The explosion of data from IoT devices is driving a necessary increase in processing at the edge for reasons including latency, bandwidth savings and autonomy. However, deploying compute at the IoT edge is challenging because it is inherently heterogeneous, comprised of a diverse mix of technologies including sensors, control systems, communication protocols, hardware types, operating systems, applications, networks, cloud connections and more. In order to scale edge computing we need to tame this complexity by supporting a variety of deployment models in a more standardized and open way.

Project EVE aims to do for the IoT edge what Android did for mobile by creating an open edge computing engine that enables the development, orchestration and security of cloud-native and legacy applications on distributed edge compute nodes. Supporting containers and clusters (Dockers and Kubernetes), virtual machines and unikernels, Project EVE aims to provide a flexible foundation for IoT edge deployments with choice of any hardware, application and cloud. 

The EVE runtime can be deployed on any bare metal hardware (e.g. x86, Arm, GPU) or within a VM to provide consistent system and orchestration services, plus the ability to run applications in a variety of formats. Orchestration of the underlying hardware and installed software is achieved through the open EVE API, providing developers with consistent behavior across a diverse mix of technology ingredients. Offering consistency and flexibility while maintaining a robust, state-of-the-art security posture is a key project tenet.

Key Capabilities

The goal of Project EVE is to enable IoT edge computing deployments with the following capabilities:

  • Access to hardware root of trust (e.g. TPM) when deployed on bare metal, supporting functions such as crypto-based ID (no device usernames and passwords), measured boot, signed updates, encryption, etc.
  • “Secure by default” deployment profile
  • High efficiency and usage of device resources including remote control of CPU, memory, networking and device ports
  • Hosting of any combination of apps in virtual machines and containers
  • Hosting of any operating system deployable in a virtual machine
  • Serverless capability via unikernels
  • Ability to assign CPU and GPU cores to specific apps
  • Ability to block unused I/O ports
  • Remote updates of entire software stack with rollback capability to prevent bricking
  • Automated patching for security updates
  • Automated connectivity to one or more backends (cloud or on premises)
  • Distributed firewall

To access this functionality remotely the project offers a basic open source reference controller and users can leverage any fully-featured 3rd-party commercial controller that supports the open EVE APIs. When combined with a remote controller, EVE enables scalable, centralized management for large volumes of highly-distributed IoT edge compute nodes. Visit the EVE in Market page for a list of available controllers and supported hardware.

EVE is complementary to LF Edge application frameworks such as EdgeX Foundry and Fledge.  The EVE community is working to harmonize with other LF Edge infrastructure projects.

Roadmap

Project EVE aims to be the only foundation required to support the diversity of the IoT edge by abstracting hardware complexity while enabling orchestration flexibility. The following are key 2020 project goals identified by the Technical Steering Committee (TSC):

  • Increase modularity of EVE architecture to support more deployment options
  • Add support for managed containerd and deploying composite containerized applications via Docker Compose
  • Add support for Kubernetes via K3S and clustering
  • Expand hypervisor support to include KVM and ACRN for time-sensitive workloads
  • Add mesh networking capabilities for edge-to-edge data flow
  • Add cloud networking using standard VPN technologies available in public clouds
  • Continue to shrink the EVE runtime in order to run on smaller and resource-constrained embedded edge compute

The project is seeking users and feedback. We welcome contributions to help establish EVE as a common foundation for IoT edge computing deployments, both in terms of support for more hardware and adding new capabilities.

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