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The Eclipse Foundation unites industry leaders, starts Edge Native Working Group to build open-source edge code

The Eclipse Foundation unites industry leaders, starts Edge Native Working Group to build open-source edge code

The Eclipse Foundation is officially launching the Edge Native Working Group in partnership with ADLINK, Bosch, Edgeworx, Eurotech, Huawei, Intel, Kynetics, and Siemens, the organization announced at Edge Computing World. The new working group is a neutral, collaborative community spread across multiple countries that will build open-source production code in an effort to ensure the broad adoption of edge computing.

The Edge Native Working Group will develop an end-to-end software stack to encourage faster deployment of disruptive technologies such as IoT and Artificial Intelligence in different environments. Interest in edge-related environments is expected to grow rapidly. According to Allied Market Research, the edge computing market will reach $16.5 billion in revenue over the next five years.

The Eclipse Foundation is already developing production-ready code to help businesses create and run large-scale applications at the edge. With experience spanning 15 years, the Eclipse Foundation aims to bring a viable solution to edge computing roadblocks, and boasts an extensive project portfolio, including Eclipse ioFog and Eclipse fog05, with more to be announced. The Eclipse IoT community is currently working on 41 projects that include over 40 members with more than 4 million lines of code written. The foundation has been involved in more than 370 projects that generated over 195 million lines of code.

The Edge Native Working Group (ENWG) will create developer-focused software layers at the network edge to help developers working on applications for retail, carrier environments, 5G, IoT, and Industry 4.0 or smart manufacturing deployments and enable developers to tailor their applications to suit implementation requirements.

Fitting in with other edge efforts

The Eclipse Foundation partners also happen to participate in several edge computing standards efforts. That’s in part because different groups have different components of the edge stack, according to Kilton Hopkins, Eclipse ioFog project lead and CEO of Edgeworx.

“The thing is that [while] trying to talk about what edge computing is most people end up describing something high enough level that you think that their open source technology does it all, but it actually does a piece of it,” Hopkins told EdgeIR at the recent Edge Computing World conference in Mountain View, CA.

In Hopkins’ view, there’s an important distinction from the Linux Foundation efforts, as one example. Eclipse ENWG has a native edge platform for managing and orchestration, he said, while LF Edge has blueprints for edge use cases and a set of well-defined microservices to run on an edge platform as well as the Project EVE, which he characterizes as a virtualization-focused operating system. Combining those elements with Eclipse code will give organizations what they need to run code at the edge; what’s left is for developers to create their own business logic.

The Eclipse Foundation is a member of the Industrial Internet Consortium as well as the Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF), notes Frédéric Desbiens, IoT and Edge Computing Program Manager for the Eclipse Foundation.

“Essentially, we are working with those players because we are completely aware that there’s no single player that will get everything,” Desbiens told EdgeIR. That said, he believes Eclipse has a lot to offer other groups. “That’s the driving factor behind this new edge native [initiative],” he said. “We felt that we have assets that were so strong in fog05, and ioFog that it was worth building a community around it and giving them…the mindshare and exposure that they deserve.”

Partners involvement with edge standardization efforts

Siemens, as an example, is developing an industrial edge management solution and is also part of the IoT Security Foundation. Plans include purchasing edge technology from US-based defined edge computing firm Pixeom, the company announced in October. In 2018, it partnered with SAS for AI-embedded IoT analytics for edge and cloud.

ADLINK, for its part, is part of a number of alliances and consortia including Edge Computing Consortium, Open Edge Computing, Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), and Intel IoT Solutions Alliance.

About two years ago, Intel contributed code to an open-source edge computing project developed by the Akraino Edge Stack community, a new project under the Linux Foundation umbrella which received wide industry support. Intel is also a member of the LF Edge community alongside Huawei and of the Open Edge Computing Initiative. In 2015, Intel became one of the founding members of the OpenFog Consortium which merged with IIC in 2019. Huawei, Siemens, and Bosch are all contributing members to IIC. Huawei is also part of IoT Security Foundation.

Back in 2016, Intel, Huawei and a number of other telecommunications companies founded a global alliance in partnership with automotive companies to develop solutions for smart cars and transportation. Named 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), the community wants to improve global standards and expand opportunities. In that same year, Huawei, Intel, and two Chinese universities, among others, founded Edge Computing Consortium (ECC). Huawei and Intel are also top supporters and contributors to the OpenStack Foundation.

Jim Davis contributed to this article.

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