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Eclipse Foundation launches Edge Native Working Group

Dec 10, 2019 — by Eric Brown 524 views

The Eclipse Foundation announced an “Edge Native Working Group” to develop open source software for edge computing, starting with its Eclipse ioFog and Eclipse fog05 projects. Members include Adlink, Bosch, Edgeworx, Eurotech, Huawei, Intel, Kynetics, and Siemens.

The Edge Native Working Group is a “vendor-neutral and code-first industry collaboration that will drive the evolution and broad adoption of open source software for edge computing,” says the Eclipse Foundation. The new working group will develop an end-to-end software stack that will support IoT, AI, autonomous vehicles, and more.

Founding members include Adlink, Bosch, Edgeworx, Eurotech, Huawei, Intel, Kynetics, and Siemens. Intel and Huawei are also members of the Linux Foundation’s larger open source edge computing umbrella organization, LF Edge, which is similarly concerned with connecting powerful embedded edge computers with cloud native technologies such as Kubernetes.


As defined in this blog posting on the launch of the Edge Native Working Group by Eclipse Foundation executive director Mike Milinkovich, “Edge computing is more of a top down approach where people are looking for how they can take the new generation of cloud infrastructure and use it to solve problems at the edge of the network…In addition, the requirement to deal with the transparent orchestration of microservices from cloud to edge is key.”

The initial focus will be on the existing Eclipse ioFog and Eclipse fog05 projects. In addition, the group will develop “various layers of software at the network edge that will enable others to build customized applications for their own specific implementations,” including retail, carrier environments, 5G, IoT, and Industry 4.0 or smart manufacturing applications. The group will focus on developing a heterogenous hardware landscape and addressing edge computing challenges including low bandwidth, latency, limited power, and security.

Eclipse ioFog is an Edgeworx contributed project designed to create a distributed Edge Compute Network (ECN), enabling users to “run any microservice on it dynamically, securely, and remotely”. The Debian and Mac Homebrew supported software encompasses an edge agent for microservices, a controller for remotely controlling those microservices, and a connector that brokers peer-to-peer communications between them “across complex networks.” All these components are deployed as Docker 1.10+ containers.

Eclipse fog05 conceptual diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Eclipse fog05, meanwhile, appears to be more of a homegrown Eclipse project in which Adlink is taking the lead. It’s defined as a “a fog computing platform that provides the equivalent of cloud IaaS along with some foundational PaaS services.” It is likely related to Adlink’s recently announced Adlink Edge platform.

Eclipse fog05 is an emerging “scalable infrastructure” intended to virtualize compute, storage and communication resources end-to-end from the cloud to the edge device. It will also provide a unified abstraction to provision, manage and monitor applications that work throughout this continuum. The fog05 platform will use data virtualization as a foundational service for fog-based analytics, monitoring, and more.

The Eclipse Foundation IoT community “alone” represents one of the largest open source collaborations in the world, spanning 41 projects from more than 40 members and over 4 million lines of code, says the Foundation. Its latest IoT Developer Survey of 1,717 Eclipse developers, published in April, revealed growing use of Linux (76 percent), Arm (70 percent), and MQTT (42 percent), among other findings.
Further information
Organizations and individual developers are encouraged to join the Edge Native Working Group. More information may be found in the Eclipse Foundation’s announcement. The Eclipse Foundation will be showcasing the Edge Native Working Group at the Edge Computing World conference in at the Computer History Museum in San Jose from Dec. 9-12.

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