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Project EVE

Extending Kubernetes to the IoT Edge

By Blog, Project EVE

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

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

When Kubernetes was first released onto the open source scene by Google in 2014, it marked an important milestone in application development for cloud environments. Docker had already begun to show the world the value of containers as a means to create modular, nimble applications that could be built using a microservices architecture. But containers were difficult to deploy at scale — particularly at the massive size of many cloud-native applications. Kubernetes filled that need by providing a comprehensive container orchestration solution.

Now, as the edge is emerging as the next frontier of computing, many businesses and developers are looking to replicate the benefits of cloud-native development closer to the data’s source. Kubernetes will play an important role in that process, but, for reasons we’ll explain in this post, it isn’t as easy as simply copy/pasting the traditional version of Kubernetes across the board.

Which edge are we talking about?
Of course, there are many different “edges” in edge computing, and it’s been easier to extend cloud-native principles to some more than others. For instance, for a service provider that creates a micro data center comprised of a rack of servers at the base of one of their cell towers, it’s fairly straightforward to use the same version of Kubernetes that runs in the cloud. These deployments are very similar to those found in a traditional data center, and so developing and running applications is also similar, including the way containers are used and orchestrated.

At the other extreme of the edge spectrum are devices like microcontrollers, which use deeply embedded code with tight coupling between hardware and software due to resource constraints in areas like memory and processing. These classes of devices also often leverage a Real-time Operating System (RTOS) to ensure determinism in responses. Given these constraints, it’s not technically feasible for these devices to leverage container-based architectures, regardless of whether there’s a benefit for modularity and portability.

In between these two ends of the edge computing spectrum are a large number of devices that make up what we consider to be the “IoT edge”: small- and medium-sized compute nodes that can run Linux and have sufficient memory (>512MB) to be able to support the overhead of virtualization. Compared to embedded devices that tend to be fixed in function, these compute nodes are used to aggregate business-critical data for enterprises and need to be able to run an evolving set of apps that process and make decisions based on that data. As app development for edge use cases continues to evolve and grow, companies will see the most benefit from making these IoT devices as flexible as possible, meaning they’ll want the capability to update software continuously and reconfigure applications as needed. This idea of being able to evolve software on a daily basis is a central tenet of cloud-native development practices, which is why we often talk about extending cloud-native benefits to the IoT edge.

Challenges of extending Kubernetes to the IoT edge
While Docker containers have been widely used in IoT edge deployments for several years, extending Kubernetes-based cloud-native development to the IoT edge isn’t a straightforward process. One reason why is that the footprint of the traditional Kubernetes that runs on servers in the data center is too large for constrained devices. Another challenge is the fact that many industrial operators are running legacy applications that are business-critical but not compatible with containerization. Companies in this situation need a hybrid solution that can still support their legacy apps on virtual machines (VMs), even as they introduce new containerized apps in parallel. There are data center solutions that support both VMs and containers today; however, footprint is still an issue for the IoT edge. Further, IoT edge compute nodes are highly distributed, deployed at scale outside of the confines of traditional data centers and even secure micro data centers, hence they require specific security considerations.

In addition to the technical challenges, there’s also a cultural shift that comes with the move toward a more cloud-native development mindset. Many industrial operators are used to control systems that are isolated from the internet and therefore only updated if absolutely necessary, because an update could bring down an entire process. Others are still accustomed to a waterfall model of development, where apps are updated only periodically, and the entire stack is taken down to do so. In either case, switching to a system of modularized applications and continuous delivery is a big transition, if not premature. It’s not always an easy change to make, and it’s common for organizations to find themselves stuck in a transitory state — especially for those that leverage a combination of partner offerings instead of controlling all aspects of app development and technology management in-house.

Net-net, there’s a lot of buzz today around solutions that promise to make cloud-native development and orchestration at the edge as easy as flipping on a switch, but the reality is that most enterprises aren’t ready to “rip and replace,” and therefore need a solution that provides a transition path.

Enter: Project EVE and Kubernetes
Simplifying the transition to a cloud-native IoT edge is the philosophy that underpins Project EVE, an open source project originally donated by ZEDEDA to LF Edge. EVE serves as an edge computing engine that sits directly on top of resource-constrained hardware and makes it possible to run both VMs and containers on the same device — thereby supporting both legacy and cloud-native apps. Additionally, EVE creates a foundation that abstracts hardware complexities, providing a zero-trust security environment and enabling zero-touch provisioning. The goal of EVE is to serve as a comprehensive and flexible foundation for IoT edge orchestration, especially when compared to other approaches which are either too resource intensive, only support containers, or are lacking security measures necessary for distributed deployments.

With EVE as a foundation, the next step is to bridge the gap between Kubernetes from the data center and the needs of the IoT edge. Companies such as Rancher have been doing great work with K3S, taking a “top-down” approach to shrink Kubernetes and extend the benefits to more constrained compute clusters at the edge. At ZEDEDA, we’ve been taking a “bottom-up” approach, working in the open source community to meet operations customers where they’re at today with the goal of then bridging Project EVE to Kubernetes. Through open source collaboration these two approaches will meet in the middle, resulting in a version of Kubernetes that’s lightweight enough to power compute clusters at the IoT edge while still taking the unique challenges around security and scale into account. Kubernetes will then successfully span from the cloud to the IoT edge.

A exciting road ahead, but it will be a journey
Kubernetes will play an important role in the future of edge computing, including for more constrained devices at the IoT edge. As companies look to continually update and reconfigure the applications running on their edge devices, they’ll want the flexibility and portability benefits of containerized app development, scalability, clustering for availability, and so forth. But for now, many companies also need to continue supporting their legacy applications that cannot be run in containers, which is why a hybrid approach between “traditional” and cloud-native development is necessary.

We at ZEDEDA recognize this need for transition, which is why we developed EVE to make sure that enterprises could support both technology approaches. With this flexibility, it affords companies that are still working through the technical and cultural shift to cloud-native development with the room to manage that transition.

As cloud-native applications begin to make up a greater percentage of workloads at the edge, though, we’ll need the tools to manage and orchestrate them effectively. This is why we feel it’s important to put a strong effort now behind developing a version of Kubernetes that works for the IoT edge. With EVE, we’ve created a secure, flexible foundation from which to bridge the gap, and we’re excited to continue working with the open source community to extend Kubernetes to this space. For more information on EVE or to get involved, visit the project page on the LF Edge site.

Zededa is a LF Edge member and active leader in Project EVE. For more details about LF Edge members, visit here. Join the LF Edge Slack Channel and interact with the project at #eve.

LF Edge Expands Ecosystem with Open Horizon, adds Seven New Members and Reaches Critical Deployment Milestones

By Akraino Edge Stack, Announcement, Baetyl, EdgeX Foundry, Fledge, Home Edge, LF Edge, Open Horizon, Project EVE, State of the Edge

  • Open Horizon, an application and metadata delivery platform, is now part of LF Edge as a Stage 1 (At-Large) Project.
  • New members bring R&D expertise in Telco, Enterprise and Cloud Edge Infrastructure.
  • EdgeX Foundry hits 4.3 million downloads and Akraino R2 delivers 14 validated deployment-ready blueprints.
  • Fledge shares a race car use case optimizing car and driver operations using Google Cloud, Machine Learning and state-of-the-art digital twins and simulators.

SAN FRANCISCO – April 30, 2020 –  LF Edge, an umbrella organization under The Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, today announced continued project momentum with the addition a new project and several technical milestones for EdgeX Foundry, Akraino Edge Stack and Fledge. Additionally, the project welcomes seven new members including CloudBrink, Federated Wireless, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Kaloom, Ori Industries, Tensor Networks and VoerEir to its ecosystem.

Open Horizon, an existing project contributed by IBM, is a platform for managing the service software lifecycle of containerized workloads and related machine learning assets. It enables autonomous management of applications deployed to distributed webscale fleets of edge computing nodes and devices without requiring on-premise administrators.

Edge computing brings computation and data storage closer to where data is created by people, places, and things. Open Horizon simplifies the job of getting the right applications and machine learning onto the right compute devices, and keeps those applications running and updated. It also enables the autonomous management of more than 10,000 edge devices simultaneously – that’s 20 times as many endpoints as in traditional solutions.

“We are thrilled to welcome Open Horizon and new members to the LF Edge ecosystem,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge & IoT, the Linux Foundation. “These additions complement our deployment ready LF Edge open source projects and our growing global ecosystem.”

“LF Edge is bringing together some of the most significant open source efforts in the industry, said Todd Moore, IBM VP Open Technology, “We are excited to contribute the Open Horizon project as this will expand the work with the other projects and companies to create shared approaches, open standards, and common interfaces and APIs.”

Open Horizon joins LF Edge’s other projects including: Akraino Edge Stack, Baetyl,  EdgeX Foundry, Fledge, Home Edge, Project EVE and State of the Edge. These projects support emerging edge applications across areas such as non-traditional video and connected things that require lower latency, and  faster processing and mobility. By forming a software stack that brings the best of cloud, enterprise and telecom, LF Edge helps to unify a fragmented edge market around a common, open vision for the future of the industry.

Since its launch last year, LF Edge projects have met significant milestones including:

  • EdgeX Foundry has hit 4.3 million docker downloads.
  • Akraino Edge Stack (Release 2) has 14 specific Blueprints that have all tested and validated on hardware labs and can be deployed immediately in various industries including Connected Vehicle, AR/VR, Integrated Cloud Native NFV, Network Cloud and Tungsten Fabric and SDN-Enabled Broadband Access.
  • Fledge shares a race car use case optimizing car and driver operations using Google Cloud, Machine Learning and state-of-the-art digital twins and simulators.
  • State of the Edge merged under LF Edge earlier this month and will continue to pave the path as the industry’s first open research program on edge computing. Under the umbrella, State of the Edge will continue its assets including State of the Edge Reports, Open Glossary of Edge Computing and the Edge Computing Landscape.

Support from the Expanding LF Edge Ecosystem

Federated Wireless:

“LF Edge has become a critical point of collaboration for network and enterprise edge innovators in this new cloud-driven IT landscape,” said Kurt Schaubach, CTO, Federated Wireless. “We joined the LF Edge to apply our connectivity and spectrum expertise to helping define the State of the Edge, and are energized by the opportunity to contribute to the establishment of next generation edge compute for the myriad of low latency applications that will soon be part of private 5G networks.”

Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI):

“ITRI is one of the world’s leading technology R&D institutions aiming to innovate a better future for society. Founded in 1973, ITRI has played a vital role in transforming Taiwan’s industries from labor-intensive into innovation-driven. We focus on the fields of Smart Living, Quality Health, and Sustainable Environment. Over the years, we also added a focus on 5G, AI, and Edge Computing related research and development. We joined LF Edge to leverage its leadership in these areas and to collaborate with the more than 75 member companies on projects like Akraino Edge Stack.”

Kaloom:

“Kaloom is pleased to join LF Edge to collaborate with the community on developing open, cloud-native networking, management and orchestration for edge deployments” said Suresh Krishnan, chief technology officer, Kaloom.  “We are working on an unified edge solution in order to optimize the use of resources while meeting the exacting performance, space and energy efficiency needs that are posed by edge deployments. We look forward to contributing our expertise in this space and to collaborating with the other members in LF Edge in accelerating the adoption of open source software, hardware and standards that speed up innovation and reduce TCO.”

Ori Industries:

“At Ori, we are fundamentally changing how software interacts with the distributed hardware on mobile operator networks.” said Mahdi Yahya, Founder and CEO, Ori Industries. “We also know that developers can’t provision, deploy and run applications seamlessly on telco infrastructure. We’re looking forward to working closely with the LF Edge community and the wider open-source ecosystem this year, as we turn our attention to developers and opening up access to the distributed, telco edge.”

Tensor Networks:

“Tensor Networks believes in and supports open source. Having an arena free from the risks of IP Infringement to collaborate and develop value which can be accessible to more people and organizations is essential to our efforts. Tensor runs its organization, and develops products on top of Linux.  The visions of LF Edge, where networks and latency are part of open software based service composition and delivery, align with our vision of open, fast, smart, secure, connected, and customer driven opportunities across all industry boundaries.” – Bill Walker, Chief Technology Officer.

VoerEir:

“In our extensive work with industry leaders for NFVI/VIM test and benchmarking,  a need to standardize infrastructure KPIs in Edge computing has gradually become more important,” said Arif  Khan, Co-Founder of VoerEir AB. “This need has made it essential for us to join LF Edge and to initiate the new Feature Project “Kontour” under the Akraino umbrella. We are excited to collaborate with various industry leaders to define, standardize  and measure Edge KPIs.”

About The Linux Foundation

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

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

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Securing the IoT Edge (Part 2)

By Blog, Project EVE

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

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

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

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

Key principles of zero trust security

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

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

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

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

Network flow log in ZEDEDA’s controller

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Securing the IoT Edge (Part 1)

By Blog, Project EVE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LF Edge in 2020: Looking back and Revving forward

By Akraino Edge Stack, Baetyl, Blog, EdgeX Foundry, Fledge, Home Edge, Open Glossary of Edge Computing, Project EVE

Written by Melissa Evers-Hood, LF Edge Governing Board Chair 

Dear Community,

Happy New Year! As we kick off 2020, I wanted to send a note of thanks and recognition to each of you for a wonderful 2019, which marked several meaningful accomplishments for this organization.  LF Edge was launched in Jan 2019 with an aim to unify the edge communities across IOT, Telco, Enterprise and Cloud providing aligned open source edge frameworks for Infrastructure and Applications.

Our accomplishments include:

  • EdgeX Foundry has blossomed this year in participation, downloads, and use cases. EdgeX, as folks commonly call it, also graduated to Impact project stage and surpassed 1.5 million container downloads in 2019.
  • Akraino, which also reached Impact stage this year, is preparing for it’s second release with 5 new blueprints for R2, with updates to 9 of the existing 10 R1 blueprints already released. Most notably, its broadening its blueprint profile to include new blueprints for Connected Vehicles and AR/VR, truly becoming a viable framework across edge applications.
  • At the Growth Stage, Open Glossary provides common terminology and ecosystem mapping for the complex Edge environment. In 2019, the Glossary Project shipped 2.0 of the Glossary, which was integrated into the 2020 State of the Edge Report. The Glossary Project began the process of helping to standardize terminology across all LF Edge projects, and also launched the LF Edge Landscape Project: https://landscape.lfedge.org/.
  • Also at the Growth Stage, Project Eve allows cloud-native development practices in IOT and edge applications. EVE’s most recent release, 4.5.1 (which was gifted on December 25, 2019), provides a brand new initramfs based installer, ACRN tech preview, and ARM/HiKey support.
  • The Home Edge project, targeted to enable a home edge computing framework, announced their Baobab release in November. The Home Edge Project has initiated cross-project collaboration with EdgeX Foundry (secure data storage) and Project EVE (containerized OS).
  • We also added 2 additional projects this year.
    • Baetyl which provides an open source edge computing platform.
    • Fledge which is an open source framework and community for the industrial edge focused on critical operations, predictive maintenance, situational awareness and safety. Fledge has recently begun cross-project collaboration with Project EVE and Akraino, with more information available here.
  • Our reach has broadened with 9k articles, almost 50k new users, and 6.7M social media impressions.

I am excited about the work ahead in 2020, especially as we celebrate our one year anniversary this month. We laid the foundation last year – offered a solution to unite the various edge communities – and now, with your support and contributions, we’re ready to move to the next phase.

LF Edge is co-hosting Open Networking & Edge Summit in April and our teams are working hard on several cross-project demos and solutions. We’re planning meetups and other F2F opportunities at the show, so this conference will be a must.

Our focus as a community will be to continue to expand our developers and end users.  We will do this through having agile communities, that collaborate openly, create secure, updateable, production ready code, and work together as one. We also expect that there will be new projects to join and integrate.  As we walk into this bright future, working as a unified body will demonstrate that the fastest path to Edge products is through LF Edge.

I look forward to working with each of you in ‘20 and seeing you in Los Angeles this April at ONES!

Melissa

LF Edge Member Spotlight: ZEDEDA

By Blog, Member Spotlight, Project EVE

The LF Edge community is comprised of a diverse set of member companies that represent the IoT, Enterprise, Cloud and Telco Edge. The Member Spotlight blog series highlights these members and how they are contributing to and leveraging open source edge solutions. Today, we sat down with Aaron Williams, Developer Community Lead, and Erik Nordmark, Chief Architect and Co-Founder, at ZEDEDA to discuss the importance of a growing ecosystem, their IoT framework, the impact LF Edge has made and what the future holds for the company.

Can you tell us a little about your organization?

ZEDEDA delivers visibility, control, and security to enterprise IoT and edge deployments through edge virtualization. Ours is the only cloud service for edge management built on the open sourced Edge Virtualization Engine (EVE). By bringing virtualization to the edge, we allow businesses to deploy and manage any application on any hardware and connect to any cloud, breaking down IT silos and simplifying IoT strategies. Customers can easily dropship gateways at distributed sites without needing on-site IT expert personnel, and can launch greenfield and brownfield applications at scale with a single click of a button. 

With ZEDEDA, organizations easily eliminate the complexity of today’s IoT solutions at the edge and gain deeper insights into their operations by more effectively leveraging sensor data, including through AI-powered analysis in the cloud.

Why is your organization adopting an open source approach?

Today at the edge, there is a heterogeneous mix of hardware and applications, which makes it difficult to coordinate an IoT strategy and make the most out of all the available data. As a result, many enterprises can become mired in vendor lock-in. Embracing open standards gives the whole community a common foundation to work from, increasing interoperability, lowering the barriers to entry in this space, and promoting innovation. 

ZEDEDA adopted open source right from the beginning because we saw the value in providing a shared standard for edge virtualization technology. We think of it as being similar to what Android did for mobile phones, in terms of creating a single template for developers to follow that then ensures operability across a variety of hardware. Additionally, by making EVE open to community contributions, we’re committing to building the best possible solution with experts around the world.

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

The reason why we joined LF Edge is simple: we believe that the fastest route to innovation and success in edge computing is by working together with other companies to create universal standards that we can all build off of. It’s been a great opportunity to come together with like-minded organizations, contribute our expertise, and work collaboratively to build the best ecosystem possible for the future of edge computing. By hosting several key open source projects and making them available to the community, LF Edge is making it simpler for the industry at large to adopt IoT strategies as part of their IT portfolios. We believe that the rising tide will lift all boats, so to speak.

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

There are many benefits of being part of this community. For one thing, it allows us to be at the table with other edge companies (both large and small) so that we can help shape the future of the edge in a way that benefits everyone. It also provides a learning opportunity when we all come together to better understand the different parts of the edge stack. Additionally, building our solution on top of code (EVE) that is open sourced through the Linux Foundation helps give our customers confidence that we’re working to the highest technical standards. Truly, we feel that we receive much more than we give as active participants in LF Edge.

What business/industry problems are you collaboratively working to solve?

Current solutions for edge deployments often leave several challenges unaddressed, and these are all problems that we help to solve with EVE and the ZEDEDA controller. For instance, typical edge management software has little-to-no interoperability, meaning that customers are locked into using a limited number of compatible apps, hardware, or clouds. By contrast, one of the main benefits of building our solution on top of the open-sourced EVE is that it gives all vendors a common foundation to work from: as long as their apps and APIs are compatible with EVE, they can run on any EVE-approved hardware. In the same vein, modern hardware and firmware isn’t generally suited to run legacy applications; however, many businesses still rely on legacy apps as a key part of their technology stack. By making use of virtual machines (VMs), edge virtualization allows legacy and modern apps to co-exist seamlessly on the same device. Security is also a critical part of edge deployments, with traditional solutions leaving businesses exposed to many vulnerabilities. By managing their edge deployments with EVE and the ZEDEDA controller, companies can mitigate against many of these vulnerabilities: EVE ensures that the device and data traveling to and from it is secure by leveraging the hardware root of trust, and the controller makes it easy to keep firmware and applications up-to-date with the latest software patches rolled out with a single push of a button.

 

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

ZEDEDA has been a major contributor to the Project EVE code base. In addition, we have worked hard to encourage our hardware and software partners to contribute their expertise to build out the hardware devices that EVE runs on.

How will LF Edge help your business?

Building on top of LF Edge’s Project EVE allows us to concentrate on what separates us from our competitors, secure in the knowledge that the foundation of our technology is solid. It also gives our customers confidence in our solution because it is built on code that meets the Linux Foundation’s high standard of technical excellence.

Can you give us an example of your LF Edge project in production and what problem it is solving?

A good example of EVE in production can be found on wind turbine farms. The operators of these farms face many challenges, including that the farms are remote, complex, expensive to maintain, and very large. There is limited IT staff on site, and a truck roll to do unscheduled maintenance can cost over $100,000. At the same time, downtime can cost $1,000 to $2,000 per day, which means that it is very important to the operators to have as much uptime as possible, but avoid unplanned maintenance.   

EVE works in conjunction with the ZEDEDA cloud-based controller to allow the operators to overcome these challenges. With EVE shipped on the device, the operator can take advantage of zero-touch provisioning and having a single pane through which to manage all devices. Since EVE is open sourced and works across a variety of hardware devices, the operator has the freedom of updating the hardware for new installs without making the previous installs obsolete. And with the 100% visibility and remote control of the devices, they are able to update their applications on the edge from anywhere at anytime.    

Project EVE Wind Turbine Demo Video by ZEDEDA

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

To borrow from Nike, “just do it.” Being a member of LF Edge allows you to be part of the conversation that is shaping the IoT revolution.  The Edge is too big and too complex of an industry for any one company to dominate, so the only way to create common standards and functionality is by working together. If you are not part of the LF Edge, you will be continually following the cutting “edge” of Edge development!  

 

Edge Computing at IoT Solutions World Congress 2019

By Blog, EdgeX Foundry, Home Edge, Project EVE

Every year one of the world’s largest Internet of Things trade shows, IoT Solutions World Congress, is held in Barcelona, Spain. It brings together device manufacturers, service providers, AI & ML companies and solutions integrators from around the world to share information about their products and the state of IoT ecosystems. Filling multiple convention halls at the Fira Barcelona center, and featuring the biggest names in IoT and technology, you can spend days walking the expo hall and talking to vendors.

Crowd at the LF Edge Booth

This wasn’t the first time the EdgeX Foundry has had a booth at IOTSWC, but this year they were joined by other LF Edge projects, specifically Home Edge and Project EVE, to present solutions across the edge landscape. Our booth was staffed by project contributors from all over the world, from the US and Europe to India and Taiwan, and featured real world examples of the open source technology that is being developed under the LF Edge umbrella.  Not only did our members get a chance to learn about each other’s projects during this time, they were able to explain those other projects to the visitors to our booth. It was truly a community coming together to support and promote the LF Edge as a whole.

EdgeX Smart Building Demo EVE deployments on a wind turbine

We spoke with thousands of people over the 3 days of conference, and gave countless demonstrations. One notable change in conversations from a year ago is that most attendees we spoke to this year already knew and understood the importance of edge computing, and were looking for specific solutions to the problems that they are now facing. And while many vendors at the show offered some of these solutions, only the LF Edge projects offered open, vendor agnostic platforms that prevent lock-in and promote an ecosystem of 3rd party development around commonly developed core.

Selfie of the LF Edge booth staffIf you missed us at IOTSWC, you can join our projects online where we have a public Slack, mailing lists and host our meetings in the open. You can also look for us at events in 2020!

The New Stack: How the Linux Foundation’s EVE Can Replace Windows, Linux for Edge Computing

By In the News, Project EVE

Whether or not Edge computing serves as the backbone of mission-critical business worldwide depends on the success of the underlying network.

Recognizing the Edge’s potential and urgency to support Edge network, The Linux Foundation earlier this year created LF Edge, an umbrella organization dedicated to creating an open, agnostic and interoperable framework for edge computing. Similar to what the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has done for cloud development, LF Edge aims to enhance cooperation among key players so that the industry as a whole can advance more quickly.

By 2021, Gartner forecasts that there will be approximately 25 billion IoT devices in use around the world. Each of those devices, in turn, has the capacity to produce immense volumes of valuable data. Much of this data could be used to improve business-critical operations — but only if we’re able to analyze it in a timely and efficient manner. As mentioned above, it’s this combination of factors that has led to the rise of edge computing as one of the most rapidly -developing technology spaces today.

This idea of interoperability at the edge is particularly important because the hardware that makes up edge devices is so diverse — much more so than servers in a data center. Yet for edge computing to succeed, we need to be able to run applications right on local gateway devices to analyze and respond to IoT and Industry 4.0 data in near-real time. How do you design applications that are compatible with a huge variety of hardware and capable of running without a reliable cloud connection? This is the challenge that LF Edge is helping to solve.

Part of the solution is Project EVE, an Edge Virtualization Engine donated to LF Edge by ZEDEDA last month. I think of EVE as doing for the edge what Android did for mobile phones and what VMware did for data centers: decoupling software from hardware to make application development and deployment easier.

Read more at The News Stack here.

LinuxGuizmos: LF Edge announces first Akraino release for open edge computing

By Akraino, EdgeX Foundry, In the News, Project EVE

The Linux Foundation’s LF Edge project announced the first release of the Akraino Edge Stack with 10 “blueprints” for different edge computing scenarios. Also: LF Edge recently announced new members and the transfer of seed code from Zededa to Project EVE.

The Akraino Edge Stack project, which earlier this year was folded into the Linux Foundation’s LF Edge umbrella initiative for open source edge computing, announced the availability of Akraino Edge Stack Release 1 (Akraino R1). Last month, LF Edge announced new members and further momentum behind its Project EVE edge technology. More recently Linux Journal’s Doc Searls published a piece on the LF’s 5G efforts and argued for more grass-roots involvement in LF Edge (see farther below).

Read the full article here.

SDxCentral: Edge Magnifies Open Source Challenges, Opportunities

By Akraino, EdgeX Foundry, In the News, Project EVE

There are almost as many open source groups and projects working on edge computing as there are definitions of edge — one such project, in fact, focuses exclusively on defining edge terms. This is partially due to the hype, and consolidation will probably happen as the hype turns into real-life deployments and concrete use cases.

We’re already seeing some signs of open source groups working together to solve edge challenges and take advantage of the opportunity it provides. The Linux Foundation and open standards body ETSI, for example, recently signed a memorandum of understanding to “bring open source and standards closer and foster synergies between them.” As it relates to edge, this means Akraino — which is the Linux Foundation’s open source edge software stack — will incorporate the ETSI Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) APIs directly into the stack.

Read the full article here.