Eclipse ioFog: Evolving Toward Native Kubernetes Orchestration at the Edge

Sunday, June 23, 2019 - 16:46 by Mike Milinkovich

With the proliferation of AI, autonomous vehicles, 5G, IoT, and other industrial use cases that require lightning-fast data processing, edge computing has emerged over the past few years as a way to address the limitations of existing cloud architectures to process information and deliver services at the “IoT edge”. Instead of backhauling data to the centralized cloud, edge computing brings computational power closer to data sources to support near real-time insights and local actions while reducing network bandwidth and storage requirements.

According to Gartner, 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside a traditional centralized data center or cloud by 2025. While the problems at the IoT edge — connectivity, manageability, scalability, reliability, security — are being solved as point solutions by enterprises and ecosystem players, there is a need for a foundational industry-wide standard for managing distributed IoT workloads. Time and again, open source has been proven to be the best way to deliver complex platform software with industrial scale collaboration.

Enter Kubernetes, the de facto standard for orchestrating containers and the applications running inside them. Kubernetes has massive potential for handling IoT workloads on the edge by providing a common control plane across hybrid cloud and edge environments to simplify management and operations. Within the Kubernetes IoT Edge Working Group, members of the Kubernetes and Eclipse communities are collaborating with leading technology innovators to extend Kubernetes to support dynamically, securely, and remotely managing edge nodes.

A great example of this collaboration is Eclipse ioFog, a universal Edge Compute Platform which offers a standardized way to develop and remotely deploy secure microservices to edge computing devices. ioFog can be installed on any hardware running Linux and provides a universal runtime for microservices to dynamically run on the edge. Companies in different vertical markets such as retail, automotive, oil and gas, telco, and healthcare are using ioFog to turn any compute device into an edge software platform.

The Eclipse Foundation is excited to support today’s announcement of the initial availability of ioFog features that make any Kubernetes distribution edge-aware. With this latest release, developers are able to extend Kubernetes to easily deploy, secure, and manage edge computing networks supporting applications such as advanced AI and machine learning algorithms.

Farah Papaioannou, co-founder and president of Edgeworx, explains the significance of the release this way:

“ioFog is a proven platform at the edge. With this release, we build on native Kubernetes, seamlessly extending it to the edge…We do this based on things that actually matter at the edge, such as latency, location or resources. We are delivering today a full cloud-to-edge solution, that’s 100-percent open source and works with any Kubernetes flavors and distros.”

These native Kubernetes enhancements are in the process of being contributed to the Eclipse ioFog open source project. We are proud to support the collective efforts of the Eclipse community and the Kubernetes ecosystem to help developers deploy, manage, and orchestrate applications and microservices from cloud to edge in a simple and secure manner.

For more information about ioFog, get started by using this link to install and set up your production ioFog environment. If you have questions or want to connect with other people involved in this platform, join the ioFog community and the mailing list.