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EdgeX Foundry

AgStack joins with LF Edge and EdgeX Foundry to Create Agriculture IoT Solutions

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

This post originally published on the AgStack website

The newest Linux Foundation project, AgStack, announces a liaison with LF Edge and EdgeX Foundry to dock existing EdgeX software for IoT into AgStack’s IoT Extension. AgStack has also agreed to participate in the EdgeX Foundry Vertical Solutions Working Group to explore the adoption and use of the EdgeX IoT/edge platform as an extension to its design of digital infrastructure for agriculture stakeholders.  Through mutual LF project cooperation, the two projects hope to create a complete edge-to-enterprise open-source solution as part of AgStack that can help the global agricultural ecosystem.

The goals of the cooperation between the two projects are to:

  • Utilize the existing EdgeX Foundry framework to quickly accelerate AgStack’s reach into the agriculture edge – providing a universal platform for communicating with the ag industry’s sensors, devices and gateways.
  • Extend the EdgeX framework to handle agricultural edge use cases and unique ag ecosystem protocols, models, data formats, etc.
  • Jointly work on edge-to-enterprise market ready solutions that can be easily demonstrated and used as the foundation for real world products benefiting ag industry creators and consumers.
  • Setup an exchange (as fellow LF projects) to mutually assist and share lessons learned in areas such as project governance, devops, software testing, security, etc.

“We are in the early stages of defining and building the AgStack platform and we prefer not to have to start from scratch or reinvent the wheel as we build our industry leading open-source platform” said Sumer Johal, Executive Director of AgStack.  “EdgeX Foundry gives us the opportunity to leapfrog our IoT / edge efforts by several years and take advantage of the ecosystem, edge expertise, and lessons learned that EdgeX has acquired in the IoT space.”

“As a versatile and horizontal IoT/edge platform, we are excited to partner with AgStack who can help to highlight how EdgeX can be used in  agriculture IoT use cases and how the AgStack and EdgeX communities can collaborate to scale digital transformation for the agriculture and food industries” said Jim White, Technical Steering Committee Chairman of EdgeX Foundry.  “Even though a fellow LF project, we view AgStack as one of our vertical customers – applying EdgeX to solve real world problems – and what better place to demonstrate that than in an industry that feeds the world.”

 About AgStack

  AgStack was launched by the Linux Foundation in May 2021.  AgStack seeks to improve global agriculture efficiency through the creation, maintenance and enhancement of free, re-usable, open and specialized digital infrastructure for data and applications.  Founding members of AgStack include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Our Sci, bscompany, axilab, Digital Green, Farm Foundation, Open Team, NIAB and Product Marketing Association.  To learn more visit https://agstack.org.

 

EdgeX Foundry Reaches Four Years!

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

In four short years, EdgeX has become the global standard at the IOT Edge; this blog examines why and looks to the future.

By Keith Steele, CEO IOTech, and member of LF Edge Board and EdgeX Technical Steering Group.

The emergence of Edge Computing

Back in 2017, “edge computing” was a forecast in a Gartner report, it was called “the mother of all infrastructures.” A new computing model, edge computing promised to alter how businesses interact with the physical world.

With edge computing, data from physical devices—whether it be a drone, sensor, robot, HVAC unit, autonomous car, or other intelligent device—is acquired, processed, analyzed, and acted upon by dedicated edge computing platforms. The processed data can be acted upon locally and then sent to the cloud as required for further action and analysis.

Edge computing helps businesses very rapidly and inexpensively store, process, and analyze portions of their data closer to where it is needed, reducing security risks and reaction times, and making it an important complement to cloud computing. It is, however, a complex problem.

As more devices generate more data, existing infrastructure, bandwidth restrictions, and organizational roadblocks can stand in the way of extracting beneficial insights. What is more, there is no one-size solution that fits everyone. Different applications require different types of compute and connectivity and need to meet a variety of compliance and technology standards.

EdgeX – A Strategic Imperative

This inherent complexity at the edge was recognized as a major barrier to market take- up at the edge; in the same way that common standards and platforms are applied across most of the IT stack, there was recognition that a common ‘horizontal’ software foundation at the edge was needed.

In June 2017, in Boston MA, under the auspices of the Linux Foundation, around 60 people from many technology companies, gathered from around the World, to constitute the EdgeX Foundry open-source project;  the attendees had one aim: To create EdgeX Foundry as the global open edge software platform standard!

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At the outset, the EdgeX team saw an open edge software platform as a strategic imperative.  EdgeX enables successful edge implementation strategies and makes the IT/OT boundary a key value-add in building new end-to-end IoT systems. Platforms like EdgeX support heterogeneous systems and ‘real time’ performance requirements on both sides of the boundary, promote choice and flexibility, and enable collaboration across multiple vendors.

Four years later with literally millions of downloads, thousands of deployments across multiple vertical markets, and a truly global ecosystem of technology and commercialization partners, we can   justifiably claim to have achieved our goal.

Over the years the project has had something like 200 code contributors, from companies as diverse as Dell, Intel, HP, IOTech, VMWare, Samsung, Beechwoods, Canonical, Cavium Networks, and Jiangxing Intelligence.  Some made small contributions, while others have stayed for the whole journey. This blog is a tribute to all who have contributed to the project’s continued success.

The Importance of Ecosystem

Open-source projects without a global ecosystem of partners to develop, productize, test, and even deploy stand little chance of success.

The EdgeX ecosystem was greatly enhanced in January 2019 when EdgeX, along with project Akraino, became one of two founding projects in LF Edge, which is an umbrella organization created by the Linux Foundation that “aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system.” This project aims to bring together complementary open-source technologies.

EdgeX standalone pre- 2019 was already of great value. However, as a founding project under the umbrella of LF Edge, it proved even more valuable as the momentum increased with additional global collaboration. The additional amplification and support across LF Edge projects, community, and members, helped turn EdgeX into a real high velocity project.

     

\EdgeX Fundamentals

There are several fundamental technical and business tenets we set out to solve with EdgeX:

Leveraging the power of Edge and Cloud Computing

Our starting point is that edge and cloud complement one another.

Cloud computing and data centers offer excellent support for large data storage and computing workloads that do not demand real-time insights. For example, a company may choose cloud computing to offload long-term data processing and analysis, or resource-intensive workloads like AI training.

However, the latency and potential costs of connections between the cloud and edge devices makes cloud computing impractical for some scenarios – particularly those in which enterprises need faster or real-time insights, or the edge produces massive amounts of data that should first be filtered to reduce cloud costs. In these cases, an edge computing strategy offers unique value.

Open vs. Proprietary

The idea behind EdgeX was to maximize choice so users did not have to lock themselves into proprietary technologies that, by design, limit choice.

Given the implicit heterogeneity at the Edge, ‘open’ at a minimum means the Edge X platform had to be silicon, hardware, operating system, analytics engine, software application and cloud agnostic. It would seem odd to embrace IoT diversity at the edge, but then be tied to a single cloud vendor, hardware supplier, application vendor or chip supplier.

Secure, Pluggable and Extensible Software Architecture

To offer choice and flexibility we chose a modern, distributed, microservices based software architecture, which we believe supported the inherent complexities at the edge. The other really big thing we defined was a set of open standard APIs that enable ‘plug and play’ of any software application at the Edge. Coming back to ‘product quality’ we also wanted these maintained in a way that any changes to the APIs did not mean huge rewrites for application providers.

Edge Software Application ‘Plug and Play’

A key promise of EdgeX is that it provides a standard open framework around which an ecosystem can emerge, offering interoperable plug-and-play software applications and value add services providing users with real choice, rather than having to deal with siloed applications, which may potentially require huge systems integration efforts.

EdgeX ensures that any application can be deployed and run on any hardware or operating system, and with any combination of application environments. This enables real flexibility to deliver interoperability between connected devices, applications, and services across a wide range of use cases.

Time-Critical Performance and Scalability

Many of the applications we want to run at the edge, including specialist AI and analytics applications, need access to ‘real-time’ data. These can be very challenging performance constraints, e.g., millisecond or even microsecond response times, often with absolute real-time predictability requirements. Edge systems can also be very large-scale and highly distributed.

The hardware available to run time-critical Edge applications is often highly constrained in terms of memory availability or the need to run at low power. This means edge computing software may need to be highly optimized and have a very small ‘footprint’.

Access to real time data is a fundamental differentiator between the edge and cloud computing worlds. With EdgeX we decided to focus on applications that required round trip response times in the milliseconds rather than microseconds.

Our target operating environments are server and gateway class computers running standard Windows or Linux operating systems. We decided to leave it to the ecosystem to address Time Critical Edge systems, which required ultra-low footprint, microsecond performance and even hard real time predictability. (My company – IOTech- just filled that gap with a product called Edge XRT. Its important real-time requirements are understood in full, as decisions taken can significantly impact success or failure of edge projects.)

Connectivity and Interoperability

A major difference between the edge and cloud is inherent heterogeneity and complexity at the edge. This is best illustrated in relation to connectivity and interoperability requirements, south and northbound:

  • Southbound: The edge is where the IT computer meets the OT ‘thing’ and there is a multitude of ‘things’ with which we will want to communicate, using a range of different ‘connectivity’ protocols at or close to real time. Many of these ‘things’ are legacy devices deployed with some old systems (brownfield). EdgeX provides reference implementations of some key protocols north and southbound along with SDK’s to readily allow users to add new protocols where they do not already exist; ensuring acquired data is interoperable despite the differences in device protocols. The commercial ecosystem also provides many additional connectors, making connectivity a configuration versus a programming task
  • Northbound: Across industry, we also have multiple cloud and other IT endpoints; therefore, EdgeX provides flexible connectivity to and from these different environments. In fact, many organizations today use multi-cloud approaches to manage risk, take advantage of technology advances, avoid obsolescence, obtain leverage over cloud price increases, and support organizational and supply-chain integration. EdgeX software provides for this choice by being cloud agnostic.

How does the EdgeX Vendor Ecosystem deliver customer solutions?

There are many companies offering value add products and services to the baseline open-source product, including mine, IOTech. There are also may examples of live deployments in vertical markets such as manufacturing and process automation, retail, transportation, smart venues, and cities etc.  See the EdgeX Adopter Series presentations for some examples.

Where Next for EdgeX?

The EdgeX project goes from strength to strength, with huge momentum behind its V1 Release and we will soon release EdgeX 2.0, a major release which includes all new and improved API set (eliminating technical debt that has incurred over 4 years), more message bus communications between services (replacing REST communications where you need more quality of service and asynchronous behavior), enhanced security services, and new device/sensor connectors.  The EdgeX 2.0 release will also emphasize outreach, including much more of a focus on users as well as developers.  With this release, the community launches the EdgeX Ready program.  The program is a means for organizations and individuals to demonstrate their ability to work with EdgeX.

Some Closing Thoughts

The full promise of IoT will be achieved when you combine the power of cloud and edge computing: delivering real value that allows businesses to analyze and act on their data with incredible agility and precision, giving them a critical advantage against their competitors.

The key challenges at the edge related to latency, network bandwidth, reliability, security, and OT heterogeneity cannot be addressed in cloud-only models – the edge needs its own answers.

EdgeX and the LF Edge ecosystem maximize user choice and flexibility and enable effective collaboration across multiple vertical markets at the edge helping to power the next wave of business transformation. Avoid the risk of getting left behind. To learn more, please visit the EdgeX website and LF Edge website and get involved!

 

Nominations are Open for the Annual EdgeX Community Awards!

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry

Written by Aaron Williams, LF Edge Developer Advocate

It’s our favorite time of the year – where we take a step back and reflect on what we have accomplished and honor the members of our community who have gone above and beyond to support EdgeX Foundry.  We are pleased to announce the launch nominations for the 4th Annual EdgeX Community Awards.

Milestones

Back in 2018 when we started the awards, we had about 1,000 Docker downloads and about 20 contributors.  Today, we are well over 7 million downloads and have 4 times the number of contributors.

In 2020, we expanded into Asia, especially China, which was demonstrated by the amazing turn out at EdgeX Foundry China Day 2020.  We also kicked off the EdgeX Foundry Adopter Series, where the community learns more about how companies around the world use EdgeX.  In addition to two more successful releases, we also announced the creation of the Open Retail Reference Architecture (ORRA) – a project to deliver a base edge foundation to the retail industry – with a presentation from IBM, Intel, and HP.  There were many more events and milestones (like debuting our brand-new website) that we could dive into, but we want to focus in the opening for nominations of the EdgeX Awards!

How to Participate

If you are already a member of the EdgeX Foundry community, please take a moment and visit our EdgeX Awards page and nominate the community member that you feel best exemplified innovation and/or contributed leadership and helped EdgeX Foundry advance and grow over the last year.  Nominations are being accepted through April 7, 2021.

The Awards

Innovation Award:  The Innovation Award recognizes individuals who have contributed the most innovative solution to the project over the past year.

Previous Winners:

2018- Drasko Draskovic (Mainflux) and Tony Espy (Canonical)

2019- Trevor Conn (Dell) and Cloud Tsai (IOTech)

2020- Michael Estrin (Dell Technologies and James Gregg (Intel)

Contribution Award:  The Contribution Award recognizes individuals who have contributed leadership and helped EdgeX Foundry advance and continue momentum in the past year. This includes individuals who have led work groups, special projects, and/or contributed large amounts of code, bug fixes, marketing material, documentation, or otherwise significantly advanced the efforts of EdgeX with their drive and leadership.

Previous Winners:

2018- Andy Foster (IOTech) and Drasko Draskovic (Mainflux)

2019- Michael Johanson (Intel) and Lenny Goodell (Intel)

2020- Bryon Nevis (Intel) and Lisa Ranjbar (Intel)

From top left to right: Keith Steele, Maemalynn Meanor, Bryon Nevis. Michael Estrin, Lisa Rashidi-Ranjbar, James Gregg, Aaron Williams, Jim White

To learn more about EdgeX Foundry, visit our website 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 you can follow us on Twitter, and LinkedIn.

 

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

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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/.