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EdgeX Open: Training

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

What is EdgeX Foundry?

The EdgeX Foundry is a Linux Foundation project with the goal of providing an open and extensible platform for IoT edge computing. As a platform, EdgeX doesn’t try to solve business problems directly, but rather to provide a solid base for such a solution to be built using off the shelf components, provided by the EdgeX Foundry project or 3rd parties, which all interoperate using the same open APIs.

EdgeX is built as a collection of microservices which communicate with each other over a set of standard, open REST APIs. This design gives it a few  distinct advantages over other approaches to edge computing. First, it allows you to run the microservices on different machines, or even on different parts of the network. For example, you can run device controlling services on the devices themselves, with the data collection and processing services on a computer with more storage and CPU capability. This design also means that individual components can be substituted with alternative implementations that fill a specific need, without having to replace or modify any of the other services. Finally, it allows you to add new services that bring in new capabilities. The most common types of services to add into EdgeX are custom Device and Application services.

How EdgeX fits into a smart edge solutions

Every IoT project needs to address the difficulties of connecting multiple, disparate devices together and to controlling software, often over slow or unreliable connections. As such, managing that communication, providing fault tolerance, security, and near-device compute capabilities are a functions any successful IoT project must provide. This common plumbing is precisely what EdgeX Foundry provides.

By using EdgeX components in your solution, you get a mature, tested, stable foundation on which you can build your own value-add products or services.

  • If you are building smart IoT devices, you can use EdgeX to connect to existing cloud offerings or datacenter software without having to build those connections into your device.
  • If you are developing analytics, automation or other kinds of business intelligence software, EdgeX lets you ingest data from devices that speak any number of protocols and use many different data models, without having to build those translations and transformations yourself.
  • If you provide custom deployments, EdgeX gives you an ecosystem of plug-and-play components that you can use to build up complex solutions quickly and reliably.

Running EdgeX in a development environment

You can build the EdgeX Foundry services using the open source code on Github, but more often than now you just need to get these services running so that you can connect your own services to them. To support that, the project publishes Docker images based on the latest stable release of the open source code, as well as docker-compose.yml files that will run all the necessary services together on your development machine.

  1. Install Docker and Docker Compose
  2. Download the latest stable docker-compose.yml file
  3. Run `docker-compose up -d`
  4. Verify that the services are all working with `docker-compose ps`
  5. Test the APIs with http://localhost:48080/api/v1/ping

Once you have the EdgeX services running, you can take our Quick Start guide, or more in-depth API Walkthrough to get a feel for how EdgeX services work together.

Extending EdgeX to hardware with Device Services

In order to connect new devices to your EdgeX instance you will need to use a Device Service. These specialized services are responsible for communicating to devices over their own protocol, sending data from them into the EdgeX core-data service, and taking commands from the EdgeX core-command service and using them to control the device.

The EdgeX Foundry provides reference device services for a number of common IoT and smart device protocols, including MQTTModbus and plain HTTP, and you can use those pre-written services if your device supports those protocols. But if you need something more, the EdgeX Foundry Device SDKs make it easy for you to build a new device service capable of supporting your device.

Using either the Go or C SDKs, you can bootstrap a new Device Service that will already handle all of the setup and configuration for your new service, including uploading your Device Profiles into EdgeX core-metadata, provisioning any devices you have pre-defined, and scheduling automatic readings from your devices. The SDK also provides functions for calling all the common EdgeX APIs in a language-friendly way. All you have to do is add your device-specific connection and control code.

Training Tip: You can do end-to-end testing of your new Device Service by connecting your local EdgeX deployment up to a cloud service or NodeRed instance, and watch the readings flow in and commands go out.

Extending EdgeX to the cloud with Application Services

Since EdgeX Foundry itself doesn’t try to do anything other than efficiently moving data off the edge, you’re eventually going to want to send that data to some software for further processing. To do that, EdgeX provides a couple of ways to publish data to software running either on the edge, in a data center, or the cloud.

The first method is to use the pre-built Export Services, which are capable of sending data as JSON or XML over simple HTTP or MQTT to another service. This is a good option if you are using a service that already knows how to handle these common protocols, and can do any data transformations you need.

But if those aren’t suitable, the EdgeX Foundry also provides an Application Functions SDK for writing custom handlers, which can do anything from publishing data to a remote host, to performing local transformations, analytics and responses right from the edge. The SDK allows you to trigger you application functions whenever data comes into EdgeX, or on-demand, and even provides functions for publishing your data (via HTTP or MQTT) when you’re done handling it locally. Application Functions can even be chained together to build complex pipelines, reusing the same Application Functions in different ways.

Training Tip: You can do end-to-end testing of your new Application Service by connecting the Virtual Device Service to your local EdgeX deployment, which can simulate device data coming in.

EdgeX Foundry Contributors and Users Share Thoughts on the Edinburgh Release, the Growing Ecosystem and more!

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Last month, EdgeX Foundry released its production ready Edinburgh release, which provides an open platform for IoT edge computing to a growing global ecosystem for a range of vertical markets including enterprise, industrial, retail and consumer. The fourth release in the EdgeX roadmap, the EdgeX Edinburgh release supports complementary products and services such as commercial support, training and customer pilot programs created by LF Edge members and contributors.

Now that EdgeX is “ready for primetime,” learn more about what contributors and users of the EdgeX Foundry platform had to say about the new release.

According to AWS, AWS, Dell Technologies, and the open-source EdgeX Foundry have collaborated to create IoT edge interoperability and simplify integration across inherently heterogeneous solution stacks. AWS customers can now seamlessly deploy AWS IoT Greengrass to the IoT edge within the EdgeX framework. The EdgeX framework enables data ingestion across connected devices and data sources for AWS IoT Greengrass and AWS IoT Core. This is further enhanced with plug-in value-add from the growing EdgeX and LF Edge ecosystems.

“AMD processors deliver the performance, advanced security features, and scalability to support the most demanding edge computing requirements, while providing breakthrough processing agility for x86-based IoT infrastructure. As a founding member of EdgeX Foundry, AMD continues to support a powerful and open ecosystem for interoperable IoT and edge compute solutions, that leverage the robust, scalable and open EdgeX framework.” – said Amey Deosthali, Director of Embedded Channel Applications, AMD

“HP joined the LF Edge project to help facilitate collaboration among industry-leading vendors and partners to solve common business problems. We are happy to see the Edinburgh production release by EdgeX Foundry to help support that objective. This release delivers commercial viability with increased stability and connectivity across a wide range of standards to reduce costs, complexity, and time to deploy. We look forward to seeing innovations at the edge that accelerate deployment of comprehensive retail use cases.” – Aaron Weiss, Vice President and General Manager, Retail Solutions, HP Inc.

“With the EdgeX Foundry Edinburgh Release, industrial IoT companies can easily integrate Mocana’s TrustCenter™ and TrustPoint™ cyber protection software solution to ensure the safety and reliability of industrial gateways and controllers. Mocana’s FIPS 140-2 validated device security software and security management platform enable companies to build and operate tamper-resistant products that protect the device, data, applications and communications. EdgeX and Mocana together help manufacturers and operators to accelerate compliance, ensure privacy, and protect the most complex industrial systems that run microservices, containerized applications, and hardware-based secure elements, such as the Trusted Platform Module (TPM).” – Keao Caindec, Head of Cyber Protection & Privacy, Mocana

“The production-ready EdgeX Foundry Edinburgh release provides important new capabilities for edge computing nodes.  The availability of an open, vendor-neutral source framework for connecting IoT devices to applications and cloud computing facilities is critical to the success of IoT and Edge processing efforts across multiple industries.” – Sam Fuller, Director of Strategy, NXP Semiconductors

EdgeX Foundry Hackathon

The EdgeX Foundry community is planning a series of hackathons focused on addressing real-world use cases with solutions built from commercial content from sponsors unified by the EdgeX framework.

The inaugural EdgeX hackathon will be hosted at Tech Nexus in Chicago on October 7 and 8. The event will focus on the retail market and work stemmed from the Commerce (e.g. Retail) Working Group within the EdgeX Foundry project and the related Open Retail Initiative (ORI).

Participating developers (from students to retail end users) will use their talents and creativity combined with the EdgeX framework, commercial content from sponsoring companies and the rules of the event to develop a solution for either one of the specified customer-valued retail use-cases or an additional open category.

Details about the competition, link to register and more will be available in the next few weeks. Stay tuned here for more.

Other supportive quotes:

“EdgeX Foundry is the key component of Beechwoods IoT gateway solution that allows our customers to engage confidently in edge computing technology. With the Edinburgh release, this solution will be ready to transition from customer engagement to product deployment.” – Brad Kemp, President, Beechwoods Software

“The Edinburgh release of EdgeX Foundry brings much needed standardization and stability for edge computing in production environments through an open source, common framework. The availability of the EdgeX Foundry snap enables developers an easy path to getting started with EdgeX Foundry, and benefit from confinement, easy integration into their own infrastructure, and automatic updates. In addition, this release introduces new device snaps providing integration with MQTT and ModBus.”- Loic Minier, IoT Field Engineering Director, Canonical

“As EdgeX Foundry reaches maturity with the Edinburgh release, CloudPlugs is excited to also announce the integration of the CloudPlugs IIoT platform with the open EdgeX ecosystem.  CloudPlugs IoT is a robust backend to deploy, orchestrate and manage EdgeX-compliant devices and micro service-based applications, as well as to manage and visualize field data. The EdgeX framework provides new levels of flexibility in field-level interoperability and the combination of EdgeX with CloudPlugs IoT delivers a powerful, end-to-end software and service stack to digitize assets and to deploy commercial and industrial IoT solutions at scale.” – Jimmy Garcia-Meza, CEO, CloudPLugs Inc. 

“Having started the EdgeX movement with a small team at Dell before contributing the code to the Linux Foundation, it’s certainly amazing to see the traction we’ve gotten through open, vendor neutral collaboration in a few short years. It’s a testament to the power of the network effect in the open source community which ultimately enables developers to focus on value rather than reinvention.” – Jason Shepherd, former chair of the EdgeX Foundry Governing Board and IoT and Edge CTO, Dell Technologies

“EdgeX Foundry provides an important software platform standardizing on the south bound IoT device connectivity and northbound data storage connectivity and allows vendors to plug in their core IoT capabilities in between. FogHorn is aligned with this data ingestion and publication standardization and will continue to collaborate as appropriate.” – Sastry Malladi, CTO, FogHorn

“The EdgeX platform offers HMS Networks a path to quickly build Industrial IoT solutions by providing predefined set of services for I/O functionality. HMS has created a J1939 service for EdgeX platform to help simplify IoT solutions for the commercial vehicle telemetry market. Ultimately, the EdgeX platform will significantly reduce the R&D investment required to create a majority of the Industrial IoT applications required in the market today.” – Tom McKinney, Director Engineering Services and Business Development, HMS Networks

“EdgeX Foundry is an important project arriving at the right time. It promises to connect devices to capabilities, and then get out of the way so you can run containerized workloads to generate insights, run model scoring, or detect anomalies… all at the edge. IBM is collaborating with EdgeX Foundry as part of our hybrid cloud strategy to help enterprises unlock the value of data from on-premises to the cloud to the edge.” – David Boloker, Distinguished Engineer, IBM

“EdgeX Foundry’s open source platform enables the industrial software ecosystem to integrate rapidly with ioTium’s managed services converged infrastructure offering – it’s microservices framework with open APIs is a powerful driver in the fragmented Industrial Control Systems market. ioTium enables rapid scalable deployment of the EdgeX Foundry framework globally.”- Ron Victor, CEO, ioTium 

“EdgeX Foundry provides an open framework for ease of design, development, & deployment at the Edge, while addressing stringent security,  privacy & compliance requirements. NetFoundry added its vendor-agnostic, connectivity-as-code solution to  EdgeX in order to enable developers and integrators to get similar ease of use, security and performance for their northbound application connectivity to core, clouds and service meshes. With the release of the EdgeX Edinburgh release, the EdgeX Foundry developer community has all the tools needed to deliver on market needs and ensure secure, agile innovation at the Edge” – Galeal Zino, CEO, NetFoundry Inc.

“As Digital Transformation for IoT gathers momentum, companies are demanding the same reliability, performance and security at the edge as they are used to getting from their Cloud Computing stack. With this release, EdgeX with Redis Labs RedisEdge not only delivers upon those expectations, but provides an ecosystem of open source technologies and plug-ins such as Redis Modules that help developers innovate.” – Dave Nielsen, Head of Community and Ecosystem Programs, Redis Labs

“EdgeX Foundry addresses the problem of the license stack at the IoT Edge constantly increasing in cost by providing a well architected, high performance, open source platform that can be used for industrial solutions today.” Mike Malone, Vice President, Technotects, Inc.

“EdgeX Foundry’s global community ecosystem has experienced explosive growth, and the tangible advances delivered in the EdgeX  Edinburgh release are exciting developments for edge computing. We fully support EdgeX Foundry’s goals to establish an open interoperable framework for edge computing to provide developers with increased control over how, when, where and with whom they run their applications and manage their data. We look forward to continuing our contributions to the EdgeX Foundry community and related efforts in fostering open industry-wide innovation such as the Open Retail initiative.” – Mimi Spier, Vice President, Edge and IoT Business, VMware

“As a founding member of LF Edge, Wipro is proud to have contributed to the Edinburgh release. We will continue to actively participate as it is a key platform for delivering open, microservices-based, edge IoT applications for today’s interoperable distributed enterprise world.” – Andrew Aitken, general manager and global open source practice leader, Wipro Limited.

“ZEDEDA’s vision is to free cloud-native and legacy apps to run on any edge device anywhere in the world. This vision drives our support for EdgeX Foundry and its mission of promoting open interoperability between edge devices. We’ve made our virtualization solutions compatible with EdgeX releases because we believe they will have a central role in our industry’s future.” – Joel Vincent, VP Marketing, ZEDEDA

To learn more about the EdgeX Foundry Edinburgh release:

Building Automation: A Sweet Spot for EdgeX Foundry

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

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

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

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

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

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

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

Using DockerHub in Akraino Edge Stack & Other Linux Foundation Projects

By Akraino, Blog

By Kaly Xin, Eric Ball,  and Cristina Pauna

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

Why Docker Hub is recommended for Multi-Arch

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

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

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

Figure 2: Docker fat manifest details

How does it work?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s next

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

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

By Blog, Open Glossary of Edge Computing

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

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

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

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

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

Grow the Community

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

The Taxonomy Project

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

  • Edge infrastructure
  • Edge devices
  • Edge software

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

The Edge Computing Landscape Map

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

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

Glossary 2.0

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

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

In Summary

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

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

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

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.