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EdgeX Foundry Platform Reaches Commercial Readiness and Linux Foundation Arms IoT Edge at Scale

By Arti Loftus July 12, 2019

As the IoT and Industrial IoT grows, so grows EdgeX Foundry, an open IoT project of The Linux Foundation, which was established several years ago, and became part of the LF Edge umbrella, including Akraino Edge Stack, Edge Virtualization Engine, Open Glossary of Edge Computing and Home Edge.

The umbrella organization, led by Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge and IoT, the Linux Foundation, is working with its members, and with other open technology non-profit organizations to build and support an industry framework for IoT and edge-related applications.

This includes the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), which announced earlier this year a liaison to work together to advance their shared interests, working “together to align efforts to maximize interoperability, portability, security and privacy for the industrial Internet,” jointly identifying and sharing practices, collaborating on test beds and experimental projects, working towards interoperability by harmonizing architecture and other elements and collaborating on common elements.

In the traditional corporate world, the coming together of so many disparate but related technologies and businesses is referred to as “consolidation” which often takes place as investments mature, disruption leads to sustainable transformation, winners and losers “shake out,” and pressure to scale from large enterprise organizations who become dependent on technologies nearly forces mergers and acquisitions.

In the non-traditional open source world, many of the same dynamics come into play, with large companies like Dell Tech, AT&T, Samsung, VMware and others joining communities where they are able to collaborate with smaller companies, including start-ups, and where top innovators, engineers and strategists learn in smaller tests what works and what doesn’t, and where the risk of R&D is decreased through early collaboration.

“The market opportunity for LF Edge spans industrial, enterprise, retail and consumer use cases in complex environments that cut across multiple edges and domains. We’re thrilled with the level of support – we currently have more than 75 global organizations and new project contributions,” said Joshipura. “This massive collaboration, means LF Edge is well-positioned to transform edge and IoT application development.”

Joshipura also said, “Since its launch, EdgeX Foundry has experienced significant momentum in developing an open platform that can serve as the industry framework for IoT and edge-related applications. EdgeX Foundry is one of the anchor projects for LF Edge and Edinburgh release is a major step in unifying open source frameworks across IoT, Enterprise, Cloud and Telco Edge."

According to the LF Edge, EdgeX Foundry’s new release is a key enabler of digital transformation for IoT use cases and is a platform for real-world applications both for developers and end users across many vertical markets.

EdgeX community members have created a range of complementary products and services, including commercial support, training and customer pilot programs and plug-in enhancements for device connectivity, applications, data and system management and security.

Launched in April 2017, 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 fourth release in the EdgeX roadmap, Edinburgh offers a stable API baseline for the standardization of IoT edge applications that future-proof IoT investments by fostering an ecosystem of interoperable microservice-based capabilities and decoupling investments in edge functionality in areas such as connectivity, security and management from any given backend application or cloud. The EdgeX framework is designed to facilitate the secure deployment and management of devices and applications at the edge to accelerate time-to-market and enable new data-based services and capabilities such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

“Having started the EdgeX movement with a small team at Dell before contributing the code to the Linux Foundation, it’s certainly amazing to see the traction we’ve gotten through open, vendor-neutral collaboration in a few short years,” said Jason Shepherd, former chair of the EdgeX Foundry Governing Board and IoT and Edge CTO, Dell Technologies. “It's a testament to the power of the network effect in the open source community which ultimately enables developers to focus on value rather than reinvention.” 

EdgeX Foundry’s community adoption continues to accelerate. Currently, there are more than 100 unique contributors to the project and code downloads are approaching 5,000 a month at a 75% month-to-month growth rate. Momentum is expected to continue with EdgeX’s Edinburgh release and rapidly growing commercial support in the ecosystem.

Key features for this release include:

  • Stability: This is the first EdgeX release with long-term support for better version control
  • Connectivity: More SDKs for north and southbound connectivity and a wider range of standard connectors
  • New Features: Significant new features, including binary data support, database swapability and improved APIs to help facilitate management/monitoring capability
  • Global Support: Support from the global EdgeX Foundry ecosystem - as well as the broader LF Edge umbrella community - that offers a range of complementary products and services

“With this EdgeX Edinburgh release, we will radically change how businesses develop and deploy IoT edge solutions,” said Keith Steele, chair of the EdgeX Foundry Technical Steering Committee and CEO of IOTech. “Edinburgh is a significant milestone that showcases the commercial viability of EdgeX Foundry and the impact that it will have on the global IoT edge landscape.”

Learn more about documentation, a new use case and the technical details for the Edinburgh release on the EdgeX website

Contributing members of the EdgeX project said:

  • "EdgeX Foundry is the key component of Beechwoods IoT gateway solution that allows our customers to engage confidently in edge computing technology. With the Edinburgh release, this solution will be ready to transition from customer engagement to product deployment." - Brad Kemp, President, Beechwoods Software
  • "The Edinburgh release of EdgeX Foundry brings much needed standardization and stability for edge computing in production environments through an open source, common framework. The availability of the EdgeX Foundry snap enables developers an easy path to getting started with EdgeX Foundry, and benefit from confinement, easy integration into their own infrastructure, and automatic updates. In addition, this release introduces new device snaps providing integration with MQTT and ModBus."- Loic Minier, IoT Field Engineering Director, Canonical
  • “As EdgeX Foundry reaches maturity with the Edinburgh release, CloudPlugs is excited to also announce the integration of the CloudPlugs IIoT platform with the open EdgeX ecosystem.  CloudPlugs IoT is a robust backend to deploy, orchestrate and manage EdgeX-compliant devices and micro service-based applications, as well as to manage and visualize field data. The EdgeX framework provides new levels of flexibility in field-level interoperability and the combination of EdgeX with CloudPlugs IoT delivers a powerful, end-to-end software and service stack to digitize assets and to deploy commercial and industrial IoT solutions at scale.” - Jimmy Garcia-Meza, CEO, CloudPLugs Inc.   
  • “EdgeX Foundry provides an important software platform standardizing on the south bound IoT device connectivity and northbound data storage connectivity and allows vendors to plugin their core IoT capabilities in between. FogHorn is aligned with this data ingestion and publication standardization and will continue to collaborate as appropriate." - Sastry Malladi, CTO, FogHorn
  • “The EdgeX platform offers HMS Networks a path to quickly build Industrial IoT solutions by providing predefined set of services for I/O functionality. HMS has created a J1939 service for EdgeX platform to help simplify IoT solutions for the commercial vehicle telemetry market. Ultimately, the EdgeX platform will significantly reduce the R&D investment required to create a majority of the Industrial IoT applications required in the market today.” - Tom McKinney, Director Engineering Services and Business Development, HMS Networks
  • “EdgeX Foundry is an important project arriving at the right time. It promises to connect devices to capabilities, and then get out of the way so you can run containerized workloads to generate insights, run model scoring, or detect anomalies… all at the edge. IBM is collaborating with EdgeX Foundry as part of our hybrid cloud strategy to help enterprises unlock the value of data from on-premises to the cloud to the edge." - David Boloker, Distinguished Engineer, IBM
  • “EdgeX Foundry's open source platform enables the industrial software ecosystem to integrate rapidly with ioTium's managed services converged infrastructure offering - it's microservices framework with open APIs is a powerful driver in the fragmented Industrial Control Systems market. ioTium enables rapid scalable deployment of the Edgexfoundry framework globally.”- Ron Victor, CEO, ioTium 
  • “EdgeX Foundry provides an open framework for ease of design, development, & deployment at the Edge, while addressing stringent security,  privacy & compliance requirements. NetFoundry added its vendor-agnostic, connectivity-as-code solution to  EdgeX in order to enable developers and integrators to get similar ease of use, security and performance for their northbound application connectivity to core, clouds and service meshes. With the release of the EdgeX Edinburgh release, the EdgeX Foundry developer community has all the tools needed to deliver on market needs and ensure secure, agile innovation at the Edge” - Galeal Zino, CEO, NetFoundry Inc.
  • “As Digital Transformation for IoT gathers momentum, companies are demanding the same reliability, performance and security at the edge as they are used to getting from their Cloud Computing stack. With this release, EdgeX with Redis Labs RedisEdge not only delivers upon those expectations, but provides an ecosystem of open source technologies and plug-ins such as Redis Modules that help developers innovate.” - Dave Nielsen, Head of Community and Ecosystem Programs, Redis Labs
  • “EdgeX Foundry addresses the problem of the license stack at the IoT Edge constantly increasing in cost by providing a well architected, high performance, open source platform that can be used for industrial solutions today.” - Mike Malone, Vice President, Technotects, Inc.
  • “EdgeX Foundry’s global community ecosystem has experienced explosive growth, and the tangible advances delivered in the EdgeX  Edinburgh release are exciting developments for edge computing. We fully support EdgeX Foundry’s goals to establish an open interoperable framework for edge computing to provide developers with increased control over how, when, where and with whom they run their applications and manage their data. We look forward to continuing our contributions to the EdgeX Foundry community and related efforts in fostering open industry-wide innovation such as the Open Retail initiative.” - Mimi Spier, Vice President, Edge and IoT Business, VMware
  • “As a founding member of LF Edge, Wipro is proud to have contributed to the Edinburgh release. We will continue to actively participate as it is a key platform for delivering open, microservices-based, edge IoT applications for today's interoperable distributed enterprise world.” - Andrew Aitken, general manager and global open source practice leader, Wipro Limited.
  • “ZEDEDA’s vision is to free cloud-native and legacy apps to run on any edge device anywhere in the world. This vision drives our support for EdgeX Foundry and its mission of promoting open interoperability between edge devices. We've made our virtualization solutions compatible with EdgeX releases because we believe they will have a central role in our industry's future." - Joel Vincent, VP Marketing, ZEDEDA

Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Special Correspondent

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