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EdgeX Foundry

Hitting Performance Targets at the IoT Edge

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Written by James Butcher, EdgeX Foundry QA&Test Working Group Chair and Edge Xpert Product Manager at IOTech Systems

 

Edge computing is all about the premise of an organization processing its operational data at the edge of the network. That means performing data collection functions and running decision making and control algorithms as close to the edge sensors and OT devices as possible.

The EdgeX Foundry framework helps makes that premise a reality and provides an open, vendor-neutral approach for doing so. However, we must never lose sight of the fact that businesses will want to understand the full implications, including the fully loaded cost, of rolling out an edge system.

The EdgeX QA & Test Working Group

The EdgeX QA & Test working group is responsible for ensuring that releases meet the high standards of reliability and robustness that are required at the Industrial IoT edge. Our remit includes verifying the framework is well tested and ensuring we have the processes in place to maintain and monitor these high standards.

Solid Testing as Standard

EdgeX Foundry is an open source community project under the LF Edge umbrella and we take testing and reliability very seriously. We developed our own EdgeX testing hardness on top of a test framework called TAF. You’ll hear us speak about TAF a lot – it stands for Test Automation Framework and supports the functional, integration and performance testing needs that we have across the project. A version of EdgeX is only released when the TAF reports all tests are passing, for example.

EdgeX is transitioning to a second version of its APIs so there has been a big emphasis on ensuring the V2 API is accurately tested. TAF has been invaluable here because we have been able to easily update and add new tests for the new API. We are pushing ahead for the first release of the new APIs in the EdgeX Ireland release due in the spring.

Gathering Performance Metrics

The QA & Test group also record and gather performance metrics associated with the usage of the EdgeX platform. A common question from users is what sort of hardware is EdgeX aimed at and how fast can it perform? Well, of course, EdgeX has been designed to be hardware and operating system independent, but key metrics like footprint, CPU usage and latency of data flow do need to be provided so users can plan which IoT edge gateways and edge servers to use. Sometimes users have the luxury of being able to select brand new hardware to deploy in their edge projects, but often it is necessary to re-use existing already-deployed hardware.

Over the last release cycle, culminating in the EdgeX Hanoi release, the QA & Test group have put renewed focus on gathering and reporting these performance metrics. We have also improved the accuracy of the figures by increasing the number of tests ran and stating metric averages along with minimum and maximum readings, etc. Note that TAF can also monitor performance regressions. We’ve added threshold testing such that failures are reported if a code commit adversely affects any of the performance metrics. These are all tools to ensure that EdgeX quality and performance remains as high as possible as the project evolves.

Presenting the Performance

We’ve decided to go beyond just providing the raw metrics and instead have created a report that presents the key numbers along with some comment and explanation. Please find the Hanoi Performance Report here.

I hope you find this information useful. We are aiming to provide an updated version of this document for each EdgeX release and will track the progression as we go.

Commercial Support is Key

EdgeX is a fantastic project for helping to simplify the challenges of edge computing. The open-source and collaborative nature of the project brings together ideas from edge experts around the world. However, to pick up the point about businesses needing to understand the full implications of selecting an edge solution, companies are usually reluctant to deploy open source code without having guaranteed help at hand and support contracts in place.

So, switching to my other role in the EdgeX ecosystem for moment, let me mention how companies like IOTech provide products and services to mitigate that risk…

I am product manager of Edge Xpert which is IOTech’s value-add and commercially supported implementation of EdgeX. Our Edge Xpert 1.8 release is based on Hanoi and adds another level of features and services to help you. Head over to our website to read about how Edge Xpert can get your EdgeX systems to market much quicker and with less risk.

Future Plans

Obviously quality and robustness is very important to me in both my EdgeX and IOTech roles. Testing is never finished of course, and we are always looking to add to our test and performance tracking capability. Future iterations of the performance testing will include additions for the security services, scalability metrics and performance associated with the EdgeX Device Services – for example, how fast can Modbus data be collected, and how many data points can be received in a certain period, etc. These factors are all important in understanding how the platform will scale as it is deployed and understanding the number of deployments – and thus gateways and edge servers that will be needed.

Open Discussions

Feel free the join the weekly EdgeX QA & Test calls where we discuss progress and issues that need to be addressed. We meet every Tuesday at 8am PST. You can find the meeting links on our page here. To learn more about EdgeX Foundry’s Hanoi Release, click here.

 

EdgeX Foundry China Day 2020

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

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

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

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

The event was a huge success and included: 

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

Partners & Keynote speakers

Live Steaming Platforms

Highlights

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

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

EdgeX Foundry and Forbes

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

173K votes determined the EdgeX Foundry Challenge Shanghai Winners

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Results

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

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

Think Big and Beyond

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

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

Other EdgeX Foundry Challenge Shanghai resources:

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

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

EdgeX Foundry, the Leading IoT Open Source Framework, Simplifies Deployment with the Latest Hanoi Release, New Use Cases and Ecosystem Resources

By Announcement, EdgeX Foundry
  • EdgeX’s Hanoi release offers better data tagging, customized editing and a new Command Line Interface for improved performance and scalability
  • New use cases across AI, IIoT, Manufacturing and Retail as part of the Adopter Video Series
  • Resources to get developers started on the platform, contributor case studies and a library of commercial offerings as part of the new EdgeX Foundry Website 

SAN FRANCISCODecember 10, 2020EdgeX Foundry, a project under the LF Edge umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for IoT edge computing independent of connectivity protocol, hardware, operating system, applications or cloud, today announced the “Hanoi” release that makes IoT deployment easier and the launch of new ecosystem resources.

“EdgeX Foundry fosters an ecosystem of interoperable components from a variety of vendors to create a much-needed IoT framework for edge solutions,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Automation, Edge and IoT, the Linux Foundation. “With the support of LF Edge members and EdgeX contributors from across the globe, we are paving the way to enable and support a more robust solution at the IoT, Enterprise, Cloud and Telco edge.”

Launched in April 2017, and now part of the LF Edge umbrella, EdgeX Foundry is an open source, loosely-coupled microservices framework that provides the choice to plug and play from a growing ecosystem of available third-party offerings or to augment proprietary innovations. With a focus on the IoT Edge, EdgeX simplifies the process to design, develop and deploy solutions across industrial, enterprise, and consumer applications.

The Hanoi Release

EdgeX Foundry’s Hanoi release is the seventh consecutive semi-annual release and has a number of features including simplified deployment, improved performance and scalability testing and launch of Command Line Interface (CLI). Hanoi also incorporates the first collection of new, platform-wide micro service APIs that allows adopters to get a feel for what’s coming with EdgeX 2.0 in the spring.

Key features include:

  • Launch of the CLI: allows developers and users to issue a variety of EdgeX API calls to its services using terminal commands for easier scripting of tasks.
  • Improved edge data tagging: developers can tag the data coming from a variety of edges, so that everything is organized and configured by a preferred process that ensures the location of data can be found more quickly and efficiently.
  • Easier and simplified deployment: users will find that EdgeX now has a Compose file “make” capability that allows users to more easily customize their file without a lot of manual editing.
  • Improved performance and scalability testing: Adopters can now calculate what a large-scale deployment with EdgeX would look, and put it in their roadmap plans. Hanoi brings the ability to provide guidance around EdgeX scaling as the amount of data is pushed through the system, or how many devices of particular types you can hang on an instance of EdgeX.

EdgeX Foundry has a history of working closely with other LF Edge projects including Akraino, Home Edge, EVE and Open Horizon. With the Hanoi release, EdgeX has provided a sample service to export data from EdgeX to Fledge, an industrial IoT framework that focuses on critical operations, predictive maintenance, situational awareness and safety.  This allows EdgeX device connectors and capabilities to be used with Fledge instances. Conversely, with its next release, Fledge intends to provide a device service to allow Fledge instances to feed EdgeX instances.

To learn more about the Hanoi release, check out this blog post.

Moving Forward

The next step for EdgeX Foundry is the “Ireland” release, tentatively scheduled for spring 2021. Ireland will include a number of significant changes, including; EdgeX’s new V2 API set and V2 API testing;  additional security improvements;  and easier transition/communication between device services to message application services directly (allowing for better quality of service when needed and bypassing persistence when not needed).

New Ecosystem Resources

The new EdgeX Foundry website features a variety of resources that will help new developers get started, learn about new commercial offerings from LF Edge members and see the framework in action in real-world use cases across Artificial Intelligence (AI), Industrial IoT (IIoT), Manufacturing, and Retail. The recently launched Adopter Series showcases companies that already deploy the EdgeX framework in products and solutions including Accenture, HP, Intel, Jiangxing Intelligence, ThunderSoft and TIBCO.

Additionally, Canonical, an LF Edge member and long-time EdgeX Foundry contributor, has taken over the management of the EdgeX Snap Store. Since the Dehli release, the community has published EdgeX snap packages for desktop, cloud and IoT that are easy to install, secure, cross‐platform and dependency‐free.

“With this release, we are committing to the maintenance and publishing of the official EdgeX snaps in the Canonical Snap Store,” said Tony Espy, Canonical’s EdgeX  Engineering Manager. “Taking over management of the EdgeX snap is an important step toward providing developers with a safe and secure path forward for their customers.”

Additional resources:

For more information about LF Edge and its projects, visit https://www.lfedge.org/

 About the Linux Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more.  The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org.

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The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our trademark usage page: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

 

The EdgeX Foundry Hanoi Release

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

By Jim White, EdgeX Foundry TSC Chairman

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

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

Hanoi Features

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Improvements Behind Scenes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Explore the Hanoi Release?

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

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

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

On To Ireland

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

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

Thanks Keith

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

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

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.