Edge computing is essential to many digital transformation plans – spanning virtually any industry from retail to telcos to manufacturers. Scalability and manageability represent opportunity and challenges as organizations role out edge deployments, which is where open hybrid cloud may pave the way to achieve critical goals.
“As emerging edge computing applications for the enterprise gain momentum, it’s becoming clearer how they converge with digital transformation initiatives,” Stephanie Overby writes for The Enterprisers Project. “In the case of many advancing capabilities – such as machine learning or IoT – edge computing can be the link that supercharges potential business outcomes.”
As the Linux Foundation’s State of the Edge project’s latest report points out, we are in a transition to “the hyper-connected era where nearly every object in our physical world can have computing and connectivity built in, whether it’s a simple consumer doorbell or a complicated robotic manufacturing device.”
Rather than Internet of Things (IoT), that report asserts that “we will actually have an Internet of Systems, where devices serving different vertical applications within different systems need to communicate directly to exchange knowledge, autonomously and securely with no single point of failure, starting from end user ‘edge’ devices (smartphones, appliances, TVs, cars, robots, sensors, etc.) across diverse networks and cloud platforms.”
Enabling the processing of data and exchange of information across that vast, rapidly changing environment can’t be reliant on building individual interconnections. It will take standardization and open systems to ensure interoperability and the smooth movement of data.
“The ecosystem is building a new stack to run at the edge of our networks, taking lessons from the hyperscale cloud, from IoT, from metro data centers, and from content delivery networks and the web, mashing them all together and building something new to suit new hardware, new networks, and a new generation of applications,” Simon Bisson writes in the software section of State of the Edge 2021.
That new generation of applications is expected to rely heavily on containers that enable developers to achieve scale by writing applications once to run on many types of different platforms across the ecosystem, from data center to the edge.
“Companies are adopting containers because of the level of abstraction,” says Ishu Verma, Edge Computing Technical Evangelist at Red Hat. “The developer doesn’t have to know all the details of all of these devices, all of the hardware interfaces, all of the operating systems running on these devices. That allows companies to have broader pool of resources, whereas before they could have had to find skill sets unique to a particular system or vendor.”
Automation key to success
Making application development easier is one aspect of edge scalability, but it is also going to take powerful orchestration and automation to deploy and manage those applications across the edge-cloud-data center ecosystem. “You need to be able to scale along with your infrastructure,” says Ben Cohen, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Cloud Platforms at Red Hat. “You can’t do manually do remote upgrades and maintenance. ”
That’s where Kubernetes and OpenShift come in.
“Kubernetes provides an agonistic infrastructure capable of seamlessly managing diverse workloads running on different compute resources,” explains Limor Wainstein in Container Journal. “Additionally, Kubernetes can orchestrate and schedule resources as they bounce from the cloud to the edge and vice versa. You can also use Kubernetes to use cloud configurations when managing and deploying edge devices.”
Red Hat OpenShift container platform is an open hybrid cloud enterprise Kubernetes platform to build and deliver better applications faster across data center, multi-cloud, and edge locations. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes can help manage hundreds to thousands of container clusters to ensure enterprises across industries are able to scale up to achieve the potential of edge.
Red Hat sees edge differently. See how: https://www.redhat.com/en/topics/edge-computing/approach?sc_cid=7013a000002w1CwAAI