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EdgeX Foundry

An Enhanced Delhi Code with More Bells and Whistles

By | Blog, EdgeX Foundry

A few weeks back, the EdgeX Foundry community released Delhi.  This release (the third public major release of EdgeX in a little more than a year) included many new features and I outlined them in my last blog post . Today, the project announced the availability of an enhanced Delhi release, with a smaller collection of new and updated capabilities built on top of Delhi.  

The Delhi code release offers so many new features, I’m not going to list them all. Instead, I’d like to focus on what’s new with this enhanced Delhi release.  In particular, the enhanced version of Delhi begins to allow for freedom of choice with regard to databases in EdgeX. With this release, several of the services (core data, metadata and export client specifically) have been engineered to use either MongoDB (the long used default persistence for EdgeX) or Redis. This improvement to the EdgeX platform is significant for several reasons:

  • It highlights the ability for organizations to select and more easily use the data store that best fits their use case and system needs.  Platform support, performance characteristics, licensure issues, in-memory options, etc. are all architectural considerations when looking at persistence in your IoT platform.  
  • It is the first step in providing proper abstraction and loose coupling around the persistence layer.  Eventually, this work which we hope will be completed for the Edinburgh release (April 2019) will allow architects more freedom to customize, extend, and replace this layer based on their persistence needs.
  • EdgeX is all about providing interoperability, flexibility and facilitating choice at the edge – choice in sensor connectivity, analytics, cloud connectivity, deployment, etc. This new feature again showcases EdgeX’s flexibility – flexibility in persistence realm.  Future releases of EdgeX, using patterns established with this database abstractions, are looking at offering even more flexibility and interoperability in areas like messaging, security, communications, system management, etc.

The EdgeX community (which includes members of the Redis Labs team) worked throughout the Delhi release to simultaneously refactored several of the EdgeX microservices to offer Redis as embedded data services.  Specifically, this means we:

  • Incorporated the EdgeX services with the tools needed to connect to databases such as Redis and MongoDB
  • Leveraged Redis’ multi-model capability and data structures to serialize EdgeX data models for persistence, and index them for queries
  • Decoupled the EdgeX models from a single persistence mechanism
  • Solve identity issues, such as identifying sensor readings, in a database-independent way
  • Added Redis to the EdgeX deployment/orchestration facilities
  • Provided Redis initialization and bootstrapping scripts in support of EdgeX

Again, all of this work is important first steps toward more unilateral independence and choice with regard to persistence in EdgeX in future releases.

In addition to the work to provide alternate database connectors in several key EdgeX microservices, the enhanced Delhi code will also include the following:

  • New device service connectors, created from the new SDKs made available for Modbus and MQTT.  These were device services created with the new Go and C Devcie Service SDKs that were made available with the Delhi release.  Device connectors provide the “thing” or sensor/device connectivity in EdgeX.
  • A simple example device service simulator that developers can use to learn the EdgeX device service framework and speed up their development efforts.
  • Additional and improved documentation that includes all the new features from the Delhi release.
  • The EdgeX Foundry snap published in the the Snap Store (https://snapcraft.io/edgexfoundry) for the first time.

It should be mentioned that with the new Device Service SDKs, we are seeing a real escalation in EdgeX “thing” connectivity.  As I write this post, several additional Device Services have been created beyond what is offered in the “dot” release. So stay tuned to the EdgeX community outlets for more in this area coming soon.

Big shout out to the technical community for helping us achieve another technical milestone To learn more about the Redis connection, please click on this blog.

If you have questions or comments, visit the EdgeX Foundry Slack Channel and share your thoughts in the #community channel.

EdgeX Foundry Announces Additional Security Functionality, New Management Features and the Ability to Create Flexible, Smaller IoT Solutions with New Delhi Code

By | Announcement, EdgeX Foundry

EdgeX welcomes EMQ Enterprise and Foundries.io as new members to help create a unified edge ecosystem

SAN FRANCISCO – December 13, 2018EdgeX Foundry, an open-source, vendor-neutral project that enables an ecosystem of plug-and-play components to unify the IoT edge computing marketplace, today announced the availability of its enhanced Delhi code that offers management features, additional security functionality, new Software Developer Kits (SDK), and an updated user interface. This third major code release also offers the ability to connect to a wide-range of databases and operate EdgeX in lightweight devices.

IoT solutions are inherently heterogeneous and an open IoT interoperability framework like EdgeX Foundry accelerates time to value in developing and deploying real-world use cases such as building automation, energy management, asset management and logistics. The Delhi code, which was initially released in November, enables users  to manage important functions such as buffering and filtering data, applying security measures and the ability for organizations to select and use the data store that best fits their use case and system needs.

“The EdgeX Foundry framework enables developers to build complete IoT Edge solutions from an open ecosystem of EdgeX compatible microservices for sensor connectivity, analytics, cloud connectivity, deployment and more,” said Keith Steele, EdgeX Foundry Chair of the Technical Steering Committee and CEO of IOTech. “The Delhi release includes the initial system management capability, the next wave of security features, and offers the opportunity to select the database of choice. It saves the developer time and resources and now offers the opportunity for them to use EdgeX in lightweight devices.”

Key features and benefits for the Delhi code include:

  • The first EdgeX system management capability, as the one-stop shop for managing an instance of EdgeX;
  • Security features such as access control to grant access to appropriate services and improved security service bootstrapping;
  • New Go-lang and C SDKs that allow developers to create smaller, lighter and faster device/sensor connecting services;
  • A collection of sample services and a new simple simulator that developers can use to learn the EdgeX device service framework and speed up their development efforts;
  • New user interfaces that help to visually showcase EdgeX functionality;
  • Improved resiliency, more decoupled and better tested services;
  • Updated EdgeX services that connect with a wider-range of databases such as Redis and MongoDB; and
  • The EdgeX Foundry snap published in the the Snap Store for the first time.

The full list of Delhi features can be found here and more about the enhancements to the Redis connection can be found in this Redis Labs blog post.

Hosted by the Linux Foundation, the EdgeX platform is architected to run on any hardware or operating system and unify components coded in any programming language to accelerate time to market and simplify the deployment of secure IoT solutions. The framework serves as a de facto standard to bring together any mix of existing connectivity protocols with an ecosystem of heterogeneous value-add applications.

As EdgeX Foundry continues its technical momentum, it also welcomes EMQ Enterprise and Foundries.io to join the many member companies that hail from 18 countries across the globe.

“The EdgeX Foundry technical community intends to build on Delhi and offer even more customization in areas like messaging, security, communications and system management as we move forward,” said Jason Shepherd, EdgeX Foundry Governing Board Chair and Dell Technologies IoT and Edge Computing CTO. “We are excited to welcome these new member companies into the community and help us get one step closer to a trusted unified edge ecosystem.”

New member quotes:

“EMQ X is one of the most popular IoT message brokers in the open source community that supports several IoT protocols such as MQTT, MQTT-SN, CoAP and LwM2M. We are also investing in developing open source edge brokers that can support different IoT protocols with small footprints running on edge devices,” said Feng Lee, EMQ X CEO and Project Initiator. “As an open-source, vendor-neutral project that enables an ecosystem of plug-and-play components, EdgeX Foundry easily helps the 3rd party integrate different components to the framework. We are excited to join EdgeX Foundry and contribute our expertise to the community and build better edge solutions.”

“Our mission is to provide secure, OTA updatable platform (firmware and OS) architecture and cloud independent software for Edge and Fog devices” said George Grey, CEO of Foundries.io. “EdgeX Foundry and other container-based technologies provide the applications and services platforms for provisioning and deployment of the next generation of Edge computing. We look forward to participating in the EdgeX Foundry community with our complementary open source “southbound” platforms to accelerate time to market for secure OTA updatable products based on EdgeX.”

About EdgeX Foundry

EdgeX Foundry is an open source project hosted by The Linux Foundation building a common open framework for IoT edge computing and an ecosystem of interoperable components that unifies the marketplace and accelerates the deployment of IoT solutions. Designed to run on any hardware or operating system and with any combination of application environments, EdgeX enables developers to quickly create flexible IoT edge solutions that can easily adapt to changing business needs. To learn more, visit: www.edgexfoundry.org.

About The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and industry adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at www.linuxfoundation.org.

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ETRI unveils Time-Sensitive Networking IIoT Gateway based on EdgeX

By | Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Guest post written by Geun-Yong Kim, EdgeX Foundry member and Researcher at ETRI

EdgeX Foundry member, ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute) exhibited the EdgeX-based gateway system at the 2018 Photonics Convergence Industry Road Show held in Gwangju, Korea, on November 20- 21, 2018. The Photonics Convergence Industry Road Show is an annual event that companies related to Korean photonics convergence showcase their products and technologies, share best practices and build a stronger network.

< ETRI booth at 2018 Photonics Convergence Industry Road Show >

ETRI’s Time-Sensitive networking IIoT gateway is based on the Go version of the EdgeX framework. It is equipped with hardware that can install a device module with legacy device interface such as RS-232/485, Modbus, etc. It also provides time synchronization accuracy of less than 300ns error for Time-Sensitive Networking, which is a new Ethernet standard that guarantees bounded latency of data transmission.

< ETRI TSN IoT Gateway collecting measured data from BMT Smarteye sensors>

Since BMT gateways collect data sequentially from Smarteye sensors, there was a limit to the data analysis. Therefore, ETRI developed the device that can acquire data from multiple RS485 interfaces at the same time and implemented a new Device Service of EdgeX Foundry to handle it. The ETRI gateway is able to collect 27 kinds of data from BMT Smarteye power measurement sensors. It also collects measured data from three Smarteyes simultaneously per second and the demo included collecting data, exporting data, and rules detecting from data.

Additionally, ETRI developed GUI optimized for EdgeX micro service structure, and users can easily install and delete micro services for gateway by GUI. ETRI has also developed the TSN micro service, rules engine for analyzing power measurement data for TSN networking function, and implemented the GUI to visually express data flow between micro services.

< Micro service management GUI >

< Data collection and graph from BMT Smarteyes >

ETRI will continue researching and developing industrial IoT gateways for the renewable energy industry and power utility sectors based on the EdgeX Foundry framework. For more information, you can email Geun-Yong Kim at gykim@etri.re.kr. 

If you have questions or comments, visit the EdgeX Foundry Slack Channel and share your thoughts in the #community channel.

Automation.com: Inside Dell’s Ongoing Quest for Digitalization Acceleration

By | EdgeX Foundry, In the News

Last year, Bill Lyndon explored Dell Technologies quest to accelerate IoT focus to the edge. Bill recently returned to the folks at Dell to follow up on this mission. Speaking with Jason Shepherd, Dell’s IoT and Edge Computing CTO, he shared how they are helping customers accelerate digitalization through the application of IoT to improve business performance. Through numerous discussions and presentations over the last few years, Dell Technologies has clearly aligned itself to provide industry with solutions that span from computing at the network edge to cloud services. Further, this commitment to build this vision comes straight from the top:

“IoT is fundamentally changing how we live, how organizations operate and how the world works. Dell Technologies is leading the way for our customers with a new distributed computing architecture that brings IoT and artificial intelligence together in one, interdependent ecosystem from the edge to the core to the cloud. The implications for our global society will be nothing short of profound.” Michael Dell, Chairman & CEO

Read more at Automation.com.

IoT Evolution World: What IoT Platforms Have Been Missing; Economics and Ecosystems

By | EdgeX Foundry, In the News

Every technological shift only scales when there are proven economic advantages, and the IoT and Industrial IoT are no exception. In fact, according to Eric Simone, founder and CEO of ClearBlade, an Enterprise IoT Edge Computing platform company, “given the number of moving parts in any meaningful enterprise IoT deployment, there’s no getting away from the requirement to prove to end customers how connecting things will save money or increase revenue.”

Read more at IoT Evolution World.

Network World: What network pros need to know about IoT

By | EdgeX Foundry, In the News

Architecting for the Internet of Things creates a whole new ballgame for network pros.

Gartner predicts there will be more than 20 billion IoT devices in the world by 2020. About 40% of them will be deployed in the enterprise – monitoring air quality in factories, improving energy efficiency in offices, tracking assets across the supply chain, detecting equipment failures, and much more.

Read more at Network World.

EdgeX Foundry Releases Delhi and Plans for Edinburgh

By | Blog, EdgeX Foundry

The technical details on the current and next release of EdgeX Foundry

Jim White, Dell Technologies IoT Platform Development Team Lead & EdgeX TSC Vice Chair

This week, EdgeX Foundry announces the release of Delhi, our third major release in 12 months.  With each release that this growing community kicks out – I get a little nostalgic.  EdgeX started its life in my kitchen.  Like a lot of open source software efforts – it started humbly.  In the case of EdgeX, it started on my laptop, propped open on my kitchen island one summer weekend about 4 years ago with an adult beverage or two.

Today, Edgex is being developed around the globe by a lot of tremendous software engineering talent.  I was proud to start EdgeX, but I am even more proud to be part of an exciting group of international engineers building the most flexible, interoperable, open source IoT platform on the planet. This new release, Delhi, contains a new service and several key features that have our community and potential customers excited about the future of EdgeX Foundry.

Delhi Release

System Management

Most importantly, this release contains the first EdgeX system management capability.  A new service – the System Management Agent (SMA) – serves as the coordinator for control plane information (status, configuration and metrics around EdgeX services) and control actions on EdgeX services (start, stop, and restart).  Cloud or third party systems can call on the API provided by the SMA to trigger the actions or to get the control plane data they need. The SMA can serve as a one-stop shop for managing an instance of EdgeX.  Each EdgeX micro service has a corresponding management API that the SMA calls on to help control that service (example – stop the service) or pull back its latest configuration or metrics.  The SMA and management API provided by each service will be expanded in future releases of EdgeX and will one day offer control plane data and actions via alternate protocols (like LWM2M or SNMP).

Device Service SDKs

The original platform that started on my kitchen island was a Java platform.  Last year, the community embarked on an endeavor to replace the bulky and slow Java services and tools with Go and C services and tools.  Device Services – the EdgeX services that connect “things” to the platform are still in Java but not for long.  With the Delhi release, two new Device Service SDKs have been created.  The Go and C SDKs are allowing the community to create smaller, lighter, faster device/sensor connecting services that will allow EdgeX to operate in very limited resource compute environments – the thin edge in IoT solutions.

Improved Service Resiliency and Decoupling

In the past, the EdgeX microservice dependencies required the services be brought up with wait times between the startup of each service to allow the system time to bring things up in order.  The services now are able to automatically check and detect when a dependent is in place and to become fully functional only after a dependent is up.  This greatly reduces the start of all of EdgeX from minutes to seconds – around 5-10 seconds on average.  The services now detect a dependent has gone down and will keep retrying that service until it comes back up.  This gives EdgeX more resiliency than it had in the past.

EdgeX User Interfaces

EdgeX was built to facilitate machine to machine communications.  As such, it did not have a user interface.  With the Delhi release, user interfaces were created – largely to help visually showcase EdgeX functionality and to help developers – these UI also serve to show how EdgeX can be driven and operated.

Improved Core and Supporting Services

Many of the core and supporting services in EdgeX were improved and more unit testing was added to allow the community to keep an eye on the quality of the overall system and compatibility of future features of EdgeX.  The Scheduling Service was also transitioned from Java to Go.

More Secure

Security services were initiated in our last release (California).  The Delhi release includes the next wave of security features such as access control to grant access to appropriate services, and improved security service bootstrapping.

Better Tested

As mentioned, more unit tests were added to the EdgeX services.  Additionally, automated blackbox tests are in place for each service to make sure the public API of each service performs as documented.

Ecosystem Growth

In addition to all this hard work, our EdgeX Foundry ecosystem continued to expand during this release cycle.  Among the new companies to join EdgeX Foundry are Basking Automation, Data Ahead, Intel, Redis Labs, and ZEDEDA.  This community also launched the availability of a developer kit and community demonstrator (for showcasing EdgeX during conferences and IoT events).  Find out more about these here.  Stay tuned to the EdgeX news and announcement pages as some big organizations are preparing to announce their joining early in the New Year.

Edinburgh

OK – no time to rest on our laurels.  What’s next EdgeX?  I am glad you asked!  Indeed, the EdgeX technical steering committee (TSC) along with several community members met in Edinburgh Scotland to plan and scope our next release – code named Edinburgh – which is scheduled for April 2019 (I assure you the release name and TSC meeting place alignment happened a little serendipitously).

As Keith Steele, Chair of the EdgeX Foundry Technical Steering Committee, reported in his blog post, the results of the meeting were “superb” – as the Scots like to say.

The Edinburgh release has been scoped to include a rather significant amount of new features as well as making improvements on the current code base (“cleaning up technical debt” as we like to say).  Given the increase in community membership and number of contributors to the project, we feel this scope is within reach.  Here are some of the major efforts the membership has planned for the next 5-6 months.

Binary Data Support

The Edinburgh release of EdgeX will support the ingestion, use, and export of binary data (using CBOR format).  To date, EdgeX has supported ingesting, using and exporting integer, float, string, and boolean types of discrete data collected from sensors.  Many of the edge use cases involve video images, audio data, and other data that is binary data serialized.

Automated Performance and Security Testing

EdgeX has come a long way over the past few releases in increasing and improving its quality through testing.  In the Edinburgh release, performance and security testing will be automated.

Cornucopia of new Device Services

The new Go and C Device Service SDKs created with the Delhi release allow the community to create smaller, faster, less-resource consuming replacements for the Java Device Services that now serve to connect “things” to EdgeX.  This includes Modbus, BACNet, BLE, MQTT and SNMP Device Services.  As there has been a bit of a pent up demand to get new Device Services for EdgeX due to the development of the SDKs, we believe this release will contain even more thing connectors than we could have imagined a year ago.

The paint on the new SDKs isn’t even dry and we already have the community showing off some early prototypes of new Device Services today and the numbers are impressive.  In one small example, our old Java Modbus Device Service was 141MB in size and consumed 184MB of memory.  The Go version produced with the new SDK is 16MB in size and uses just 8MB of memory.

Application Services

The current EdgeX Export Services, while functional, create scalability issues. The current EdgeX capability relies on the Export Services to know and understand all possible endpoint distribution mechanisms and transformation capability necessary to support all clients – even if the use case requires only a single, simple client (like sending the raw sensor event data to an MQTT pipe in JSON). As the number and type of EdgeX north side clients (cloud, enterprise and on-prem IoT servers) expands, this service will be too big and complex to support the north side needs.

The Edinburgh release will feature a new type of “exporting” service – the Application Service.  The initial and simple Application Services in the Edinburgh release will be designed and implemented to support smaller, more tailored exportation needs. These services will contain just the functionality (filtering, transformation, enrichment, etc.) needed for a single endpoint. To address multiple endpoints, multiple Application Services will be created (versus having one massive export service as EdgeX has today). In a way, the Application Services will begin to look more like the south side Device Services – that is functionality dedicated to a particular client protocol and data need. Long term over the course of a number of releases, Application Services will replace EdgeX Export Services as the north side distribution facility.

Improved User On-boarding & Support Plan

EdgeX Foundry has been a developer driven effort.  As the platform is and will continue to be used in real world IoT solutions, it becomes imperative that the community improve the quality and volume of documentation, tutorials, examples, videos, etc. to help user communities go from day 0 to production as quickly as possible.  It is also imperative that EdgeX institute a long term support plan/strategy to give the user community assurances about what they can expect from the open source effort they put into their products.  The TSC Chair (Keith Steele) and TSC Vice-Chair (me) are dedicating our resolve to address these two concerns as part of the Edinburgh release cycle.

Certification Program

A certification program will be outlined in concert with the Edinburgh release. A certification program will enable third parties creating EdgeX services to verify their services as alternative or enhancing capability to those provided by the EdgeX open source effort.  This will allow 3rd parties to add value (proprietary or open source) to EdgeX that customers can rely on to meet the EdgeX APIs and work without additional code change (enabling a plug-and-play ecosystem).  Various levels of certification are being considered, from micro service replacement certification (validating alternate or commercial implementations of EdgeX micro services satisfy API requirements along with performance metrics and quality checks) to full EdgeX deployments (for commercial versions of EdgeX).  Additional certification processes may be developed around particular cross cutting features such as security.

And More…

  • Use of Vault namespaces for storing secrets for the micro services.
  • Initial EdgeX secrets (needed to start Vault/Kong) will be encrypted on the file system using a secure storage abstraction layer – allowing other implementations to store these in hardware stores (based on hardware root of trust systems)
  • Refactor EdgeX database-using services (Core Data, Metadata, Export Client, Logging, Notifications, and Scheduling) to be more loosely coupled to the persistence mechanism (currently MongoDB). This will better facilitate the use of alternative persistent stores and technology in future implementations and even allow the project to select alternate or additional reference implementation databases in future releases.
  • A smaller, lighter, faster rules engine service to replace the last of the EdgeX Java micro services.
  • System Management will offer service health/status checks and additional metrics
  • Updating the versioning and dependency management system for all Go micro services (replacing a deprecated technology)
  • Upgrading all 3rd party open source tools included with EdgeX (Consul, Kong, Vault, etc.) to use the latest releases

For a full list of the Edinburgh release scope and roadmap, see the project Wiki.

It’s a large scope, but the community and team of developers is growing.  Contact our Developer Advocate, Michael Hall, if you and your team would like to be a part of our effort – it’s an exciting time to be part of an exciting and industry impacting project.  I have every confidence the EdgeX Edinburgh release will make some news in April 2019… as long as I can keep the team away from all the Scottish whisky we brought home from our trip!

2 Great Weeks in the Life of EdgeX Foundry

By | Blog, EdgeX Foundry

By Keith Steele, Chair of the EdgeX Foundry TSC

I wrote this blog on a train from Edinburgh back to my home town in Newcastle UK, ending two weeks of spirited activity for the EdgeX community. On October 15-17, we gathered in Barcelona for IOT World Solutions Congress and then we met in Edinburgh for our bi-annual Technical Steering Committee (TSC) meeting.

Both weeks were by hugely successful for the project with some major milestones achieved, market momentum demonstrated and collaboration that solidified plans for our impressive roadmap, which agreed for the next EdgeX release in April.

Most striking of all, however is the growing ecosystem of contributors driving the project forward, their talent, enthusiasm and unselfish collaboration. It was just a pleasure to witness and a lot of fun – I’ll never quite forget the gradual rise in volume in the room as we progressed through the Scotch Whiskey tasting with the TSC!

Anyway, I digress, let’s start this blog in Barcelona, or for some of us Toulouse! The IOTech team had a slight travel diversion due to storms and ended up in nice Southwestern French city, but didn’t get to explore. Undeterred, the team developed an alternate travel route and finally showed up in Barcelona to see the EdgeX Foundry booth ready and looking sharp with the new community demo as a nice focal point.

The New Community Demo

EdgeX Foundry’s new community demo set out to demonstrate the full capability of EdgeX in the context of a realistic use case, we chose Buildings Automation but it could have been any edge vertical. When we say the full capability of EdgeX we mean:

  • Multi vendor, multi protocol southbound connectivity and data interoperability – the demo has over a dozen different connected devices seamlessly interoperating through EdgeX using standard connectivity software!
  • Hardware independence – the demo has three gateways from three different vendors hosting EdgeX, demonstrating its distributed microservice capability
  • Silicon provider independence – three Gateways, three different chip sets; 32 and 64 bit ARM and 64 bit Intel
  • Application plug and play – standard Microservice API’s enabled easy replacement of the EdgeX rules engine reference implementation with NodeRED to demo Edge analytics capability
  • Local Edge Control – the demo is not just about collecting data, it shows full the full command capability of EdgeX
  • Connect to any Cloud – the demo shows connectivity to AWS but this could just as easily have been Azure, Google, or any cloud
  • Interaction with Cloud Applications – in this case, we showcased higher level Energy Management and Space optimization software interacting with the Edge system but with flow of data filtered and optimized to cut expensive cloud data usage costs!

If you weren’t at the show, you’ll be able to see a video of it soon. In the meantime, James Butcher, Senior Solutions Architect at IOTech, shares the details of how the demo came together in this blog post.

So, how was it all received?

I say without hesitation this was a great show for EdgeX (and I say this as someone who usually regards trade shows as only marginally more useful than a Celine Dion tribute act).

The EdgeX Foundry stand was continuously busy – attendees came to see the community demo and meet with EdgeX members Basking Automation, CloudPlugs, Dell, Enigmedia, IOTech, and Mainflux as well as Redis Labs, RSA, VMware and ZEDEDA with their own presence demonstrating their integration with EdgeX.

At the show, we announced Intel and eight other tech influencers joined the project and there was huge interest for this and the new EdgeX dev kits at the show. Jason Shepherd, Chair of the EdgeX Foundry Governing Board, and I were busy briefing customers, analysts and media, while traffic to the booth was heavy and constant. James, one of the people manning the community demonstrator only managed lunch at 4pm the 1st day of the show!

My own takeaways

Barcelona, for me, proved without a shadow of doubt an open approach at the Edge is now a well-established need and EdgeX is regarded as the leading open implementation.

The vendor neutral approach is the clear driver, the Edge is by its nature a very heterogeneous and users want a solution that is designed to support that heterogeneity rather than a proprietary solution that locks them in to a specific vendor.

The flexibility of choice of cloud and hardware providers were big winners with visitors to the EdgeX booth. Some of the bigger users are hedging their bets with dual approaches, but there was evidence from the many vendors visiting the booth that they recognized they were going to have to support EdgeX.

Another big motivator was an open approach as a basis for bringing together the 6-10 vendors/technology partners typically required to deliver an end to end IOT solution using EdgeX as an integration point allowing vendors to keep their proprietary value add while collaborating across a standard and open infrastructure. Interesting times!

On to Edinburgh for the EdgeX Technical Steering Committee meeting.

Good to see the numbers growing with 40-50 people attending across the 3 days of the meeting, again from all corners of the globe. Nice to also to see many new faces from Intel, Siemens, Thales, Analog Devices, Canonical, Dell, ForgeRock, Intel, IOTech, Mainflux, Redis Labs, Samsung Electronics, Siemens AG, Technische Universität Berlin, University of Edinburgh, VMware, and Wanxiang Group.

The main meeting discussion topics were the roadmap for the next release, called ‘Edinburgh’ (scheduled for release in April 2019) and the status of the Delhi release, which we just announced the code freeze with release in mid-November.

The Delhi release is a very important milestone for EdgeX as the core services have now all been refactored in Go and C providing a big improvement in performance, footprint and scalability.

A dot release to Delhi is going to be released in December to provide Redis as the underlying database option (in place of MongoDB) for several services including Core Data, Core Metadata and Export Client.  This work will be even more of a focus for Edinburgh where the easy replacement and swap of databases that support EdgeX is desired.

In parallel to the formal Delhi release of EdgeX, several community developer kits will also be made available, the first based on the Samsung Pi and Artik developer boards (link). The dev kits will go a long way to onboarding future EdgeX developers and improving developer onboarding will be a key priority for the TSC this year.

Here’s a short list of what was scoped for the Edinburgh release:

  • Support for binary data to be processed by EdgeX for the first time to allow for carrying video images, audio data, and the like.
  • Implementation (initial) of Application Services, an eventual replacement for Export Services, will be more scalable and functionally driven microservices for getting data from EdgeX to other systems and applications.
  • Definition for how EdgeX will operate on top of hardware root of trust systems and take advantage of the secure storage with an abstraction layer
  • Performance targets for EdgeX are already being hit, but performance testing as part of the continuous integration and release process.
  • Building better abstraction and separation of concerns around persistence for the services using a database (MongoDB today) in order to allow easy replacement of the database in the future.
  • Implementing the next wave of system management features to include providing more service metrics and offering EdgeX metrics, configuration and status information via additional control plane protocols (such as LWM2M, SNMP, etc.).
  • Adding a plethora of Device Services (DS) for various protocols given the new DS SDKs in Go and C.

Look for a future post by Jim White, our EdgeX Foundry Vice Chair of the TSC, to provide more details on the upcoming April 2019 release.

A few other points of notes from the meeting

We agreed it was time to have a release manager to oversee the bi-annual EdgeX releases and this task would be undertaken by the major contributors. Ideally, we’d rotate ownership of this task and it would be a good way forward with potentially 4-member companies taking it in turns by rotation. A call will be set up shortly to discuss this process and move forward with it.

The DevOps and QA/Test Working Groups will, for the next few months, run combined calls given the close cooperation needed and the focus in the EdgeX Edinburgh release on incorporating automated performance and scalability tests as part of the overnight runs. Look out for the new time for these meetings shortly.

Now the C and the GO SDK’s are available a big part of the Device and DeviceSDK Working Group’s work will now switch to acceleration and collaboration around accelerating new Device Service connectivity. This is obviously seen as key to widespread deployment of EdgeX going forward.

As mentioned, we had to have a little bit of fun while in Edinburgh. There’s nothing quite like Scotch Whiskey tasting in Edinburgh.

 

 

Remember, if you can’t make the meetings you can join by phone and the recordings of the meeting can be found here.

The next F2F TSC meeting will be hosted in Seoul, South Korea on April 22 -25.2019. You can register here and find more information is available on the EdgeX Wiki.

It was also announced the October 2019 meeting will take place at Intel’s facility in Chandler Arizona. We look forward to collaborating with you there!!

Finally, a couple of thank you notes, the first one to Jeremy Phelps, who is stepping down as chair from the DevOps Working Group, Jeremy’s enthusiasm, skill and effort levels have been just stellar and he will be a hard act to follow!

Lastly, thanks to the team at the Linux Foundation for their massive efforts in bringing both Barcelona and Edinburgh to fruition with professionalism and untold patience having to deal with me. Maybe next time, we all get an Octopus T-shirt!

Best Regards,

Keith Steele, TSC Chair

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