It is no secret that the electric grid in the U.S. (and other countries) is not only fragile but failing. For example, extreme weather in Texas earlier shut down millions of homes and businesses.
As the U.S. Congress accelerates the negotiations around a massive infrastructure bill, which as part of the economic recovery could be as large as $2 trillion, it is mission-critical to upgrade the American power grid as a fundamental part of supporting the growth of manufacturing and industrial innovation, advancement of smart cities and schools, and delivering broadband and other services to rural communities.
The U.S. electric power grid delivers power to millions of people and places, with a massive and surprisingly fragile network of transmission and distribution lines. The current administration and some members of Congress are proposing an unprecedented investment in the power grid, as well as with sustainable energy “microgrids” and other alternatives.
As one way to address complexities associated with an “intelligent edge” associated with the grid, ZEDEDA, provider of orchestration solutions for the distributed edge, announced significant advances in three key areas—partnerships, industry consortiums, and a developer program—that position open collaboration as a key enabler for the industrial market, including companies looking to address the macro trends in the energy space.
ZEDEDA will provide its zero-trust, cloud-based orchestration solution for distributed edge computing to help Google Cloud customers securely scale deployments of any edge application, including AI/ML, on a choice of hardware. This is in response to the growth of cloud infrastructure in industrial markets for centralized data storage and management, cross-facility analytics and visibility, and hyperscale compute capabilities to augment workloads deployed at the edge.
Additionally, together with joint edge application partners like Dianomic, customers will be able to drive new efficiencies through insights derived from edge environments. While the solution is horizontal in nature, the partnership is placing an initial focus on the energy space with target edge assets, including wind turbines, solar farms, and more.
“We see a number of edge use cases for multiple industries, including energy, that can be addressed with this Google Cloud partnership,” said Said Ouissal, ZEDEDA founder and CEO. “Our zero-touch provisioning and simplified lifecycle management enable businesses to start realizing business value with Google Cloud together with a choice of edge hardware and applications.”
“As high-speed connectivity grows, organizations with presences at the network edge stand to benefit from low-latency access to business applications and cloud capabilities that can help modernize business processes, manage data, and more,” said Tanuj Raja, Global Head, Strategic Partnerships at Google Cloud. “We’re excited that ZEDEDA will make its edge orchestration capabilities available with Google Cloud, helping enable greater access to these applications and capabilities for customers across industries.”
ZEDEDA also announced it has added partnerships to support energy customers facing key challenges such as digitizing legacy infrastructure, remotely monitoring critical assets, and balancing the grid with unpredictable renewable energy sources, including an ongoing collaboration with Agora.
New partnerships include:
Juniper Networks: a joint offering for secure-edge computing with Juniper’s Session Smart Router and the vSRX Virtual Firewall secure networking capabilities on top of ZEDEDA’s zero-trust edge orchestration foundation. Together, ZEDEDA and Juniper provide customers with the simplicity of cloud orchestration and the flexibility of either backhauling data to the cloud or keeping it on-prem.
Dianomic: an edge application platform for Industrial IoT use cases. ZEDEDA’s edge orchestration solution simplifies the secure deployment of Dianomic’s FogLAMP platform and management of the underlying hardware.
IOTA Foundation: a key collaborator for Project Alvarium, focused on facilitating trust in interconnected ecosystems through its feeless Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). IOTA is leading a number of decentralized, innovative projects in the energy space.
“We are pleased to be working with ZEDEDA to provide advanced solutions for the energy sector,” said Karen Falcone, Sr. Director of Enterprise Marketing at Juniper Networks. “Combining our broad networking experience, including software-defined capabilities with the Juniper Session Smart Router and the vSRX Virtual Firewall with ZEDEDA’s Zero Trust architecture, provides customers with a robust security foundation for any mission-critical use cases within the energy vertical and beyond.”
“Together, Dianomic, ZEDEDA, and Google deliver a complete Industry 4.0 edge stack built on an open-source foundation,” said Tom Arthur, CEO at Dianomic. “The energy industry faces new challenges as its generation and storage systems become massively distributed. Combining Dianomic’s FogLAMP for edge application development and data acquisition with ZEDEDA’s secure orchestration solution and Google’s state-of-the-art ML and cloud services delivers a robust and flexible foundation for edge computing challenges in industrial use cases.”
ZEDEDA is also increasing focus with Advantech as a strategic hardware partner for the energy space due to its broad portfolio of edge computing offerings, including models with C1/D2 certification for critical environments and new NVIDIA Jetson-enabled boxes to power edge AI.
“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to make edge computing solutions easier, more efficient, and more secure for customers in an industry that is seeing tremendous change,” said Jeff Brown, Sr. Sales Director for Advantech’s Industrial IoT Group. “Working with strategic, domain-focused partners such as ZEDEDA and Dianomic allows us to do just that. Advantech has one of the broadest hardware portfolios in the market, and our expansive Class 1, Division 2 product line allows for reliable, rugged solutions in remote and hazardous locations. We are thrilled to be a part of this ground-breaking group that’s putting digital transformation into the hands of the energy industry.”
ZEDEDA also announced a recent win with PVHardware. The company is using ZEDEDA’s orchestration solution to deploy and manage edge hardware and applications that aid in tracking the sun to maximize power generation.
“As we looked to leverage edge computing to help maximize power generation, we needed a solution to securely scale deployments in solar plants, including the ability to remotely manage the overall deployment lifecycle,” said Ivan Arkitpoff, CTO at PVHardware, “ZEDEDA provided us with a solution that makes it easy to deploy hardware and applications in the field and perform fail-proof updates from the cloud without having to send a technician out to the plant.”
ZEDEDA also joined several industry consortiums to drive standards via open source:
LF Energy, a Linux Foundation project, is seeking to accelerate the energy transition of the world’s power and transportation systems through open-source technology. As a member, ZEDEDA will work with the LF Energy community to integrate EVE-OS into its reference architecture.
The OSDU Forum, part of the Open Group and focused on developing an open, standards-based foundation to accelerate innovation in the energy space. ZEDEDA and Dianomic are assisting in building a proof-of-concept for OSDU’s edge computing reference architecture leveraging EVE-OS and Fledge from LF Edge, with more open-source efforts to be integrated over time.
Project Alvarium, an emerging project within the Linux Foundation, is focused on enabling data confidence through the concept of trust fabrics. ZEDEDA is collaborating with Dell, the IOTA Foundation, Intel, and other industry leaders to formally launch the project, with energy being an initial focus vertical.
“ZEDEDA’s capabilities enable zero-touch deployments of IOTA and Project Alvarium, creating scalable connective fabrics at the edge,” said Mat Yarger, Head of Smart Mobility at the IOTA Foundation. “This can enable a peer-to-peer utility of data in the energy sector, which has massive implications to address critical problems with grid management and oversight. It will also allow new business models around electric vehicles and smart grids to thrive, as well as the realization of new asset structures. All with trust being ingrained in how these systems operate.”
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 Luke Bellos