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EdgeX Foundry China Project Q1 Recap

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Written by Gavin Lu, LF Edge member, EdgeX Foundry China Project Lead and R&D Director in the VMware Office of the CTO

The EdgeX Foundry China Project launched in December 2019 with an active community in China that leveraged as many resources provided by LF Edge and EdgeX Foundry global community at possible. We’re happy to report that the first quarter has been a success.

All of our content is curated on the China Project wiki site.  Three monthly meetings were conducted on Jan 10, Feb 14 and Mar 6, where core contributors from VMware, Intel, Thundersoft, CertusNet, EMQ, IoTech and other active companies discuss the project, activities and outreach.

Webinars of technical talks

One of our focuses is to raise awareness for EdgeX Foundry in China and encourage developers to get more familiar with the EdgeX framework, unblock obstacles and boost their interest to contribute to the innovation of the community. We planned a hackathon and hosted a tight series of weekly webinars to introduce EdgeX Foundry components and code level analysis. We hosted six sessions led by VMware, Thundersoft,  IoTech and Intel with more than 500 developers attending these sessions.

Direct code contributions

The first result of our Virtual Sandbox came out in Q1. EMQ published an OSS project Kuiper for rule engine in edge & IoT area in last winter, and they had a strong interest to contribute to EdgeX Foundry community. China Project built the connection of EMQ with the proper technical leaders in EdgeX Foundry global community, and hosted the initial round of technical discussion meetings. Right now it’s agreed to include Kuiper container in EdgeX Docker Compose file, targeting to have that integration for Geneva release in Apr 2020. EMQ has biweekly meetings setup with EdgeX App WG to ensure that happen. This is the second major contribution from China to EdgeX community after UI by VMware, which we recently also added more resources to upgrade in the Geneva release next month.

We expect, encourage and support more direct substantial contributions coming later.

Evangelism

This quarter, we had Chinese Spring Festival break annually, and the recent coronavirus outburst also made a sudden and strong impact. While mostly working from home for better safety, members of China Project are still trying to make some progress to promote EdgeX Foundry. For examples,

  • Intel, Dell and VMware are leading EdgeX Foundry Hackathon plan in China, adapting the schedule accordingly.
  • Thundersoft is planning to co-organize an AI & IoT Innovation Contest with other hosts, and hold a webinar on EdgeX for developers.
  • Wayclouds is collaborating with Opple on smart lighting using EdgeX platform, targeting in mid of Apr.

As a common seen approach, we setup an official WeChat ID ”EdgeXFoundryCN” (“EdgeXFoundry社区” in Chinese), which will help us promote EdgeX Foundry as an independent communication channel. After just 10 days and three posts, the followers of this ID increased to around 150. We will leverage this WeChat ID as well as all existing EdgeX Foundry WeChat groups and Linux Foundation WeChat group, and other WeChat IDs operated by community members.

We understand that this is an extraordinary time, and we are adjusting to the rapidly evolving situation. In the meanwhile, we also try best to remain focused on supporting the community and delivering our commitments. Let’s work together and make it happen!

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

LF Edge Member Spotlight: Altran

By Akraino Edge Stack, Blog, LF Edge, Member Spotlight

The LF Edge community is comprised of a diverse set of member companies 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 sat down with Shamik Mishra, Vice President, Research and Innovation of Altran, to discuss the importance of open source software, collaborating with industry leaders in edge computing, security, how they contribute to the Akraino Edge Stack project and the impact of being a part of the LF Edge ecosystem.

Can you tell us a little about your organization?

Altran is a world leader in engineering and R&D services. The Group offers a unique value proposition that helps customers meet their transformation and innovation challenges. Altran supports its customers, from concept to industrialization, to develop the products and services of tomorrow. Altran has been working for more than 35 years with major players in many sectors: Automotive, Aeronautics, Space, Defense & Naval, Rail, Infrastructure & Transport, Industry & Consumer Products, Life Sciences, Communications, Semiconductor & Electronics, Software & Internet, Finance & Public Sector. In 2019, Capgemini, and Altran announced a merger project in the context of a friendly tender offer to create a global leader in Intelligent Industry. Altran generated 3.2 billion in revenue in 2019, with more than 50,000 employees in more than 30 countries.

Why is your organization adopting an open source approach?

Open Source Software has revolutionized the technology industry globally in more ways than one. It has significantly shortened software/product development cycles, spurred innovation and boosted entrepreneurship. Licenses come free of cost, with the expenses typically being for deploying, hardening, supporting, customizing, and maintaining the software. Businesses have the flexibility of choosing and customizing the best solutions for their needs. At Altran, we help our clients lead into the future by solving their most complex engineering and R&D problems through specialized solutions. We see open source software as an opportunity to differentiate our offerings by accelerating development of such solutions for our clients. This provides them the required flexibility of choice and a way to optimize costs for creating value towards their clients.

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

Altran envisioned the significant role and impact of Edge Computing early in its evolution cycle. However, one of the key challenges is that different organizations in the industry perceive Edge Computing differently based on the nature of their business or pursuit. LF Edge is an umbrella organization that is agnostic of hardware, silicon, cloud and OS. This helps the industry leaders arrive at a common understanding of Edge Computing and create an open and standard framework for the technology. We believe LF Edge can decisively reduce the semantic dissonance on Edge Computing in the industry and help businesses work together to accelerate innovation.

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

 LF Edge community has industry leading organizations as members who specialize in large-scale hardware manufacturing (chip, mobile devices, network equipment etc.), software product development, operating systems, engineering services, telecom services, cloud solutions and more. This diversity helps set a broad framework for Edge Computing by considering various concerns and scenarios relevant to the member domains. Since the framework will be open source, it strengthens its credibility and will likely be adopted widely in the industry. Altran being a world leader in engineering and R&D services, believes the LF Edge forum presents a unique opportunity to engage with the community and contribute to the open source Edge Computing framework. Based on our early start in this space, the exposure to experts on the LF Edge forum helps us to benefit from the views and propositions of diverse organizations to validate and strengthen our service offerings and competencies in Edge Computing.

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

Altran aims to play a leading role in the Edge Computing ecosystem by contributing some of its software and solution breakthroughs to the open community, including (but not limited to) contributions to compute frameworks, APIs, management plane and use cases. Altran is currently actively pursuing the Akraino project particularly on security aspects. Other interest areas are device edge and intelligent application development leveraging the LF edge projects.

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

Three key features set LF Edge apart from other industry alliances and are likely to make it successful: 1. The diversity of members. The community has members ranging across multiple domains such as Chip, Mobile, Network Equipment Manufacturing, software product development, telecom service providers, cloud service providers, engineering service providers etc. The diversity is also geographical. It includes organizations that are across various geos, thereby helping to absorb wide range of views and concerns for the community. With so much diversity the framework is inclined to remain neutral and is unlikely to be driven by the interests of a few members in the community. 2. The timing of the alliance Edge Compute, in its evolution, is currently at a point, where it is possible for the industry to come together and define a framework and standards that can be eventually adopted by various players and can be evolved and customized. Unlike other alliances, the timing of this alliance helps it to be more successful. 3. The framework is open source and the projects onboarded are also open source. This makes it easy to accelerate the innovation in this space. The community also draws strength from the support of Linux Foundation.

How will  LF Edge help your business?

Altran’s vision for Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) is to create a developer-centric architecture and cloud-native platform that will make Edge discovery, onboarding and management of applications easy and seamless for Edge application developers. The Altran Ensconce platform brings together multiple capabilities, accelerators and frameworks that enables rapid development of Multi-Access Edge Compute (MEC) solutions. Being part of LF Edge, we see an opportunity to further evolve our MEC solutions, working with the LF Edge alliance on the open source framework for Edge Computing. We believe that our clients can benefit from this approach by quick adoption of our solutions and be ahead in their businesses. We also believe that there is a unique opportunity for us to contribute to the community from our experience.

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

LF Edge is a great opportunity for various organizations in the industry that are interested in collaborating with other industry leaders to drive innovation in Edge Computing and mutually benefit from the ecosystem. Organizations can shape the future of Edge Computing by joining this alliance early in the innovation cycle.

To learn more about Akraino Edge Stack, click here. To find out more about our members or how to join LF Edge, click here. Additionally, if you have questions or comments, visit the  LF Edge Slack Channel and share your thoughts in the #community or #akraino-tsc channels.

How Open Source is Driving 5G, Edge, AI and IoT

By Blog, Training, Trend

The 5G transition is well underway, with the technology rolled out on every continent, and adoption growing daily. This is leading to advances in other technologies – most especially edge computing, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Many don’t realize that open source software is at the heart of the 5G revolution, making it possible in the first place and helping to speed implementation thanks to shared R&D efforts and greater interoperability than prior wireless standards. 

Considering the accelerating rate of change in the networking and telecommunications industry, it can be difficult to stay up to speed on these and the other latest technologies. Managers and their technical partners will be the ones to build the next great innovations based on the capabilities of 5G – but in order to do so, they require a fundamental understanding of the market pressures and a basic understanding of the technologies driving this shift – technologies like edge computing, IoT and AI.

That’s why The Linux Foundation offers two online training courses exploring these topics free of charge. Business Considerations for 5G, IoT, and AI is designed to help you discern between the hype and real opportunities of 5G technologies. Open Source and the 5G Transition explains the open source infrastructure powering the future and how to leverage it for business benefit. 

These courses are only two hours long, and no technical expertise is required. They are designed for anyone from business professionals to engineers who want to improve their understanding of these technologies and the changes they bring. Register for free today and increase your knowledge!

State of the Edge is Now Part of LF Edge

By Blog, Open Glossary of Edge Computing, State of the Edge

Written by Matthew Trifiro, CMO of Vapor IO and co-chair of State of the Edge

Last week, we were thrilled to announce State of the Edge has become an official project of The Linux Foundation’s LF Edge. You can read the press release here.

In 2017, just as edge computing was entering the zeitgeist, a few like-minded companies came together to create State of the Edge. The goal was to bring clarity and a common understanding to the emerging market of edge computing. Back then, there was no LF Edge and edge computing felt like the early days of cloud or the early days of containers. A few pioneers could be found laying the technological foundations, but the practitioners did not share a common vocabulary and a lot of confusion and misunderstanding ensued.

We started with a vision of funding vendor-neutral research. Since launching, we’ve built an incredible community and published three major edge research reports, all of which are offered free of charge under a Creative Commons license. They are:

  • 2018 State of the Edge — the first inaugural report, which many people have called the “edge 101,” laid out a lot of foundational concepts. It has largely stood the test of time and is required reading at some companies during employee onboarding.
  • 2019 Data at the Edge — an experimental, shorter-form, topic-specific report that we built from research funded by Seagate. We will probably do more of these in the future.
  • 2020 State of the Edge — the second inaugural report, which we published in December 2019, was our most ambitious yet. We hired Phil Marshall of Tolaga Research to build a financial forecasting model to predict the expected demand for edge infrastructure.

In 2019, we began collaborating with The Linux Foundation, initially around the Open Glossary of Edge Computing and the Edge Computing Landscape. When LF Edge launched in January 2019, The Open Glossary became one of the five founding projects (including Akraino, EdgeX Foundry, Home Edge and Project EVE). The relationship became so beneficial to both parties, that by the end of last year it was clear that State of the Edge could find a long term home at The Linux Foundation. With LF Edge’s open governance model, we will continue to advance the State of the Edge as an open source project that maintains the organization’s original mission, further accelerating the adoption of edge computing technologies.

As of today, State of the Edge will officially merge with the Open Glossary of Edge Computing and the combined project will assume the State of the Edge name as a Stage 2 project (growth) at LF Edge. All State of the Edge projects will continue to be produced and funded collaboratively, with an explicit goal of producing original research without vendor bias and involving a diverse set of stakeholders.

The program will continue alongside a community that cares deeply about edge computing and the innovations that will be required to bring its promise to fruition.

State of the Edge will remain an active website but we’ll also be blogging and adding content on to the State of the Edge LF Edge website. Follow @LF_Edge for more news.

We’re looking forward to the next phase of growth for State of the Edge!

A special thanks is due to the original creators, contributors and funders of the State of the Edge project (alpha order).

Founding Members:

General Members:

Media and Analyst Partners:

EdgeX Foundry on ELIOT Blueprint

By Akraino, Blog, EdgeX Foundry, LF Edge

Written by Ramya Ranganathan, IOTG Validation Architect at Intel and EdgeX Foundry TSC member and EdgeX Test/QA WG Contributor

 

Background

In the recent past, EdgeX has experience challenges in running regression tests on different platforms. Some of the difficulty has been attributed to not running the EdgeX platform tests on While it could be attributed to a pre-validated OS/SW configuration.

Idea

By running on a pre-validated base platform, the hope was to eliminate the platform variabilities and limit the debug scope to EdgeX SW. This in turn would lead to a quicker debug, throughput and finally quicker time to market.

Why LF Edge Akraino Blue Print

Since LF Edge has been spearheading the Akraino Blue print effort to provide a holistic design of EdgeX suitable platforms with respect to scalability, availability, security using finite set of configurations, and ease of use by Zero-touch provisioning, a proposal was put forth by EdgeX QA/Test work group to use a light weight Akraino blue print as “pre-validated base platform” for EdgeX engineering activities. The motivation was that the team could leverage the results from Akraino’s blue print validation framework and use it as a stable base platform for EdgeX engineering activities. While the motivation was from within the EdgeX community, this also served as a testimony to LF Edge’s Akraino initiative and to the importance of the LF Edge umbrella project to provide wholistic solutions to the EdgeX and larger LF Edge communities.

Engineering Activity & Results

Akraino offers several Blue prints, so the first task was to identify the right blueprint for EdgeX needs. ELIOT blue print has been chosen by the EdgeX QA/Test WG for this initial feasibility study as it seems to have a light weight foot print as the name suggests and also it is supported on both ARM and x86 architectures. EdgeX QA/Test WG members got LF Edge accounts and access to the Thunder Pod2 ARM based system and were able to get the EdgeX tests up and running on ELIOT Blue print with minimal effort (which goes in line with the key principle behind Akraino’s blue print goal).

Learn more about the Akraino ELIOT Blueprint: AkrainoELIOTBluePrint.pdf

Conclusion

This activity is an example of the early engagements between EdgeX and other LF Edge projects – one of mutual value to the engineers in both communities and demonstrating the value of a larger edge computing umbrella project.

For more information about Akraino Blueprints, click here: https://wiki.akraino.org/. To learn more about EdgeX Foundry, click here: https://wiki.edgexfoundry.org/. Or, join the conversation on the EdgeX Foundry Slack Channel.

Securing the IoT Edge (Part 2)

By Blog, Project EVE

Written by Jason Shepherd, LF Edge member, VP of Ecosystem for Zededa and active leader in Project EVE

This post originally ran on the Zededa Medium blog. Click here for more articles like this one. 

The computing landscape has long observed a swing between centralized and distributed architectures, from the mainframe to client-server to the cloud. The next generation of computing is now upon us, representing both a return to the familiar distributed model and a breakthrough in rethinking how we handle data. Many of the security lessons we’ve learned from past paradigms are applicable, yet the edge also brings unique challenges. In part 1 of this blog series, we covered some of the characteristics that make security different at the edge compared to the cloud. In this blog, we’ll be going over ten baseline recommendations for securing IoT edge deployments.

Coined by former Forrester analyst John Kindervag, the “zero trust” mindset is rooted in the assumption that the network is hostile. This means that every individual or device — inside or outside of the network perimeter — trying to access the network must be authenticated and all downloaded updates verified, because nothing can be trusted.

Key principles of zero trust security

At the foundation of your security approach should be a trust anchor in your edge devices based on a root of trust at the silicon level (e.g., Trusted Platform Module, or TPM). Due to fragmentation in edge hardware, as much support as possible for this trust anchor should be abstracted into the software layer and exposed to your applications through APIs. This trust anchor should be the foundation for key functions such as device identification and authentication, secure and measured boot, encryption, application updates, and so forth.

 The massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that leveraged the Mirai botnet and took down a portion of the internet in 2016 involved millions of cameras that shared a very small number of common credentials. Back during the setup of these devices, their credentials either could not be changed or were not changed because it was easier to use the factory default. What can we take away from this incident? Rather than relying on field technicians or end users to change and manage countless edge device passwords, leverage solutions that automatically create and store credentials in the trust anchor based on a unique device ID during a zero-touch provisioning process. Field technicians should then only be able to access the device through a central controller. Additionally, establish the ability to set policies in your network that allow you to remotely disable any unused physical ports on edge devices in order to prevent unauthorized installation of software.

 Leveraging the key provided by your trust anchor, encrypt data both at rest on your edge devices and in motion across the network. Deploy compute immediately upstream of resource-constrained edge devices and legacy systems to encrypt data when they aren’t capable of doing it themselves.

With a growing number of devices at the periphery of your network, it’s more important than ever that you have full visibility into user activity, device location and status, and the routes your data is traveling between devices and your on-prem and cloud systems. Be sure to regularly review role-based access to make sure only the users who need access have it, and that this access is based on real-time context as part of your zero-trust strategy.

Network flow log in ZEDEDA’s controller

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates that as many as 85 percent of targeted attacks are preventable due to exploitation of unpatched software. These updates need to be signed from a trusted authority and verified by the private keys stored in your edge devices. Given the implications of downtime in an operational technology (OT) environment, it’s important to enable the scheduling of vulnerability updates during maintenance windows. Also key is to have rollback capabilities in the event of failed updates, so that devices aren’t bricked in the field, which can take down a mission-critical process or result in an expensive trip to a remote location. Software should have extended support, offering the ability to patch applications and underlying runtime for 5 to 7 (or more) years.

Consider solutions that leverage machine learning to assess the steady state of your deployments and alert for anomalies, whether it be unusual network activity, signs of malware, or other indicators. For example, had active threat analytics been applied at the edge in the 2016 Mirai attack, the unusual network traffic could have been addressed at the source rather than snowballing into a much bigger problem. Consult with experts that understand the unique needs of OT-specific protocols — this includes defining what normal behaviors are and how to gracefully shut down processes in the case of any detected attack.

 It takes a village to develop and deploy IoT and edge computing solutions, with multiple different parties coming together spanning the necessary technologies and domain expertise. It’s key to invest in tools for securing and managing your infrastructure that are consistent regardless of the applications and domain expertise applied on top. Leveraging purpose-built, open edge orchestration frameworks that support cloud-native development and have clearly-defined APIs provides a transparent mechanism for getting all stakeholders on the same page, regardless of the combination of ingredients used in a given deployment.

It’s important to strike a balance between locking a solution down and making it usable across the various stakeholders involved. Many of the breaches we hear of in the consumer space happen because developers prioritized instant gratification and usability over security. This is where capabilities such as zero-touch provisioning are key, eliminating the need for expertise and awareness to securely onboard devices.

Security is about defense in depth, applying the right tools in layers based on security posture and risk. This includes utilizing segmentation when possible — while a zero-trust mindset eliminates a perimeter-based focus, micro-segmentation is still important to isolate critical networks and devices, especially legacy systems.Further augment your zero trust model with distributed firewall software to govern access across nodes on internal networks.

Not all edges are created equally; for organizations looking to implement edge computing, it’s important to first understand the unique challenges of securing and managing computing located outside of the confines of a traditional data center. However, adopting a distributed model for compute efficiency doesn’t need to bring tradeoffs in security. Being aware of the considerations that exist at the edge will help organizations be better equipped to protect field deployments and reap the benefits of edge computing. At ZEDEDA, we build off of a foundation that considers all the points above to enable enterprises to securely orchestrate IoT edge deployments with their preferred devices, applications and clouds.

Zededa is a LF Edge member and active leader in Project EVE. For more details about LF Edge members, visit here. For more details about Project EVE, visit the project page

Securing the IoT Edge (Part 1)

By Blog, Project EVE

Written by Jason Shepherd, LF Edge member, VP of Ecosystem for Zededa and active leader in Project EVE

This post originally ran on the Zededa Medium blog. Click here for more articles like this one. 

IoT adoption by the enterprise is on the rise. Yet despite interest in the space accelerating, organizations of varying sizes and verticals have run into several roadblocks in implementation. Previously, we discussed why IoT needs edge computing to realize its full potential. In this two-part blog series, we will review the unique security implications of a distributed edge and how organizations can secure the edge.

Over time, software-defined edge computing is only expected to become more sophisticated and we will begin processing more and more critical information in distributed locations. Many edge computing systems host their own web servers for remote maintenance and logins, making them a prime target as attack surfaces, especially for bad actors who could input or extract data and disrupt an entire ecosystem from a single unsecured system. Users need solutions to deliver new applications to the edge that drive efficient business outcomes while also maintaining an appropriate security posture.

Not all edge locations are created equally when it comes to security. Practices for securing deployments at the cloud edge and within secured telecommunications infrastructure (e.g., cell tower facilities), modular data centers, etc., tend to be quite similar to traditional data centers. Meanwhile, as edge deployments get closer to the physical world — in locations such as the factory floor, inside wind turbines, on trucks, or within rooftop HVAC systems, to name a few — unique security challenges are introduced. As we dive into what this entails, let’s take a look at what makes security for the distributed edge unique.

Scale: Part of IoT’s value stems from having numerous devices connected in order to understand the holistic picture of your operations. Over time, we will see device deployments scale to the trillions, which is numerous orders of magnitude larger than the volume of deployments in centralized locations. This translates into an unwieldy number of distributed edge assets that an organization must secure and manage. Solutions oriented towards securing and managing datacenter infrastructure typically aren’t set up for this kind of scale, which is why we can’t simply copy/paste them to solve the problem.

Lack of physical and network perimeters: Another key challenge for securing distributed edges is that there are often no physical (e.g., the four walls of a secure data center) or network perimeters. In operations out in the field, it is very common to rely on a backhaul network and parameters (such as NATs and proxies) that are owned or managed by someone else when not practical to create your own network (e.g., cellular backhaul). In general, solutions should not rely on having an owned network or firewall to protect them.

Heterogeneity: The IoT edge is inherently heterogeneous, comprised of a variety of technologies including sensors, communication protocols, hardware types, operating systems, control systems, networks, and so forth. Skill sets spanning IT and OT (e.g., network and security admins, DevOps, production, quality and maintenance engineers, data scientists, etc.) are necessary to realize IoT as a convergence of the physical and digital. Security solutions need to accommodate a wide variety of technologies and skill sets in order to be effective.

Varying priorities: In the IT world, it is typically acceptable to immediately shut down access to the network to isolate an affected system in the event of a security breach. Meanwhile, the impact due to information loss (e.g., credit card data or IP) plays out over a long period of time. In contrast, in the OT world, a security compromise can lead to immediate loss of production and risk to safety, so any issues need to be addressed gracefully. As such, your security solution needs to recognize these different priorities and strike a balance.

Constrained devices: Many IoT sensors and devices are too constrained resource-wise to employ security measures such as encryption. The same goes for legacy systems that were never intended to be connected to broader networks, let alone the internet. In order to protect these devices, we must rely on more capable compute immediately upstream to serve as the first line of defense, providing functions such as root of trust and encryption.

As we seek to reap the benefits of edge computing, we must realize the nuances it requires of our security approach. It can’t be the same as what we’re used to in data centers; instead, we must consider the edge’s characteristics to bolster a distinct approach. In part two of this series, we will share a foundational strategy for securing IoT edge deployments.

Zededa is a LF Edge member and active leader in Project EVE. For more details about LF Edge members, visit here. For more details about Project EVE, visit the project page

Using On-Demand Talent for EdgeX Foundry IoT Exploration

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Written by Clinton Bonner, VP of Marketing for Topcoder

Industrial IoT is coming into its own. A decade ago, the tech world was enamored with all things IoT and as routinely happens in tech, the narrative gets a bit ahead of the uptake and enterprise use cases. What typically happens is that while some of the buzz or dare I say, the promise of a new technology, dampens a bit after the initial boom, the hard work of democratizing the technology and the establishment of important enterprise use cases marches on.

Often behind the scenes and without a Cybertruck-esque introduction, an enabling catalyst of a new tech philosophy is introduced, gains favor, and builds a steady stable of developers and enterprises who use it. For the Industrial IoT, LF Edge’s EdgeX Foundry is this catalyst and the momentum is genuine.

Earlier this month, LF Edge and EdgeX Foundry collaborated with Dell, Intel, HP, IOTech and Wipro to create a challenge to gauge the interest of the growth of Industrial IoT adoption. Partnering with the Topcoder community, the challenge offers a chance for developers to create a unique use case to submit in a 3-phase approach:

PHASE I – IDEATION

Communities like Topcoder are a fantastic way to cast a wide net and bring in scores of interesting and unique concepts and approaches to using technology such as the EdgeX platform.

PHASE II – DESIGN

The five top ideas will be selected from the ideation phase and move into rapid design on Topcoder. In this phase, the focus will shift to creating and designing intuitive and useful UX/UI concepts that showcase how the idea would work within the technical framework that EdgeX Foundry provides.

PHASE III – PROTOTYPING

The top design concept from phase II will move on to prototyping, resulting in a functioning proof of concept with code-ready design.

This multi-phase approach is a fantastic use of on-demand talent to first explore ideas and then hone in on winning concepts to bring them further down the production life-cycle. It will be fast, focused, and provide an incredible example of how to use on-demand talent to accelerate successful innovation.

The pairing of the open EdgeX Foundry framework with the on-demand talent we provide access to at Topcoder is a smart accelerant and a combination we are excited to see in action!

To register for the challenge, visit the website: https://www.topcoder.com/challenges/30117605.

 

LF Edge Member Spotlight: Vapor IO

By Blog, Member Spotlight, Open Glossary of Edge Computing

The LF Edge community is comprised of a diverse set of member companies 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 sat down with Matt Trifiro, CMO of Vapor IO and Open Glossary of Edge Computing TSC Chair, to discuss the importance of open source, the “Third Act of the Internet,” how they contribute to the Open Glossary project and the impact of being a member of the LF Edge community.

Can you tell us a little about your organization?

Vapor IO builds and deploys data center and networking infrastructure to support edge computing and 5G. Our main product is the Kinetic Edge, which is a nationwide platform for edge colocation, edge networking and edge traffic exchange. We deploy our facilities on the infrastructure edge, in close proximity to the last mile networks. Our customers are the large cloud providers, CDNs, web-scale companies, streaming game providers, and other organizations building low-latency applications. We are Austin-based, but distributed all over the US. Our Kinetic Edge platform is live in four cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Pittsburgh) and we have 16 additional US cities under construction. We expect to deploy the Kinetic Edge to the top 36 US metro areas by the end of 2021, giving us a reach that exceeds 75 percent of the US population.

Why is your organization adopting an open source approach?

Open source allows a community, often one comprised of competitors, to pool their resources and build a common platform upon which differentiated businesses can be built. By collaborating on shared projects, we collectively accelerate entire markets. This lets companies focus on their unique strengths while not wasting effort competing on common building blocks. Everybody wins. We currently lead two active open source projects:

  • Open Glossary of Edge Computing (an LF Edge project), a Wikipedia-style community-driven glossary of terms relevant to edge computing.
  • Synse, a simple, scalable API for sensing and controlling data center equipment.

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

We believe edge computing will create a massive restructuring of the Internet, what State of the Edge 2020 report calls the “Third Act of the Internet.” We joined LF Edge to help accelerate the rearchitecture of the Internet to support this Third Act. This transformation will impact the entire world and it will require many companies to collaborate on large, multi-decade initiatives. The Linux Foundation has a track record of good stewardship of open source communities and we felt LF Edge had the right mix of focus and neutrality to make it possible.

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

By being part of the LF Edge community, we get to help drive one of the most fundamental Internet transformations of our lifetime, something that will impact the entire world. LF Edge brings together diverse viewpoints and ensures projects advance based on their merit—and not the power or money behind the contributing companies. This creates a level playing field that advances the entire industry.

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

Our main contributions to LF Edge have been twofold:

  1. We chair the Open Glossary of Edge Computing, a founding LF Edge project. This project has been helping to shape the overall LF Edge narrative by creating a shared vocabulary that all LF Edge projects can align around.
  2. We are very active in the LF Edge community. Our CEO, Cole Crawford, is now serving his second term as a member of the LF Edge Governing Board.

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

Many industry alliances suffer from a “pay for play” approach, where those who pay the most get the most influence. The Linux Foundation has managed to navigate these waters deftly. They have successfully attracted deep-pocket funders while maintaining a level playing field and aggressively including smaller companies and individuals who help advance the projects in ways that don’t involve direct financial contributions. This gives the LF Edge a lot more “staying power,” as it truly serves the broad community and not just the goals of the largest companies. 

How will  LF Edge help your business?

The LF Edge community gives us access to the best technologies and thought leadership in edge computing. LF Edge helps us stay up to date on the industry and align our business with the community’s needs. By paying attention to what kinds of edge infrastructure LF Edge projects require, we are able to fine-tune our Kinetic Edge offering in a way that will support the next generation of edge native and edge enhanced applications.

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

If you’re looking for a place to start, pick a project in the LF Edge portfolio where you can make the most impact. Become a contributor and get to know the committers and technical leadership. LF projects are meritocracy based, so the more active you are and the more value you contributed, the more recognition and influence you will get within the community. This is one of the best ways to start.

To learn more about Open Glossary of Edge Computing, click here. To find out more about our members or how to join LF Edge, click here.

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

Cloud native in NFVI: Why it’s smart business for 5G growth

By Blog, Industry Article

Written by Balaji Ethirajulu, LF Edge Chair of the Marketing Outreach Committee and Senior Director of Product Management at Ericsson

This blog originally ran on the Ericsson website – click here for more articles like this one. 

As telecom industry is moving through the 5G transformation, I’ve been thinking about automation, network flexibility, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and faster time to market. For the last two or three years, we’ve witnessed a massive growth in open-source software, related to cloud native.

There are plenty of projects in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) that have already graduated, while some are in the incubating stage and others have entered a sandbox status. Many of them are addressing the various needs of telecom networks and other vertical segments. One of the key areas for the telecom industry is Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI).

Industry challenges

New technologies come and go, and this has happened for decades. But what we’ve been witnessing for the past several years is something that we’ve not experienced before. The acceleration of new technology innovation is mind boggling. The pace at which new technologies are being introduced is rapidly increasing. We’re now able to create new business models by leveraging these new technologies. For example, 5G will enable services across all industries. To do this, we need highly optimized and efficient networks, more automation, CI/CD, edge computing, reliable networks with good security, network and service agility, and faster time to market.

Addressing those challenges

Ericsson has been investing in R&D to leverage these technologies including open source to address the challenges outlined above. One of these key areas is cloud native applications and the infrastructure to support it. Together with open-source technologies they provide the key characteristics to address many of these challenges.

For the last several years, many enterprises and communication service providers (CSPs) have been moving their workloads to a virtualized infrastructure. They have realized some benefits of virtualization. But cloud native brings more benefits in terms of reduced TCO, more automation, faster time to market and so on.

In addition, enterprise needs are different from telecom needs. As many cloud-native technologies are maturing, they need to address the telecom network requirements such as security, high availability, reliability, and real-time needs. Ericsson is leveraging many cloud native open-source technologies and hardening them to meet the rigorous needs of telecom applications and infrastructure.

Our cloud native journey and open source

Over the past few years, Ericsson has been investing in cloud native technologies to transform our portfolio and meet the demands of 5G and digital transformation. Many of our solutions, including 5G applications, orchestration, and cloud infrastructure are based on cloud native technologies and they use a significant amount of CNCF open-source software. In addition, Ericsson has its own Kubernetes distribution called ‘Ericsson Cloud Container Distribution’, certified by CNCF. Ericsson’s cloud native based ‘dual-mode 5G Cloud Core’ utilizes several CNCF technologies and adopts them to a CSP’s needs. Several major global operators have embraced cloud native 5G solutions.

Ericsson supports and promotes many Linux foundation projects including LFN, LF Edge and CNCF.  As a member of the CNCF community, we are actively drive Telecom User group (TUG), which is an important initiative focusing on CSP needs.

Our NFVI already includes OpenStack and other virtualization technologies. As we step further into 5G transformation, Ericsson NFVI, based on Kubernetes, will support various network configurations such as bare metal (K8s, Container as a service or CaaS) ­– and CaaS +VMs, including Management and Orchestration (MANO).

Some CSPs have migrated their workloads from Physical Network Function (PNF) to Virtual network Function (VNF). The percentage of migration varies among CSPs and region to region. Some are migrating from PNF to CNF (Cloud Native Network Function). So, a typical network may include PNF, VNF and CNF. It’s because of this that NFVI needs to support various configurations, and both virtual machines and containers.