The Edge of Things: A Name That Means a Lot of Things

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 11:20 by Frédéric Desbiens

I have a fantastic job. When people ask what I do, I say I manage IoT and Edge Computing programs at the Eclipse Foundation. This is true yet is an oversimplification. What I actually do is a bit more complicated than that. I need to keep an eye on over fifty relevant Eclipse open-source projects. At the same time, I help animate three distinct communities: the Eclipse IoT, Edge Native, and Sparkplug working groups. All three have something to do with IoT and Edge Computing, each with a slightly different angle. And here is my problem: it is hard to convey all the nuances of everything our IoT and Edge community does in a single word.

IoT, of course, includes Edge Computing. Deploying compute, storage, and networking resources as close to the source of the data as possible makes complete sense. However, Edge Computing is an architecture that applies to many other use cases, such as gaming or videoconferencing. None of those two concepts completely encloses the other. And no single word can fully replace both.  

Given this, when we decided to create a single webinar series spanning our three working groups, we had a hard time picking a name. We settled on The Edge of Things since the name ties Edge Computing and IoT together. Since March 2021, we have recorded seven episodes, with an eighth one coming on June 1, 2022. Each one is a treasure trove of insights. However, not everyone has the time to watch hour-long broadcasts, as interesting as they are. What to do then? The complete opposite, of course.

I am happy to announce that The Edge of Things is now a publication on! As with our webinars, the publication's goal is to share our thoughts and expertise with the broadest audience possible. Our written posts are much shorter, though; you should be able to read them in three or four minutes. In addition, the written format enables us to explore specific topics in a deeper, more structured way. We hope you will like the experience.

Our first series of posts is about device attestation, a security topic central to serious IoT and Edge Computing deployments. You can read the first entry here.