EdgeX - the real IoT?

Linux Foundation’s new internet of things/edge computing framework ‘is not YAPP.’ Dell-backed interoperability framework sets out to ‘deliver interoperability and drive digital transformation.'

The Internet of Things has spawned a huge amount of hype. It has also given rise to a number of competing ‘platforms.’ Without any claim to exhaustivity, we have reported lately of IoT offerings from Altizon, C3IoT, DNV GL, IFS, GE, Siemens and Yokogawa*. Proliferating platforms raise serious issues for operators who risk being locked in to a proprietary environment. At the 2017 Hannover Messe tradeshow, the Linux Foundation threw its own IoT platform into the ring with the launch of the EdgeX Foundry, a project to ‘build an open framework for IoT/edge computing and an ecosystem of interoperable components that unifies the marketplace and accelerates enterprise and Industrial IoT.’ Current IoT offerings are said to deliver business value, but ‘widespread fragmentation and the lack of a common framework’ are hindering adoption and stalling market growth. The current complex landscape and the variety of components has created ‘paralysis.’

Linux Foundation IoT head Philip DesAutels told Oil IT Journal, ‘Initially EdgeX is focused on industrial, facilities and enterprise use cases. For the future, we envision a compact version of EdgeX to target the consumer space. EdgeX is not YAPP**, it will work with any and all protocols, IP-based, proprietary, wireless and wired. We already have demonstrated interaction on the same gateway between Bacnet, Bluetooth, Serial, Zwave and more. The previous IoTX project, now inside EdgeX, provides protocol-to-protocol interoperability.’ Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin added, ‘The Internet of Things is dependent on an ecosystem that can deliver interoperability and drive digital transformation. The EdgeX Foundry will unify the IoT market around a common open framework and an ecosystem of companies offering interoperable plug-and-play components.’ Interoperability between community-developed software will be maintained through a certification program.

Dell is seeding EdgeX Foundry with source code from its ‘Project Fuse’ IoT stack, including microservices and some 125,000 lines of code. EdgeX founder members include AMD (not Intel), Yokogawa partner Bayshore Networks, Canonical/Ubuntu, Dell, FogHorn (another Yokogawa unit) and Opto 22. The Object Management Group is an EdgeX ‘affiliate’ but not The Open Group, host of ExxonMobil’s IoT-esque process control framework. Visit the EdgeX Foundry on GitHub and read the release at the Linux Foundation.

* The FT IoT ‘Big read’ (27th June) estimated 300 platforms!

** Yet another protocol project.

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