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EdgeX Foundry

EdgeX Foundry Virtual F2F Recap: Ireland Planning

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Written by Jim White, Chair of the EdgeX Foundry Technical Steering Committee and CTO of IOTech Systems

It’s the holiday season upon us in the US.  On behalf of the EdgeX Foundry community, I’d like to wish you and yours a very warm, blessed and peaceful holiday season.

This time of year is special to me because it usually means some peace after a some long hard release cycle.  The EdgeX community is working on EdgeX 1.3 – the Hanoi Release. It is a minor (dot) release and backward compatible with Edinburgh (1.0), Fuji (1.1) and Geneva (1.2) along with any patch release of these.  For more details on the Hanoi release, stay tuned for my release blog in a few weeks.

Virtual Face-to-Face

In addition to the release, we also completed our semi-annual release planning sessions this past week in order to get ready for our next release for the spring of 2021.  The next EdgeX Foundry release is called Ireland.

Up until this year, the planning meetings were held in-person at a venue hosted by one of our sponsoring companies.  We called the events our “face-to-face” meetings because it was the only time that the contributors and members of our global development community had a chance to meet in person.  This year, due to the pandemic, our planning sessions have had to be held “virtually.”  Somewhat paradoxically, this had led members of the community to refer to these on-line meetings now as “virtual face-to-face” meetings.  Leave it to a group of bright, energetic engineers to shake off the negative and embrace the new normal. Here we are, all online together.

In five, half-day meetings, we assembled our technical steering committee, development teams, and EdgeX adopters/users to scope the features, technical debt, and architectural direction of the next release and general roadmap of EdgeX.

Ireland Planning

We follow an alphabetical naming sequence in our releases and select members of our community that have contributed significantly to the project to help with the naming process.  This release was named by Intel’s Lenny Goodell and Mike Johnanson who have contributed immensely to the project, both in leadership and code contributions, over the past few years.  Each release is named after some geographical place on the earth (city, state, country, mountain, etc.).

EdgeX 2.0 Major Release

During our planning meetings, the general themes, objectives and overall direction of the next release are the first thing we decide.  Ireland will be EdgeX 2.0 – our project’s second major release.

As a major release, the Ireland release will include non-backward compatible features and APIs.  This is, in large part, due to the fact that we began work in the spring of 2020 to implement a new and improved set of EdgeX micro service APIs.  We call this new collection of APIs for each of the EdgeX micro services the V2 APIs (the V1 APIs are currently in place).

The existing EdgeX APIs have been in place since its very first release in 2017. The V2 APIs will remove a lot of early EdgeX technical debt and provide a better informational exchange. While we began the implementation this past spring, it will take the community until the spring release to complete the V2 APIs.  The new APIs will also allow for many new, future release features. For one, the request and response object models in the new APIs are richer and better organized.  The models will better support communications via alternate protocols in the future.  The V1 APIs will also be removed from the EdgeX micro services.

Because this is a non-backward compatible release, we are taking the opportunity to remove as much technical debt and include as many desired non-backward compatible features as possible.  This includes:

  • Removal of archived/deprecated services like the Supporting Rules Engine and Logging services
  • Removal of support for MongoDB (we have used Redis by default since our Fuji release)
  • Support for device services to send data directly to application services
  • Update configuration values and structures so they are more consistent with one another
  • More appropriately name properties, objects, services and artifacts

New Features

In addition to the new V2 APIs, what is going to be in this major release?  This list is long and I encourage those with a need for all the details to have a look at our documentation on our Wiki site, but here are some of the major new features:

  • Device services (our “thing” connectors) will send data directly to our application services via message bus (versus REST) that prepare the data for export (to cloud or enterprise systems) and local analytics packages (rules engines, predictive analytics packages, etc.). Optionally, the data can also be persisted via our core services locally.  This will help improve latency issues, allow for better quality of service, and reduce storing data at the edge when it is not needed.
  • We are improving the security services to allow for you to bring-your-own certificates (in Kong for example), provide abstraction around our secret provider (and make sure that abstraction is used by all services in the same way), secure admin ports and more.
  • Application services that prepare sensor/device data for cloud and enterprise applications (north side systems) will allow for conditionalized transformation, enrichment, or filtering functions to be performed on exported data.
  • A number of device services have been recently contributed to EdgeX. We have new connectors for Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP), General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO), Universal Asynchronous Receiver-Transmitter (UART), and Low-Level Reader Protocol (LLRP) that are under review and will be made available in this release cycle.
  • This release will include an example of how to include AI/ML analytics into the platform and data flow of EdgeX.
  • Our EdgeX user interface will include new data visualization capability and a “wizard” tool to help provision and establish new devices in the EdgeX instance.

Additional Improvements

In addition to scoping and planning for new features to the platform for the Ireland release, the community also decided to address additional needs of our user community in this release.

  • Because this Ireland release will be non-backward compatible with our current Hanoi and any 1.x version of EdgeX, we are also going to provide some tools and documentation for helping adopters migrate the existing release databases, configurations, etc. into the new 2.0 environment.
  • We plan to increase our interoperability testing, especially around our use of 3rd party services such as Kuiper, and provide some scalability/performance guidance as it relates to the number of connected things and how much sensor data can be passed through EdgeX from those things.
  • Our DevOps team is going to explore GitHub repository badges to provide adopters/users with better confidence in the platform.

Jakarta Release and Beyond

During these semi-annual planning meetings, the focus is squarely on the next release.  However, we also take the time to take stock of the project as a whole and look into the future and roadmap where the project is heading a year or more into the future.

At this time, the community is forecasting that the Jakarta release – scheduled for around the fall of 2021 – will be a “stability release.”  Meaning, Jakarta will probably not include any large enhancements.  Its purpose will be to provide a release that addresses any issues discovered in the EdgeX 2.0 release of Ireland. We also hope that Jakarta will be our first ever Long-Term-Support (LTS) release.  And with an LTS release, we hope to begin the implementation of an EdgeX certification program.

The EdgeX LTS policy has already been established and we have indicated to the world that once we have an LTS release, we plan to support that release (with bug fixes, security patches, documentation and artifact updates) for 2.5 years.  That is a significant commitment on the part of our open source community and the stability release will help us achieve that goal.

The certification program is one we have envisioned for a number of years.  The idea is that we eventually want to get to a point where a 3rd party could create and provide a replacement EdgeX service and the community would help test and validate that the service adheres to the APIs and criteria for that service and thereby is a suitable replacement in an EdgeX deployment.  In order to deliver the certification program, the community feels we need to get to the stability that an LTS release provides with the product.

Wrap Up

It’s been a heck of a year.  Despite the significant global pandemic and economic challenges, the EdgeX community did not miss a beat and managed to complete its goals for the year (2 more successful releases).  And with our fruitful planning meeting, despite it being held on-line, the community has plotted a path for an even more successful 2021 that will start with the delivery of EdgeX 2.0 in the spring.

As always, I want to thank the members of the community for their outstanding efforts and talents, patience and commitment and professionalism.  You could not find a group of people that are more fun to work with.  Here is wishing that in 2021, we can resume actual “face to face” meetings.  Happy holidays and a happy new year to everyone.

To learn more about the EdgeX Foundry releases and roadmap, visit https://www.edgexfoundry.org/software/releases/.

 

EdgeX Foundry New Contributors Q3, Tutorials & More!

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Written by Aaron Williams, LF Edge Developer Advocate

As we’re headed into holiday season, we’d like to reflect a bit on Q3 and how busy it was for the EdgeX Foundry community.   The fourth quarter will be more of the same with our next release, Hanoi and a Face to Face (F2F) planning meeting for our next release, Ireland.

Quick stats: 

We had 38 (77 YTD) unique contributors this quarter making more than 500 (2000 YTD) commits.  We surpassed 7 million Docker downloads and have over 500k deployments.  These are amazing milestones but we could definitely not reach it without our community contributors. In Q3, we had four new contributors that we would like to welcome and recognize.

Q3 New Contributors’ GitHub Usernames:  

Alexmcminn

AlexCuse

jinfahua

siggiskulason

We really appreciate your contributions and look forward to your next contribution.  We wouldn’t be a community without you!  And to our wider community, please go to GitHub and find our new contributors to see what other projects that they are working on.

New “How to” Video and Updated Tutorial Released:

Lenny Goodell (EdgeX Foundry TSC member from Intel) recorded a great presentation on how EdgeX services work.  Here is a short description: The session is meant to assist those looking to understand existing or create a brand-new service using the EdgeX bootstrapping, configuration, dependency injection (of clients), etc.

Do you want to get involved with EdgeX Foundry-The World’s First Plug and Play Ecosystem-Enabled Open Platform for the IoT Edge or just learn more about the project and how to get started?  Either way, visit our Getting Started page and you will find everything that you need to get going.  We don’t just need developers, we welcome tech writers, translators, and many other disciplines to help us create, extend and expand the EdgeX platform

EdgeX Foundry is a Stage 3- Impact project under the LF Edge umbrella.  Visit the EdgeX Foundry website for more information or join our Slack to ask questions and engage with community members. If you are not already a member of our community, it is really easy to join.  Simply visit our wiki page and/or check out our Git Hub and help us get to the next 6 million and more downloads! You can also follow EdgeX on twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube.

EdgeX Foundry Challenge Shanghai 2020 was a success!

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry, Event

Written by  co-chairs of the EdgeX Foundry China Project Melvin Sun, Senior Marketing Manager for the IoT Group at Intel, and Gavin Lu, R&D Director OCTO at VMware

On Thursday, September 24, after more than 2 months of fierce competition, the EdgeX Foundry Challenge Shanghai 2020 culminated in the final roadshow. Companies, colleges, hacker teams and enthusiastic audiences from around the world participated in the live video broadcast.

Yingjie Lu, Senior Director of IOT Group in Intel Corporation and Jim White, CTO of IOTech Systems and Chairman of EdgeX Foundry Technical Steering Committee, delivered opening and closing speeches for the final roadshow respectively. Mr. Peng Jianzhen, Secretary General of CCFA (China Chain-store & Franchise Association), and Mr. Shu Bin, experts from China State Grid, made summarizing remarks on all the teams of commerce and industrial tracks respectively.

The EdgeX Challenge Shanghai 2020 is an international hackathon event based on EdgeX, Foundry. It was successfully kicked off as a joint effort among EdgeX community members Canonical, Dell Technologies, HP, Intel, IOTech, Tencent, Thundersoft, VMware and Shanghai startup incubator Innospace.

In the age of the Internet of Things, collaboration is the foundation of all technological and business innovation. And such a spirit can be spread and practiced through the EdgeX community. Today, the EdgeX community members have collaborated extensively across the globe to drive technological development and business prosperity in the global IoT industry.

40 teams submitted their proposals covering both commerce and industrial tracks, including retail, assets tracking, manufacturing, environmental protection and energy conservation, utilities and building automation. The cutting-edge technologies adopted in the works, such as edge computing, artificial intelligence, 5G, sensors, blockchain, satellite communications, Internet of Things and big data, fully demonstrate the strength of innovation and foreshadowing the development and transformation of future life.

After careful selection by the judges, a total of 15 teams were selected as finalists on July 24. Based on the Devkits by Intel and the EdgeX challenge committee, these teams started use cases in various verticals, solving industry pain points, empowering deployable applications, and committing themselves to build a feast of technological innovation and change. The expert judges focused on the development process of the teams and worked with them with daily Q&As, weekly discussions and mid-term check-point meetings.

This Hackathon event has been running smoothly in a tense and methodical atmosphere with strong strength and support. As of mid-September, 15 teams had submitted their final projects, culminating in the finals. Click here to watch snapshot video of the EdgeX Challenge finalists preparing for the competition.

List of teams for roadshow:

Commerce Track

Sequence Code of team Name of team Use Cases Time
1 c18 HYD Miracle Innovation Apparel store edge computing 9:12
2 c27 DreamTech Mortgage assets monitoring based on blockchain +edge computing 9:24
3 c16 USST,YES! Retail store edge 9:36
4 c19 Breakthrough Studio Scenic Intelligent Navigation 9:48
5 c26 i-Design Edge-cloud based far ocean intelligent logistics/monitor 10:00
6 c07 Starlink team from JD.com Retail store heatmap & Surveillance 10:12
7 c03 AI Cooling Building automation 10:24
8 c08 Sugarinc Intelligence Smart building & office management 10:36
9 c10 Five Card Stud fighting force Automobile 4S (sales, service, spare part, survey) store 10:48

Industrial Track

Sequence Code of team Name of team Use Cases Time
1 i07 VSE Drivers school surveillance & analytics 11:00
2 i09 Smart eyes recognize energy CV based intelligent system of meters recognition 11:12
3 i01 Baowu Steel Defects detection in steel manufacture 11:24
4 i08 CyberIOT Guardians of electrical and mechanical equipment 11:36
5 i10 Power Blazers Autotuning system for orbital wind power system 11:48
6 i06 Jiangxing Intelligence Intelligent Edge Gateway for Industrial 12:00

 

Note: The sequence of the roadshow above is determined by the drawing of lots by the representatives of each participating teams.

The live roadshow was successfully broadcasted on September 24, where all the final teams presented their proposals and interacted with the judges. To ensure a comprehensive and professional assessment, the organizer invited expert judges with blended strong background, including:

– Business experts: Gao Ge, General Manager of Bailian Group’s Science and Innovation Center; Violet Lu, IT director of Fast Retailing LTD; and Yang Feng, Head of Wireless and Internet of Things of Tencent’s Network Platform Department

– EdgeX & AIOT experts: Henry Lau, Distinguished Technical Expert on Retail Solutions in HP Inc.; Gavin Lu, Director in VMware (China) R&D Center; Jim Wang, senior expert on IoT in Intel Corporation; Chris Wang, director of artificial intelligence in Intel; Jack Xu and Mi Wu, IoT experts in Intel; Xiaojing Xu, Senior Expert, Thundersoft Corporation

– Representatives from the investment community: Riel Capital, Intel Capital, VMware Capital …… In addition, the quality of the team & proposals attracted a large number of investment institutions, including Qiming Venture Capital, Morningside Capital, ZGC Qihang Investment, and other professional investors constitute the Members of the observer group for this live roadshow.

During the live streaming roadshow, all the teams’ works demonstrated the unique advantages of EdgeX in IoT and the edge computing development. The judges provided feedback and suggestions for Creativity, use of Computer Vision, Impact, Viability, Usefulness, simplicity, as well as documentation preparation and performance in the roadshow session. Observers and fans from all over the world also expressed their opinions through messaging and comment sections, which made the competition exciting.

The live roadshow has ended but the organizing committee is still in the process of collecting the judges’ questions and compiling the teams’ answers. Based on the above information, the competition will carefully score the ideations and demos to filter out competitive & deployable solutions to customer’s pain points. Meanwhile, we will hold an award ceremony at the Global Technology Transfer Conference on October 29, where the winners will receive a total of 90,000 RMB in cash prizes and rich rewards for their efforts.

Video playback of the final roadshow will be available on bilibili website, if you are interested in watching it, please follow the channel of EdgeX China Project on Bilibili. For more about the EdgeX Foundry China Project, visit the wiki at https://wiki.edgexfoundry.org/display/FA/China+Project.

On the “Edge” of Something Great

By Akraino, Announcement, Baetyl, Blog, EdgeX Foundry, Fledge, Home Edge, LF Edge, Open Horizon, Project EVE, Secure Device Onboard, State of the Edge

As we kick off Open Networking and Edge Summit today, we are celebrating the edge by sharing the results of our first-ever LF Edge Member Survey and insight into what our focuses are next year.

LF Edge, which will celebrate its 2nd birthday in January 2021, sent the survey to our more than 75 member companies and liaisons. The survey featured about 15 questions that collected details about open source and edge computing, how members of the LF Edge community are using edge computing and what project resources are most valuable. 

Why did you chose to participate in LF Edge?

The Results Are In

The Top 3 reasons to participate in LF Edge are market creation and adoption acceleration, collaboration with peers and industry influence. 

  • More than 71% joined LF Edge for market creation and adoption acceleration
  • More than 57% indicated they joined LF Edge for business development
  • More than 62% have either deployed products or services based on LF Edge Projects or they are planned by for later this year, next year or within the next 3-5 years

Have you deployed products or services based on LF Edge Projects?

This feedback corresponds with what we’re seeing in some of the LF Edge projects. For example, our Stage 3 Projects Akraino and EdgeX Foundry are already being deployed. Earlier this summer, Akraino launched its Release 3 (R3) that delivers a fully functional open source edge stack that enables a diversity of edge platforms across the globe. With R3, Akraino brings deployments and PoCs from a swath of global organizations including Aarna Networks, China Mobile, Equinix, Futurewei, Huawei, Intel, Juniper, Nokia, NVIDIA, Tencent, WeBank, WiPro, and more. 

Additionally, EdgeX Foundry has hit more than 7 million container downloads last month and a global ecosystem of complementary products and services that continues to increase. As a result, EdgeX Foundry is seeing more end-user case studies from big companies like Accenture, ThunderSoft and Jiangxing Intelligence

Have you gained insight into end user requirements through open collaboration?


Collaboration with peers

The edge today is a solution-specific story. Equipment and architectures are purpose-built for specific use cases, such as 5G and network function virtualization, next-generation CDNs and cloud, and streaming games. Which is why collaboration is key and more than 70% of respondents said they joined LF Edge to collaborate with peers. Here are a few activities at ONES that showcase the cross-project and members collaboration. 

Additionally, LF Edge created a LF Edge Vertical Solutions Group that is working to enable easily-customized deployments based on market/vertical requirements. In fact, we are hosting an LF Edge End User Community Event on October 1 that provides a platform for discussing the utilization of LF Edge Projects in real-world applications. The goal of these sessions is to educate the LF Edge community (both new and existing) to make sure we appropriately tailor the output of our project collaborations to meet end user needs. Learn more.

Industry Influence

More than 85% of members indicated they have gained insights into end user requirements through open collaboration. A common definition of the edge is gaining momentum. Community efforts such as LF Edge and State of the Edge’s assets, the Open Glossary of Edge Computing, and the Edge Computing Landscape are providing cohesion and unifying the industry. In fact,  LF Edge members in all nine of the projects collaborated to create an industry roadmap that is being supported by global tech giants and start-ups alike.

 

 

Where do we go from here? 

When asked, LF Edge members didn’t hold back. They want more. They want to see more of everything – cross-project collaboration, end user events and communication, use cases, open source collaboration with other liaisons. As we head into 2021, LF Edge will continue to lay the groundwork for markets like cloud native, 5G, and edge for  more open deployments and collaboration.  

 

LF Edge Member Spotlight: NetFoundry

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry, LF Edge, Member Spotlight

The LF Edge community comprises a diverse set of member companies and people that represent the IoT, Enterprise, Cloud and Telco Edge. The Member Spotlight blog series highlights these members and how they are contributing to and leveraging open source edge solutions. Today, we sit down with Jim Clardy, Co-Founder and Global Cloud Partners and Alliances at NetFoundry, to discuss the importance of open source, collaborating with industry leaders in edge computing and the impact of being a part of the LF Edge ecosystem.

Please tell us a little about your organization.

NetFoundry provides the leading zero trust networking platform offered as Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) to connect distributed applications, users, devices and locations through an optimized  global fabric. This enables: solutions and applications, ranging from edge to cloud, to easily embed zero trust networking inside the solution. Developers can embed secure, programmable, private, application-specific networking into their apps, using the open source Ziti software (Ziti.dev) which NetFoundry built and is the leading contributor to.

 

Why is your organization adopting an open source approach?

NetFoundry is built on open source Ziti. The next paradigm in networking is “Networking as code” and zero trust. With open source Ziti SDKs, developers can embed private networking into apps with a few lines of code. Ziti enables a new networking paradigm that greatly reduces the costs and simplifies the complexity of networking and implements zero-trust application embedded connectivity. Ziti is the leading open source platform for creating zero trust network connectivity over the Internet.

Why did you join LF Edge and what sort of impact do you think it has on the industry?

We believe open source communities have the power to shape technologies and markets. In addition to LF Edge, we are members of the Linux Foundation, EdgeX Foundry, and CNCF communities.

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

Accelerating the next paradigm in networking where networking as code and zero trust become ubiquitous. We believe networking will be transformed with cloud-orchestrated interoperability fueled by open source communities like LF Edge.

What contributions has your team made (or plans to make) to the community/ecosystem through LF Edge participation?

NetFoundry built and is the leading contributor to open source Ziti software, and we are excited to build the open Ziti community. NetFoundry is contributing code to open Ziti regularly.

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

You are able to draw on the Linux Foundation and related ecosystem of communities and contributors – there is a massive and unstoppable network effect created by LF Edge.

How might LF Edge help your business?

Accelerate the development of the Ziti project and community.

 

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

Don’t wait – do it today.

Learn more about NetFoundry here.

Learn more about open Ziti here.

Get started with Ziti on GitHub.

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 to share your thoughts and engage with community members.

 

 

LF Edge Demos at Open Networking & Edge Summit

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry, Event, Fledge, LF Edge, Open Horizon, Project EVE, Secure Device Onboard

Open Networking & Edge Summit, which takes place virtually on September 28-30, is co-sponsored by LF Edge, the Linux Foundation and LF Networking. With thousands expected to attend, ONES will be the epicenter of edge, networking, cloud and IoT. If you aren’t registered yet – it takes two minutes to register for US$50 – click here.

Several LF Edge members will be at the conference leading discussions about trends, presenting use cases and sharing best practices. For a list of LF Edge focuses sessions, click here and add them to your schedule. LF Edge will also host a pavilion – in partnership with our sister organization LF Networking – that will showcase demos, including the debut of two new ones that feature a collaboration between Project EVE and Fledge and Open Horizon and Secure Device Onboarding. Check out the sneak peek of the demos below:

Managing Industrial IoT Data Using LF Edge (Fledge, EVE)

Presented by Flir, Dianomic, OSIsoft, ZEDEDA and making its debut at ONES, this demo showcases the strength of Project EVE and Fledge. The demo Fledge will show how the two open source projects work together to securely manage, connect, aggregate, process, buffer and forward any sensor, machine or PLC’s data to existing OT systems and any cloud. Specifically, it will show a FLIR IR Camera video and data feeds being managed as described.

 

Real-Time Sensor Fusion for Loss Detection (EdgeX Foundry):

Presented by LF Edge members HP, Intel and IOTech, this demo showcases the strength of the Open Retail Initiative and EdgeX Foundry. Learn how different sensor devices can use LF Edge’s EdgeX Foundry open-middleware framework to optimize retail operations and detect loss at checkout. The sensor fusion is implemented using a modular approach, combining point-of-sale , computer vision, RFID and scale data into a POC for loss prevention.

This demo was featured at the National Retail Federation Show in January. More details about the demo can be found in HP’s blog and  Intel blog.

               

Low-touch automated onboarding and application delivery with Open Horizon and Secure Device Onboard

Presented by IBM and Intel, this demo features two of the newest projects accepted into the LF Edge ecosystem – Secure Device Onboard was announced in July while Open Horizon was announced in April.

An OEM or ODM can generate a voucher with SDO utilities that is tied to a specific device. Upon purchase, they can send the voucher to the purchaser. With LF Edge’s Open Horizon Secure Device Onboard integration, an administrator can load the voucher into Open Horizon and pre-register the device. Once the device is powered on and connected to the network, it will automatically authenticate, download and install the Open Horizon agent, and begin negotiation to receive and run relevant workloads.

For more information about ONES, visit the main website: https://events.linuxfoundation.org/open-networking-edge-summit-north-america/. 

Exploration and Practices of Edge Computing: Cloud Managing Containerized Devices

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry, Industry Article, Trend

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

As an industry leader with vast experience and knowledge, Gavin has been writing a series of articles focused on edge computing. These articles are posted on his personal blog and are posted here with his permission. To read more content from Gavin, visit his website.

Introduction

The previous article introduced the cloud management virtualization device solution. This article will describe the Nebula project, a unified management of containerized devices and edge applications and data analysis cloud services.

Nebula Architecture

Project Nebula is designed based on the following key ideas:

  • Agnostic to device CPU architecture, supporting both x86 and ARM;
  • Agnostic to edge application frameworks, supporting EdgeX Foundry and other frameworks that can be packaged and run;
  • Agnostic to data analytics services, supporting on-premise and cloud deployment;
  • Support small to large scale deployment;
  • Support end-to-end multi-tenant operation model from device to cloud.
EdgeX Foundry Architecture

Nebula supports EdgeX Foundry framework, and we already published a live test bed at https://18.189.42.126/. Those who are interested in Nebula could contact yixingj@vmware.com to register for a trial, installation and user guides with detailed information.

Nebula Demo

Installation

Nebula is designed in containerized micro-service architecture, and is installed by default in OVA format. Similar to Pallas architecture introduced in the previous article, although Nebula package is encapsulated in OVA, it does not depend on any specific virtualization infrastructure or cloud platform to be installed. Technically, it could completely be converted to other formats, or install on any cloud platform that supports OVA format.

The basic resource requirement of Nebula is:

  • CPU: 2 virtual CPU cores
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 150GB

Its installation process is similar to other normal OVA, and users can log in as the administrator after completion.

Nebula Service Console

Vendor Portal

After the installation is complete, users can log in to the vendor portal as an administrator according to the prompt address in VM console as above and perform user management.

Nebula Management Portal

In Nebula, edge application services are defined as following: A Service can contain multiple Versions, and a Version contains multiple Service Components.

Edge Service Hierarchy

For each service created, it is necessary to determine parameters and resource requirement such as version, CPU platform, memory, storage, network, etc., to facilitate verification in full life cycle management.

Vendors can upload a set of EdgeX Foundry applications packaged in container images, and define categories, dependencies between containers, resource parameters, startup order, and parameters of connected data analysis cloud services.

After the release, users can see and deploy these edge services.

Device Registration

Before users actually deploy EdgeX Foundry applications, they must first register the device they would use into their Nebula accounts.

Users need to download Nebula agent program nebulacli.tar by themselves and run it on the device to complete the registration. This registration step could be manual, or it can be automated in batch operations for OEM.

./install.sh init -u user-acccount -p user-account-password -n user-device-name

User Portal

After completing the device registration, users can install and manage EdgeX Foundry or other edge applications released in advance on Nebula service by vendors. Users can find proper applications in the catalog.

After selection, users can further specify parameter settings of the deployment in the drag-and-drop wizard, which maps to parameter values defined by the vendor before.

After all parameters are set, the actual deployment can be carried out, either in batch or multiple times to multiple devices. After deploying EdgeX Foundry applications, users can monitor device resources and application run time status in real time.

Nebula provides complete Restful API documentation, with which users can automate operations to deploy EdgeX Foundry applications in a large scale.

Next

From the second article to this article, I introduced the basic method of building and managing virtualized devices and containerized devices from the cloud. But I did not answer the question of how to deal with single-point device failure. Compared with the traditionally inflexible and inefficient full redundancy or external NAS solution, the next article will introduce device clusters on hyper-convergence architecture.

EdgeX Foundry Welcomes New Contributors for Q2

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Written by Aaron Williams, LF Edge Developer Advocate

The second quarter has been really busy for the EdgeX community.  We released Geneva and are working hard on Hanoi, our fall release.  This release was made possible through the hard work of 52 community members contributing code in GitHub over the past three months.  Over the past three years, EdgeX has enjoyed 117 unique contributors and the community is continuously growing. We want to welcome and recognize our four first time contributors from Q2.

We encourage our new contributors to keep up the great work and we look forward to their next contribution.  You are helping to improve and grow EdgeX and our community.

Q2 New Contributors’ Usernames:

nbfhscl

bill-mahoney

charles-knox-intel

wogsland

You can find these contributors on github and see what other projects they are working on.

We would be remiss if we didn’t thank our other contributors who posted code, help with documentation, or answered questions on our slack workspace in Q2.   We had over 80k lines of code committed from 50 unique (66 YTD) developers making 665 commits (1.3k YTD).  And here are our top ten committers for the second quarter:

lenny-intel tonyespy
ernestojeda rsdmike
cherrycl difince
lranjbar iain-anderson
hahattan jamesrgregg

You can find most of them on our slack workspace (edgexfoundry.slack.com) where we have had over 2000 messages from 101 members!  On our slack channels, you can ask questions and get help, or you can follow our working groups’ channels.

Do you want to get involved with EdgeX Foundry-The World’s First Plug and Play Ecosystem-Enabled Open Platform for the IoT Edge or just learn more about the project and how to get started?  Either way, visit our Getting Started page and you will find everything that you need to get going.  We don’t just need developers, we could use tech writers, translators, and many other disciplines.

EdgeX Foundry is an open source project hosted by LF Edge that is building a common open platform for IoT Edge computing. The interoperable platform enables an ecosystem of plug-and-play components that unifies the marketplace and accelerates the deployment of IoT solutions across a wide variety of industrial and enterprise use cases.

EdgeX is unique in its scope, broad industry support, credibility, investment, vendor-neutrality, and Apache 2.0 open source licensing model. As such, EdgeX is a key enabler of digital transformation for IoT Use Cases and businesses across many different vertical markets.

EdgeX offers all interested developers or companies the opportunity to collaborate on IoT solutions built using existing connectivity standards combined with their own proprietary innovations.

Visit the EdgeX Foundry website for more information or join our Slack to ask questions and engage with community members. If you are not already a member of our community, it is really easy to join.  Simply visit our wiki page and/or check out our Git Hub and help us get to the next 6 million and more downloads!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LF Edge Member Spotlight: Mocana

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry, LF Edge, Member Spotlight

The LF Edge community comprises a diverse set of member companies and people that represent the IoT, Enterprise, Cloud and Telco Edge. The Member Spotlight blog series highlights these members and how they are contributing to and leveraging open source edge solutions. Today, we sat down with Dave Smith, President of Mocanato discuss the importance of open source, collaborating with industry leaders in edge computing, security, how they leverage the EdgeX Foundry framework and the impact of being a part of the LF Edge ecosystem.

Can you tell us a little about your organization?

Mocana revolutionizes OT and IoT with cyber protection as a service for trustworthy systems. The company helps device operators bridge the adoption challenge between vendors and service providers, and delivers key cybersecurity benefits to the emerging 5G network, edge computing applications, and SD-WAN enterprise networks. Mocana protects the content delivery supply chain and device lifecycle for tamper-resistance from manufacture to end of life, with root-of-trust and chain-of-trust anchors. Mocana measures devices for sustained integrity and the trustworthiness of operations and data to power artificial intelligence/machine learning analytics. The Mocana team of security professionals works with semiconductor vendors and certificate authorities to integrate with emerging technologies to comply with data privacy and protection standards. The goal of cyber protection as a service is to eliminate the initial cost of modernization for device vendors and empower service providers to offer subscription-based services for the effective and efficient expansion of corporate and industrial digital transformation strategies.

Mocana’s core technology protects more than 100 million devices today, and is trusted by more than 200 of the largest energy, government, healthcare, manufacturing, IoT, telecommunications & networking, and transportation companies globally.

Why is your organization adopting an open-source approach?

Mocana is eager to support the global body of customers adopting the EdgeX Foundry open source solution. OpenSSL is by far the most broadly integrated and implemented open source security stack. It comes freely available and is distributed as part of the LF Edge distributions. However, in recent years OpenSSL has come under scrutiny because of critical security vulnerabilities and the resulting issuance of CVEs. The Heartbleed vulnerability from 2014 was a notable exploit, and there are several other recent CVEs that have generated concern in the information security community. The strategy of taking a defensive position through ongoing patching of vulnerabilities continues to challenge efforts to protect mission-critical OT environments.

Since the founding of the LF Edge projects, the goal has been to pull together a body of code to standardize the microservices delivery and orchestration for edge computing systems and devices. The projects continues to advance commercial third-party solutions to address key functional areas, especially for mission-critical and vertical industry applications. Mocana’s solution is based upon a commercially supported, NIST FIPS 140-2 certified, cryptographic module. Many of the company’s Fortune 500 customers have realized significant benefits from the ability to quickly migrate from default products integrated with OpenSSL to Mocana’s offering, leveraging its OpenSSL connector.

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

Developing, deploying, operating, and managing IoT and edge computing requires a community of key, forward-looking technology innovators. The IoT-edge ecosystem spans a wide supply chain from first silicon to the cloud, and includes system integrators, end-user operators and asset owners. Mocana was one of the first 50 founding members of EdgeX Foundry in 2017. Early on, the company took an industry leadership position by driving industry adoption through off-the-shelf solutions developed through stakeholder collaboration. This approach addressed a variety of common use cases delivered by new edge computing technologies and applications, and required much more than a reference architecture. Mocana recognized the need for the user community and developing ecosystem to leverage community-developed code (e.g. Github) to reduce feature and software code duplication and enable the broadest possible market adoption. The customer benefit reduces the implementation risk for such new technologies and accelerates community stakeholder time to market.

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

Mocana values LF Edge’s ecosystem breadth and depth of community members and stakeholders, which includes chip companies, device ODMs, OEMs, carrier service providers, and asset owner/operators. Each contributes key use case challenges that have been invaluable for ensuring that LF Edge can support key technology developments and marketplace challenges.

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

As key contributor to the community, Mocana worked with the EdgeX Foundry Security Working Group and offered insights and guidance on vital security use cases. The company ensured there was always a path to address developing cybersecurity mandates and best practices from NIST Cybersecurity Framework and ISA/IEC 62443. As a result, the community has delivered a number of key security functions. They added a reverse proxy, provided a method to secure the key store with the ability to manage it, and has integrated access to session-based security to the microservices.

Perhaps most important, Mocana has enabled the community to incorporate a scalable, robust, and commercially supported cybersecurity offering for EdgeX Foundry production development and deployments.

Mocana developed its OpenSSL connector to ease migration from default project configurations with OpenSSL to Mocana’s TrustCenter and TrustPoint offerings. This solution aligns well with the project’s objectives to accelerate adoption and deployments of standardized implementations addressing key edge computing use cases with microservices.

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

Delivering actual code that organizations can download, compile, run, and then operate is a tremendous benefit compared to most other industry alliances. It is a major differential in comparison to groups that only suggest frameworks and prescriptions of possible features, implementations, and suggested “best practices.”

How will LF Edge help your business?

Demand is growing for edge computing solutions. Hitting 5 million downloads of the EdgeX Foundry SDK in May are proof of that. Mocana also is beginning to see initial commercial success and adoption in the innovation and R&D centers by key community members. The company’s ability to enable its fully integrated TrustCenter and TrustPoint solutions leveraging an OpenSSL connector provides a clear and rapid path to EdgeX device security lifecycle management and supply chain provenance. Plus, it will increase adoption of Mocana’s latest edge device offerings from the community.

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

Find your niche in one of LF Edge’s nine collaborative projects where your offering can deliver the most value and contribute. There has never been a better time to participate in this open source community, which is looking for complementary solutions and ways to deepen the ecosystem.

To learn more about EdgeX Foundry, 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 or the EdgeX Foundry Slack to share your thoughts and engage with community members.

Exploration and Practices of Edge Computing: Cloud Managing Virtualized Devices

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

As an industry leader with vast experience and knowledge, Gavin has been writing a series of articles focused on edge computing. These articles are posted on his personal blog and are posted here with his permission. To read more content from Gavin, visit his website

Introduction to the Architecture of Pallas

The previous article introduced how to build and install virtualized devices, but did not touch how to manage large-scale virtualized devices from the cloud. This article introduces the architecture of Pallas to achieve the above goal.

Pallas is the second milestone of the project Asteroid after Ceres. In this release, the basic problems of cloud managing virtualized devices are solved:

  • The device-cloud connection is narrow and unstable
  • Large scale of devices
  • Serious security concerns, often forbidding any open ports

The main functions of the Pallas architecture are implemented by the device manager and the agent virtual machine. Its design key points are:

  • Adopt MQTT protocol suitable for narrow-band, unstable network connections
  • The device manager in the cloud adopts the design concept of typical Internet architecture, with multiple layers, micro-services, multiple buffers, and read-write separation
  • The device is automatically registered to the device manager, and the device initiates all connections and response happens in the cloud
  • Close all ports on the device, run without VPN / SD-WAN, cross public networks
  • Each device has a randomly created, globally unique and permanent ID

Installation requirements

  • vSphere Hypervisor is installed on the device.
    • Device agent
      • CPU: 1 x86-64 vCore
      • Memory: 512MB
      • Storage: 5GB
  • Device manager
    • CPU: 2 vCores
    • Memory: 8GB
    • Storage: 100GB
    • Network: Open ports 443 and 1883, the device is visible

Note: In order for the agent to work properly, the device requires at least vSphere Essentials Kit license, or apply for the Enterprise Edition 60-day trial using the method described in the previous article. 

Download and Installation

Download Pallas

The Pallas installation package can be downloaded from the Flings website of the VMware CTO office. You need to register a VMware community account in advance. The download package contains the device manager OVA, agent VM OVA and user guide.

Note: The download package provided on the Flings website is a technical preview, which does not include commercial support. It is recommended that you carefully read its installation and user guide before initialize the installation.

Install device manager

The way to install device manager is the same as the typical way to install an OVA of virtual machines, which can be completed in sequence by referring to the steps in the Pallas installation guide.

Note: Although device manager is packaged in OVA mode, it does not depend on any specific virtualization infrastructure or cloud platform. In an alternative, it can be converted from OVA to other formats, or install on any cloud platform that supports OVA format.

Install device agent

In order to simplify the process of installing device agent, it is recommended to use the virtual machine OVA instead of the binary package.

 
You can use OVF Tools to install OVA remotely, or leverage ESXi UI to install directly as below.

ovftool –acceptAllEulas –name=pallas_agent –datastore=DATASTORENAME -dm=thin –X:injectOvfEnv –powerOn pallas_agent_ubuntu.ova ‘vi://USERNAME:PASSWORD@ESXIHOST’

Configuration and Use

Configuration

Before you start using it, it is critical to configure the device agent. In order to ensure communication security, remember to modify /etc/vmware/pallas_agent/pallas_agent.conf file before encrypt the file in the following manner.
python3 /root/agent/install/encrypte_password.py YOUR-PASSWORD

If the device is connected to the cloud via WiFi or a telco carreir mobile network, the corresponding PCIe or USB NIC needs to be passed through to the device agent virtual machine. In this way, the device agent virtual machine can be registered to the device manager.

Use

After the device is registered to the device manager, you can perform CRUD-like operations on users, devices, and virtual machines like other ordinary management tools.

 
 
 
It should be noted that because the communication protocol of metadata between the device manager and the device is based on MQTT, the status updates of the device and the virtual machine on top of it are completed asynchronously. If you don’t find a task completed in “real time”, you may need to wait for a while or refresh the status.
 
For tasks such as deploying a virtual machine or patching a device, large files are downloaded via HTTPS and auto resuming.
 
To complete all functions
 above, there is no need for mutual IP visibility between the manager and the device, nor the installation of any VPN or SD-WAN. The device can also be safely behind a firewall, NAT, or gateway.
 
 
With the support of these basic functions, it is easy to expand, manage large-scale virtualized devices from the cloud, and deploy edge applications like EdgeX Foundry framework on them. In the workshop on EdgeX Foundry China Day in December 2019, we have demonstrated the deployment of edge applications based on EdgeX Foundry framework with cloud management of virtualized devices.
 
 

Next

The previous two articles described how to build and install virtualized devices, and how to manage virtualized devices from the cloud. 

In the preface, in addition to virtualization devices, another solution is containerized devices.

In fact, the use of containerized equipment is very common, and it often implies local orchestration, cloud operation and maintenance.

  • Local orchestration means that single-point failures of devices cannot be handled well. Even the most common deployment approach of EdgeX Foundry is to deploy core container instances of microservices on one single device.
  • Cloud operation and maintenance means managing containerized devices from the cloud. Most manufacturers have their own specialized solutions, which brings another problem of technology fragmentation.

The solutions to these two problems will be discussed in subsequent chapters. The next article will introduce a cloud managing containerized device solution to solve the problem of fragmentation.