent, open foundation for Edge and IoT solutions these providers will either need to pivot to being more like system integrators, or build differentiated software and/or hardware. So, in 2017 we purposely switched from going broad to being more deliberate in partnerships, focusing more on partners that have realized the importance of separating domain knowledge from the underlying technology foundation and helping with matchmaking across the partner landscape.. Enter “D-Harmony”!

In closing

Deploying IoT and edge computing solutions takes a village and it’s important to establish an entourage of partners that have a “go to dance move” rather than working with those that are trying to do too much and as a result not doing anything particularly well. Five years have passed and a lot of providers have felt the pain of trying to own everything and have since realized the importance of having focus and establishing meaningful partnerships. So, now I joke with the team at ZEDEDA as we build up our ecosystem of market-leading pure-play solutions and domain experts that we’re going straight to “Z-Harmony”!

Thanks for reading. In the third and final part of this series, I’ll provide more insights on how we get to “advanced class” and more on what we’re doing at ZEDEDA to help build the necessarily open foundation to facilitate ecosystem scale. In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line with any comments or questions.

Over the Edge Podcast with LF Edge Members

By Blog, LF Edge, Member Spotlight, State of the Edge

Edge computing represents a long-term transformation of the Internet that could take decades to fully materialize. On the Over the Edge podcast, Ian Faison and LF Edge member Matt Trifiro interview corporate leaders, open-source experts, technologists, journalists, analysts, and innovators pushing the boundaries of edge. Since launch earlier this year, the podcast has featured several LF Edge members and contributors who are changing the landscape. As we look back at 2020, here’s a podcast roundup of what these leaders had to say about edge computing.

Edge computing is an inflection point – Matt Trifiro, CMO of Vapor IO and Chair of State of the Edge

Bringing the world of software into the world of physical networks – Jacob Smith, Co-Founder of Packet and Chair of State of the Edge

Bringing the edge to emerging markets – Joe Zhu, CEO of Zenlayer and Akraino contributor

How open source is expanding the horizon for IoT and edge – Malini Bhandaru, IoT Open Source Lead at VMware and Co-Chair of the EdgeX Foundry Security Working Group

Open source collaboration is the only way to scale – Jason Shepherd, VP of Ecosystem at ZEDEDA and LF Edge Governing Board member and one of the leaders of Project EVE

A 30,000-foot view of edge – Gavin Whitechurch, Co-Founder of Edge Computing World/COO of Topio Networks and State of the Edge contributor

How standards drive adoption and enable the intelligent edge – Alex Reznik, Distinguished Technologist at HPE and Chair of ETSI MEC and Akraino contributor

Building the easy button for edge – Cole Crawford, CEO and Founder of Vapor IO and one of the leaders of State of the Edge

The future of IoT deployment at the edge – Sarah Beaudoin, Head of Customer Advocacy at ZEDEDA and Project EVE contributor

The cloud that will power and scale the new internet – Mahdi Yahya, CEO and Founder of Ori Industries and Akraino contributor

Redefining networking to empower edge innovation– David Hart, CTO and Co-Founder of NetFoundry and EdgeX Foundry contributor

CBRS, Shared Spectrum, and the democratization of wireless access – Iyad Tarazi, President, CEO and Co-Founder of Federated Wireless and Akraino contributor

Additional podcast episodes can be found here. If you want to be featured in the Over the Edge podcast, let us know!

 

173K votes determined the EdgeX Foundry Challenge Shanghai Winners

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Written by Kobe Lv, Senior Marketing Manager, Industry Division, IOTG Intel, and Jack Xu, Senior Marketing Manager, Emerging Technologies, IOTG Intel

On October 29, the EdgeX Foundry Challenge Shanghai 2020 successfully concluded. In under a year, we were able to rally the newly formed EdgeX China Project members to engage in a hybrid hackathon, bringing a significant portion of the developer community together to demonstrate solutions that solve a variety of commerce and manufacturing challenges. We admire the devotion and engagement of the developer community who contributed to the success of this endeavor, especially the 40 hackathon teams who participated during these challenging pandemic conditions.

We want to thank our EdgeX China Project collaborators IOTech, DELL Technologies, Canonical, Jiangxing Intelligence, Baowu Steel, BUPT and EdgeX Hackathon sponsors HP, Tencent, and Innospace for their support. What we achieved together is really remarkable.

Notable highlights from the EdgeX Foundry Challenge Shanghai 2020 inaugural hackathon include:

  • 40 team submissions
  • 15 demonstrations were selected based on their ability to address key pain points of the commercial and industrial verticals (e.g. Smart retail store, building management, predictive maintenance, defect detection)
  • FULL VALUE CHAIN ENGAGEMENT, including influential users such as CCFA (a top China retail association), Bailian Group, and Fast Retailing. Top utility and manufacturing brands such as State Grid and BaoWu Steel. Top investors, and those representing emerging technologies such as EdgeX Foundry, AI, Drone, Blockchain, 5G, and Satellite communication.
  • Community supporters like Canonical, DELL Technologies, HP, IOTech, Tencent, Thundersoft, VMware, and Innospace (a high-tech startup in PRC).
  • 173K votes were cast on WeChat with more than 50K+ blog views

The EdgeX Foundry Challenge Shanghai 2020 launched on July 3, and went through six main competition and review sessions:

  • Ideation and the program development challenge
  • Mentor and checkpoint sessions
  • Intel devkit distribution
  • Live streaming roadshow
  • Social media vote
  • Award ceremony

The team took a constructive approach to blend virtual and physical hackathon sessions. The quality of use cases and emerging technologies showcased was innovative and inspirational.

Results

We’d like to congratulate all of the teams who made the award list, and shared their expertise, ideas and technical acumen with the greater community. Here are the award winners:

To learn more about the award winners, click here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1SUYLtgnmiqFAciqqCpaaP1Wn8uMvB0P4.

Think Big and Beyond

Today, edge computing has become a foundation of IOT architecture. We believe the timing is now, for both EdgeX Foundry and IOT developers to collaborate together to build IOT solutions for the most challenging industry problems, and more importantly, to deploy them in real scenarios digitalizing everything and changing the world.

On behalf of Intel and those collaborating on the EdgeX Foundry and the China Project, we look forward to supporting you on this journey. See you at the next challenge!

Other EdgeX Foundry Challenge Shanghai resources:

  • Click here to watch a video of how participants worked through the challenge
  • Click here to read a recap of the process
  • Click here to read the kick off blog that explains the rules and showcases sponsors

For more about the EdgeX Foundry China Project, visit the wiki at https://wiki.edgexfoundry.org/display/FA/China+Project.

LF Edge Member Spotlight: Equinix

By Blog, LF Edge, Member Spotlight

The LF Edge community is comprised of a diverse set of member companies and people that represent the IoT, Enterprise, Cloud and Telco Edge. The Member Spotlight blog series highlights these members and how they are contributing to and leveraging open source edge solutions. Today, we sit down with Justin Dustzadeh, Chief Technology Officer at Equinix, to discuss the importance of open source, collaborating with industry leaders in edge computing, their leadership of the Akraino Public Cloud Edge Interface (PCEI) Blueprint and the impact of being a part of the LF Edge ecosystem.

 

Can you tell us a little about your organization?

Equinix is a digital infrastructure company. We offer the world’s largest platform of high-quality data centers, including reliable interconnection to ecosystems of enterprises, clouds, networks and IT providers. With our global footprint of 220+ data centers in 26 countries, we currently serve nearly 10,000 customers, including the largest cloud providers, Fortune 500 enterprises and Global 2000 companies. Platform Equinix contains the highest share of public cloud on-ramps and most physically- and virtually-interconnected ecosystems.

Why is your organization adopting an open-source approach?

Consistent with our software-defined-everything vision, we believe in a software-first approach and the vital role of software in enabling the vision of digital transformation as a service. We believe in innovation through collaboration, and the power of the developer community and open-source ecosystems where participants can collaborate to develop software and improve it together.

We have significantly increased our engagements in the developer community and open-source ecosystems, including within the Linux Foundation where we have various technical and leadership roles and are actively engaged to help drive and contribute to a few key projects where we believe we can add value. Our participation within the Linux Foundation includes a Premier (top-level) membership with LF Edge, a Silver (standard-level) membership with LF Networking and a Gold (2nd-top-level) membership with Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

Why did you join LF Edge and what sort of impact do you think LF Edge has on the edge, networking, and IoT industries?

The charter of LF Edge, focusing on establishing an open, interoperable framework for edge computing is well aligned with our vision of the edge. We believe that the edge will be richly-interconnected, with required capabilities for multi-domain, edge-to-multicloud orchestration, potentially spanning devices, access and aggregation networks, interconnected data centers and core clouds.

The diversity of edge use cases, such as IoT, distributed AI, private 5G, radio edge cloud (to name a few), and the corresponding technology and architecture requirements, reinforces the notion that edge will be everywhere and will evolve into an increasingly-complex ecosystem. We strongly believe that a community approach to help define a set of real-world edge use cases and capabilities integrated as blueprints, implemented with modern software stacks and cloud-native technologies, will accelerate the deployment of edge solutions with minimum friction, benefitting users and customers.

What do you see as the top benefits of being part of the LF Edge community?

We see a great synergy between the neutral role of Equinix, as the trusted global platform for reliable, highly-distributed and interconnected edge infrastructure, and the rich ecosystem of hardware, software, connectivity, content and cloud players required to enable various edge use cases. LF Edge is a forum where we can collaborate with many of these players in an open environment and co-develop edge solutions that can benefit from leveraging our infrastructure capabilities in service to the LF Edge community members and our customers.

What sort of contributions has your team made to the community, ecosystem through LF Edge participation?

Equinix has been actively engaged within the LF Edge Akraino community, serving as co-chair of the technical steering committee (TSC) and as project technical lead (PTL) for the Public Cloud Edge Interface (PCEI) Blueprint. Our contributions in the PCEI blueprint include: (i) the definition of the multi-domain architecture for interworking between mobile edge, public cloud core and edge, and 3rd-party edge applications/functions, as well as the underlying infrastructure such as data centers, compute hardware and networks, and (ii) the development of PCEI blueprint implementation for Akraino Release 4 demonstrating the use of edge multi-cloud orchestrator (EMCO, based on ONAP) for onboarding and deployment of cloud-native public cloud edge (PCE) applications from Azure IoT Edge and AWS IoT Greengrass Core on edge compute Kubernetes clusters to show end-to-end low-power wide-area (LPWA) IoT operation using 4G access and virtual evolved packet core (vEPC). We are contributing our lab infrastructure and interconnection resources and have been working closely with Microsoft, Aarna Networks, Intel, Arm, China Mobile and Verizon on integrating and demonstrating the initial PCEI blueprint.

What do you think sets LF Edge apart from other industry alliances?

LF Edge/Akraino is involved in a very diverse set of blueprints targeting enterprises, telcos and clouds while also interworking with other organizations and communities, such as ORAN, 3GPP, CNCF, LF Networking, TIP, ETSI and MEF. There are today over 30 active blueprint projects in Akraino. The breadth and depth of these use cases are unique in the industry, but the most important point is that these blueprints are not built in a vacuum – they align and make use of the upstream code and standards, showing running deployments where these architectures and interfaces are implemented.

How will LF Edge help your business?

We think that the LF Edge community will find it beneficial to make use of Equinix infrastructure and services that can help support edge deployments and applications. These capabilities include our data centers, interconnection fabric providing access to many networks, clouds and customers, bare metal hardware and orchestration and our virtualized network functions.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining LF Edge?

First and foremost, we believe it’s important to be aligned with the vision and charter of LF edge and have a good understanding of the various projects in order to effectively engage with the community and be prepared to contribute, e.g., by providing code or development resources, or integration/lab resources. One of the most remarkable aspects about LF Edge is the level of commitment, dedication and professionalism of the individuals who make up our community. The work being done on creating and demonstrating the blueprints is mainly on a volunteer basis, in addition to our primary jobs. We believe it’s this type of collaborative efforts (which take long hours, patience and trust) that will continue to drive technology innovation for edge computing for the years to come.

To find out more about LF Edge members or how to join, click here.

To learn more about Akraino, click here. Additionally, if you have questions or comments, visit the LF Edge Slack Channel and share your thoughts in the #akraino, #akraino-help, #akraino-tsc and #akraino-blueprints channels.

Predictions 2021: Open Edge & Networking

By Blog, LF Edge, Trend

Written by Arpit Joshipura is General Manager, Networking, Edge & IoT at the Linux Foundation

 

As we wrap up 2020, I wanted to take a moment to look at where the industry is headed and what we’ve learned this year. 

Telecom & Cloud ‘Plumbing’ based on 5G Open Source will drive accelerated investments from top markets (Government, Manufacturing, and Enterprises) 

This broad acceptance of open networking stacks shows the true power of what is possible when fat, fast, and functional features are at your fingertips. See information on ONAP’s Guilin release, EdgeX Foundry’s Hanoi release, and this recent post from FierceTelecom.

The Last piece of the “open” puzzle will fall in place: Radio Access Network (RAN)

The final closed architecture in the 148- year- old Telecom industry — the RAN — is finally open!  2021 will bring the first build-outs of open RAN technology in close collaboration with Edge and Core. Visit the O-RAN Software Community for more information. 

Remote Work” will continue to be the greatest positive distraction, especially within the open source community

LFN and LFE saw about 25-40% Growth in Developers and Contribution during 2020, and we expect the pace to pick up to almost 50% as more vertical industries embrace open source technologies. See Software Defined Vertical Industries: Transformation Through Open Source, a Linux Foundation white paper. 

“Futures” (aka bells and whistle features & future-looking capabilities) will give way to “functioning blueprints”  

Open source interoperability, compliance & verification for rapid deployment becomes the highest priority in 2021 beyond software. See the latest Blueprints from LF Edge’s Akraino project, as well as information on OPNFV + CNTT’s latest integrations.

AI/ML technologies become mainstream 

Closed loop control in an Intelligent Network paves the way for Intent-based Networking, and Predictive Maintenance emerges as a top use case in Edge using AI/ML.  What do you expect 2021 will bring to the open networking and edge table?

What did I miss? I would love to have your comments on LinkedIn.

The EdgeX Foundry Hanoi Release

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

By Jim White, EdgeX Foundry TSC Chairman

What a year 2020 has been!  If you are like me, you are looking for some stability and normalization right now.  For me, in addition to my family, I have come to rely on my work with the incredibly talented and dedicated people of the EdgeX Foundry community as an element of my centeredness and stability.

And just like stable clockwork, the community is delivering its seventh release of EdgeX Foundry.  We release EdgeX each spring and fall and this is the seventh consecutive semi-annual release since our founding in April of 2017.  That’s showing some pretty good consistency and it is all due to the efforts of some outstanding contributors.  This is the “Hanoi” release and it is a minor version release (1.3).  It follows and is backward compatible with our Geneva (v1.2) release that came out this spring.

Hanoi Features

Even though this is a minor release, there are all sorts of new features.  Too many to list them all, but here is a smattering of some of the more significant highlights:

Restructure of Compose Files:  For convenience, the project makes all the EdgeX micro services available in Docker Hub.  For further convenience, we have always supplied a set of Docker Compose files which makes deploying and orchestrating all the micro service containers to your target platform easier.  However, there have been so many EdgeX service options and configurations that EdgeX adopters typically had to do some customization of the Compose file(s) in order to suit their use case and needs.  With the Hanoi release, adopters will find that EdgeX now has a Compose file “make” capability that allows users to more easily customize their Compose file without a lot of manual editing.

Edge Data Tagging (location tagging): EdgeX already has the ability to get the collected sensor data to your choice of cloud, enterprise or other application in the format and structure that you want.  Now in Hanoi, you can tag the data coming from an EdgeX instance so that when it arrives in the cloud, enterprise, or in another application you know where it came from.  This is important when you have many EdgeX instances sending in edge data.  You can configure each EdgeX instance to tag the data as you see fit.  You could use the edge node’s address or system identifier, device identifier, a GPS location, node label or any means you desire to pin the incoming data in some meaningful way so that using systems and applications know where the data originated.

CLI tool: EdgeX formally launches its command line interface tool with this release.  The CLI allows developers and adopters to issue all sorts of EdgeX API calls to its services using terminal commands.  This allows for easier scripting of tasks that take care of duties such as provisioning a device, or setting up a schedule.

UI improvements: EdgeX, as edge middleware, operates in a headless way.  The UI was greatly revitalized and improved in this release.  It was not constructed for production, but you can use it for development and demonstration purposes.  The new UI allows you to see the status of the system, interact with its configuration facilities and even display some of the collected sensor data.

Fledge integration:  EdgeX is a member of the LF Edge umbrella project.  The purpose of LF Edge is to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud or operating system.  EdgeX has participated with a number of projects within the umbrella, but with this release, EdgeX has provided a sample service to export data from EdgeX to Fledge.  This allows EdgeX device connectors and capabilities to be used with Fledge instances.  Conversely, with their next release, the Fledge project intends to provide a device service to allow Fledge instances to feed EdgeX instances.

Distributed Device Services:  EdgeX, as a micro service platform, supports the idea of distributing the micro services across whatever compute and network you have available.  Having said that, actually distributing services of EdgeX to different hosts could be a challenge.  In the Hanoi release, we make it easier to distribute device services – that is the “thing” connector services – to other hosts.

Performance and scalability testing:  The EdgeX testing/QA team has been hard at work during this release to provide some initial performance and scalability testing apparatus.  With this capability, EdgeX has the ability to start to provide some guidance around how EdgeX scales as the amount of data gets pushed through the system or how many devices of particular types you can hang on an instance of EdgeX.  Our harness is still in its early stages with this release, but it allows adopters to begin to do some calculations about how a large-scale deployment with EdgeX would look.

Security Guidelines and Improvements: With each release, EdgeX has worked to improve our system security.  In this release, we have provided several guidelines for how to improve the EdgeX security posture.  For example, we offer a guideline on how to setup and use SSH tunneling (specifically for device service communications) or an overlay network for secure communications between services when needed.   In addition to guidelines, we have made several improvements to security services. One such example is a new hook in the security secret store setup service which provides for hardware-assisted protection of the secret store master key when available. In this release, we also completed several important security feature designs that, while not in Hanoi, will show up in Ireland and Jakarta releases in 2021.

Device Service Contributions:  during this release cycle, we have had several device service contributions.  Many of these device services are not quite ready for formal release, but they are available in our GitHub repositories for exploration.  We expect several of these device services to be approved and adopted by the community in the coming months (device services release separately from the rest of EdgeX services).  New device service connectors were donated for LLRP (for RFID), CoAP, GPIO, and UART.  An LLRP application service has also recently been donated.

Improvements Behind Scenes

Beyond the new Hanoi features and improvements, several other project improvements and ecosystem programs have been added with this release.  These changes aren’t directly reflected in our EdgeX micro service platform, but they help improve the software quality, improve our development processes, or make adoption and use of EdgeX easier and better.

New User Experience Program:  With Hanoi, the EdgeX community will shortly be announcing the availability of a new user program.  In this program, users will attest they can get an EdgeX instance up and running, and have some familiarity with device profiles and getting data through the platform.  The goal of the program is to provide awareness of users and their organizations that have EdgeX expertise while also promoting the sharing of EdgeX device connectivity elements (like Device Profiles) and sample data sets which can be used to accelerate adoption of the platform.

Canonical Management of Snaps:  Canonical has been a great partner and participant in the EdgeX community.  They have added immeasurably to the project in so many areas, and because of their open source experience, they have also provided the project with many lessons learned and guidance.  Since the Dehli release of EdgeX, the community has published EdgeX snap packages.  Snaps are app packages for desktop, cloud and IoT that are easy to install, secure, cross‐platform and dependency‐free. In providing Snaps, along with Docker images, EdgeX offers two examples of how EdgeX can be packaged and deployed.  With this release, Canonical has taken over the maintenance and publishing to the Snap Store of the official EdgeX snaps. Transferring the management and publishing to Canonical is a meaningful change in that it signals Canonical’s continued commitment to the project as well as signaling that EdgeX is important to the edge/IoT communities of the Ubuntu world.

Web site refresh: The EdgeX Web site has undergone an immense refresh during this release cycle under the direction of our marketing group.  The web site refresh helps to clarify the purpose and use cases of EdgeX, highlight the efforts of our community members, and will help adopters and users get familiar with EdgeX quicker and easier.

Introduction of the Adopter Series:  During this release, a spot light was placed on organizations using and adopting EdgeX in their products and projects.  In particular, throughout the summer, Accenture, ThunderSoft, Jiangxing Intelligence, Tibco and Intel all provided webinars on their use of EdgeX – highlighting why they chose EdgeX and what they hoped to see in future EdgeX releases.  Additional adopter series presentations are expected from HP and IOTech later this year.  This series has been instrumental in helping to drive more adoption, highlight real world EdgeX use cases, and provide critical feedback to the EdgeX community of developers.

DevOps Improvements: The EdgeX release is just the visible tip of a long arduous process of creating open source software.  Behind the scenes, teams of people labor to create and test the software.  And another team supports the developers that create and test the software.  The EdgeX developer operation’s (DevOps) CI/CD processes are some of the most well-constructed and engineer-time-saving systems on the planet.  The EdgeX DevOps team is the envy of the open source world and I dare say they would be the envy of most corporations.  Intel has substantially led the EdgeX DevOps team for a few years now.  In this release, they continued to add, improve and simplify the CI/CD process and tools.  These are not elements that end users get to see.  Inside the project, we appreciate how much more efficient it makes our developers and allows our project to add more features and fix more bugs.

Improvements in Software Development Processes and Tools:  EdgeX Foundry developers take their craft seriously and try to improve the EdgeX product by always looking at instituting the best/latest tools and processes.  During this release, a new process was instituted to vet 3rd party packages used by the micro services.  The intent is to reduce bloat in the services as well as eliminate the use of poorly maintained or utilized 3rd party packages.  In addition, a new tool was put in place to check any micro service’s use of a package (library or module) and notify the project (via automatic pull request) when a new version of the package is available.  In this way, EdgeX hopes to keep on top of outside improvements and the evolution of software we use internally.  Finally, we adopted the Conventional Commits Specification to help improve our git commit messages, which in turn we hope to use to improve our release notes and release information in the future.

Why Explore the Hanoi Release?

If you are already an adopter of EdgeX and you are using the Edinburgh, Fuji, or Geneva releases, migrating to Hanoi is straightforward as this release is backward compatible with any 1.x release.  You want to move up in order to get the bug fixes and improvements without seeing any functionality changes or losses.  Furthermore, the EdgeX community works hard to address issues, when possible, with the latest release.  If you encounter an issue with earlier releases, the community will ask you to upgrade before putting a lot of effort in trying to address an earlier release issue.

Another important reason to download and use the Hanoi release is to start to explore the version 2 (V2) APIs that have been provided as experimental / beta APIs as part of this release.  EdgeX is in the midst of a refactoring and improvement of our micro service APIs.  These new V2 APIs, when completed, remove a lot of early EdgeX technical debt and will provide a better informational exchange as well as allow for many new, future release features.  For one, the request and response object models in the new APIs are richer and better organized and these models will better support communications via alternate protocols (i.e. message bus versus REST/HTTP communications) in the future.

The construction of the entire V2 API will take us at least two releases.  So, they are not complete and not provided for production level use yet (some may change and therefore be non-backward compatible).   But with Hanoi, you can start to explore the new APIs and make plans for how the changes and improvements can be used in your solutions.  We also hope it will allow our adopters and community to provide feedback on where additional changes or improvements are necessary.

On To Ireland

What’s next for EdgeX?  Big things!  We are in the midst of planning our Ireland release.  It is tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2021.  It is likely that Ireland will be EdgeX 2.0 – a major release – and will include a number of significant changes.  First and foremost, it will likely contain our new V2 API set and V2 API testing (and allow us to deprecate the V1 APIs and older blackbox testing).  It will include a number of security improvements.  We are also looking at allowing device services to message application services directly (allowing for better quality of service when needed and bypassing persistence when not needed). 

Given this will likely be a 2.0 release (and by definition contain some non-backward compatible features), we will also take the opportunity to sunset and remove several legacy services and items in EdgeX – like use of Mongo for persistence and Drools for the rules engine.

Thanks Keith

This is my first release as the Chair of EdgeX Foundry Technical Steering Committee.  I have been with the project since day one, but before me, Keith Steele was our TSC Chair and I served as his Vice.  Keith helped the project through 3 years of growth and 6 six successful releases.  He taught me a lot and put this project on sound footings.  And while he is not gone (he still serves on our TSC and is driving EdgeX outreach), the project is indebted to his service and leadership to the project.  He has left very big shoes to fill.  

But as I mentioned, this community drives me forward and is my stability.  My job is just to try to eliminate road blocks and stay out of their way.  It is a fun group of people to work with and collaborate.  Adoption of EdgeX is growing (we now enjoy over 7 million container downloads).  Our community is strong and friendly.  Plenty of room to come join us! 

What do LF Edge, Akraino, OPNFV, ONAP, Fishing and Fairy Tales Have in Common?

By Akraino, Blog

Written by Aaron Williams, LF Edge Developer Advocate

What do LF Edge, Akraino, OPNFV, ONAP, fishing and fairy tales have in common?  They all came up during our interview with the new Chair and Co-Chair of LF Edge’s project Akraino.

LF Edge’s Akraino project recently wrapped up our semi-annual face to face and welcomed newly elected Technical Steering Committee Chairs.

After two terms of serving as a co-chair, Tina Tsou, Enterprise Architect at Arm, was elected to be the Chair this year and Oleg Berzin, Technology Innovation Fellow under the Office of the CTO at Equinix, was elected Co-Chair by the Akraino TSC members.  We sat down with Tina and Oleg to learn more about them, what they are looking forward to next year, and how they see Akraino growing in 2021.

Tina Tsou

Oleg Berzin

How did you first get involved with Akraino?  

[Tina Tsou] My introduction to Akraino happened when I was working on an Edge use case for one of our customers at Arm. But I’m no stranger to the open source communities and working groups. Before Akraino, I directed the OPNFV (Open Platform for Network Function Virtualization) Auto project as PTL, integrating ONAP onto OPNFV (upon both x86 and Arm architecture and hardware) with a focus on edge cloud use cases. I was also the Chair of the Open Source SDN Breckenridge Working Group.

I am currently an active member of the Linux Foundation Networking (LFN) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and also lead the VPP/AArch64 activities in FD.io representing Arm.

[Oleg Berzin] Akraino aligned with my interest in the Edge and more specifically in the multi-domain nature of the Edge (spanning from devices to networks, to aggregation, to data centers, to clouds). I was involved in the ONAP (Open Network Automation Platform) project in the past (as an operator/user). With the diverse and complex nature of the edge deployments, we need a community supported set of capabilities integrated as blueprints so customers/user can deploy these solutions with minimum friction.

What was the first blueprint that you worked on?

[Tina Tsou] For Akraino, I worked closely on the Integrated Edge Cloud(IEC) blueprint family which is part of the Edge Stack of Akraino. The blueprint intends to develop a fully integrated edge infrastructure solution for Edge Computing. This open source software stack provides critical infrastructure to enable high performance, reduced latency, improved availability, lower operational overhead, provide scalability, address security needs, and improve fault management. The IEC project will address multiple edge use cases beyond the Telco Industry. IEC intends to develop solutions and support the needs of carriers, service providers, and the IoT networks.

[Oleg Berzin] The first blueprint I worked on was the Public Cloud Edge Interface (PCEI). The idea behind PCEI is to enable interworking between mobile operators, public clouds and edge infrastructure/application providers so that operators have a systematic way to enable their customers access to public and 3rd party edge compute resources and applications via open APIs that facilitate deployment of telco and edge compute functions, interconnection of these functions as well as intelligent orchestration of workloads so that the expected performance characteristics can be achieved.

What is a Blueprint that you find interesting (I know that you don’t have a “favorite”)?

[Tina Tsou] You’re right. It is hard to choose a favorite blueprint since all of them are interesting and serve purposeful needs for many use cases. But here are two that I find very interesting:

School/Education Video Security Monitoring Blueprint: This belongs to the AI Edge Blueprint family and focuses on establishing an open source MEC platform that combined with AI capacities at the Edge. In this blueprint, the latest technologies and frameworks like microservice framework, Kata container, 5G accelerating, and open API have been integrated to build an industry-leading edge cloud architecture that could provide comprehensive computing acceleration support at the edge. This blueprint is a life saver and hence my favorite since it improves the safety and engagement in places such as factories, industrial parks, catering services, and classrooms that rely on AI-assisted surveillance.

IIoT at the Smart Device Edge Blueprint family: This blueprint family use case is for those devices that live at the Smart Device Edge are characterized by having a small footprint yet being powerful enough to be able to compute tasks at the edge.  They tend to have a minimum of 256 MB for a single node and can grow to the size of a small cluster.  These resources could be a router, hub, server, or gateway that are accessible.  Since these device types vary heavily based on the form factor and use case served, they have a very fragmented security and device standards on how the OS and firmware is booted. This is where Arm backed initiatives like Project Cassini and PARSEC helps to enable the standardization of device booting and platform security. I’m excited for this blueprint to see successful deployments of Edge based compute.

[Oleg Berzin] One thing that surprised me when I joined Akraino was the diversity of use cases (IOT, AI, Private 5G, Radio Edge Cloud) that reinforce the notion that edge is everywhere and that it is very complex. I am honored to work with the Akraino community and contributing to the development of blueprints. At this point in time my goal is to make progress in the PCEI blueprint.

Is there a Blueprint that you are looking forward to seeing develop?

[Tina Tsou] I prefer the IEC Type 3: Android cloud native applications on Arm servers in edge for Integrated Edge Cloud (IEC) Blueprint Family. It evolves from Anbox based for single instance in R3, Robox based for multiple instances in R4, and my hope is to have a support for vGPU in the near future.

[Oleg Berzin] I think the Radio Edge Cloud is a very interesting blueprint. If developed, it has a potential of revolutionizing how the radio infrastructure is managed and adopted to diverse use cases.

What is the biggest misconception that people have about Akraino?

[Tina Tsou] As with many open source projects and technologies, the common perception that users have is that these projects serve a very narrow use case. I believe Akraino suffers from a similar misconception that it is a Telco-oriented project only. The reality is quite different. Akraino project blueprints can be applied in many facets of the industry verticals from Edge, Cloud, Enterprises, and IoT.

[Oleg Berzin] I am relatively new to Akraino, and my own misconception was that it only focused on small edge devices and IoT. As a Co-Chair and now having been exposed to the breadth and depth of use cases, I can now see that Akraino is involved in a very diverse set of blueprints targeting enterprise, telco and clouds while also interworking with other organizations and communities, such as ORAN, 3GPP, CNCF, LF Networking, TIP.

What are your and Akraino’s priorities for 2021?

[Tina Tsou &Oleg Berzin] There are multiple that we can list but we would point to these top 3 priorities for 2021.

  1. Akraino Blueprints for O-RAN specifications (e.g., REC integration with RIC)
  2. Akraino Blueprint to support Public Cloud Edge interface
  3. Akraino Edge APIs

What do you like to do in your free time?

[Tina Tsou] I live in the sunny-California bay area and I love fishing during weekends. Anyone who is interested to join me and have a chat about the Akraino project can contact me. 🙂

[Oleg Berzin] Apart from being involved in the technology and networking industry for many years, I enjoy learning new languages and finding common roots in different cultures. I sometimes find inspiration and time to translate children fairy tales from Russian into English – you can find the tales that I translated on Amazon.

Anything that you want people to know about Akraino?

[Tina Tsou] Ever since its launch in 2018, Akraino has found great community support for innovative creation of deployable Edge solutions with work going in more than 30+ Blueprints. These Akraino blueprints are now globally deployed to address several Edge Use Cases. It is a vast community with many active users and contributors and here are few things to know of:

  • Akraino hosts sophisticated communities and multiple user labs to speed the edge innovation.
  • Akraino delivered fully functional new Blueprints for deployment in R3 to address edge use cases such as 5G MEC, AI Edge, Cloud Gaming at Edge, Android in Cloud, Micro-MEC and Hardware acceleration at the edge.
  • Created framework for defining and standardizing APIs across stacks, via upstream/downstream collaboration and published a whitepaper.
  • Akraino introduced tools for automated Blueprint Validations, security tools for Blueprint Hardening and Edge API’s in collaboration with LF Edge projects
  • Akraino community has participated in several industry outreach events that featured participation to foster collaboration and engagement on edge projects across the entire ecosystem.

[Oleg Berzin] The most important fact I want people to know about Akraino is the dedication and professionalism of the individuals who make up our community. The work they do on creating and proving the blueprints is done on a volunteer basis in addition to their primary jobs. It takes long hours, patience, respect for others and true trust to work together and move the edge technology forward.