The internet of things gets a lot of flak for its fragmentation, but attempts are being made to rectify the situation. Case in point: The EdgeX Foundry on Thursday announced the availability of its Edinburgh release, created for IoT use cases across vertical markets.
It’s not going to completely eliminate fragmentation—that would be an impractical challenge to mount. But whereas a few years ago everybody was trying to do edge and IoT implementations in a proprietary manner, “I would say open source is ready for prime time from an edge perspective,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge and IoT with the Linux Foundation, in an interview.
EdgeX Foundry is a project under the LF Edge umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation. It’s where the Edinburgh release was created as an enabler for IoT use cases, although the EdgeX movement actually started with a small team at Dell before it contributed the code to the Linux Foundation.
Noting that contribution, “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 at Dell Technologies, in a press release. "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."
According to the Linux Foundation, 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 also is designed to enable new data-based services and capabilities such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
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EdgeX Foundry is one of the anchor projects for LF Edge, and the Edinburgh release is a major step in unifying open source frameworks across IoT, enterprise, cloud and the telco edge. Edinburgh is ready for production deployment now, Joshipura said.
In fact, according to a blog post by the leaders of the EdgeX movement: “We have arrived – not at our destination, but at a point to which we expect and anticipate an explosion of EdgeX use in IoT/edge deployments.”
It’s taken a lot of work over the past two years to get to this point, with numerous contributions in the design, development and testing processes. But they said there’s already evidence of progress. EdgeX is now being used as the base platform of a multi-billion-dollar global systems integrator.
The next significant release is expected late in the third quarter.