A Shared Vision For Edge Computing

Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 12:35 by Frédéric Desbiens

The Eclipse Foundation is a member-driven, vendor-neutral organization. I cannot count the number of times I have said this since I started at the Foundation in February of 2019. As a Foundation staffer, my job is to serve the community and assist its members in driving their initiatives. During the past 12 months or so, I have had the privilege to work closely with our Edge Native Working Group on what I consider to be a very special initiative.

After its creation in December 2019, one of the main goals of the Edge Native Working Group has been to define its vision for Edge Computing and share it with the rest of the industry. The community decided at that time to write a comprehensive white paper to accomplish this goal. At first, I simply supported that effort, but ended up writing part of it.

Today marks the launch of our white paper, titled “From DevOps to EdgeOps: A Vision for Edge Computing”. And I am proud to say that my vision for Edge Computing is, in fact, a vision shared by the Edge Native Working Group.

So, what will you find in it? A comprehensive analysis of the market, a clear definition of what Edge Computing is and our vision for its future. Here is our argument:

  1. The challenges of Edge Computing are distinct from those of Cloud Computing. Using Cloud approaches, tools and platforms at the Edge without modifications to meet these edge challenges will simply not work.

  2. Industry experts differ on their opinions about whether there is a single “Edge” or many Edges. Our perspective is that there are so many edges that the space from the very end of the Edge and all the way to the Cloud can be seen as a continuum. This means that a proper edge platform will need to be able to position the various mix of devices and components at any physical location found in this continuum.

  3. Edge Computing is about bringing computing power and storage as physically close to the source of the data as possible. This means edge computing nodes have to face many constraints that are not typically found in the Cloud, such as limits to power consumption, unreliable networks and many others.

  4. DevOps tools and techniques transformed the way we build and deliver software. However, DevOps was born in the Cloud. Since Edge environments are radically different, there is a need to adopt a new paradigm -- DevOps for the Edge. This is EdgeOps: our vision for the present and future of Edge Computing.
What makes this white paper special is that it's been written by actual, experienced practitioners of Edge Computing. Working on it with the other authors has been a real pleasure. Many thanks to Robert Andres (Eurotech). Luca Cominardi (ADLINK Technology) and Kilton Hopkins (Edgeworx) for their dedication in bringing this white paper to light.

You can download the white paper here.