What’s so funny ‘bout peace, love and understanding at the IoT edge?

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Dell EMC


What’s so funny ‘bout peace, love and understanding at the IoT edge?

“As I walk through

This wicked world

Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity.”

So begins one of Elvis Costello’s best songs, (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding. He wasn’t singing about the edge of the Internet of Things (IoT), where connected devices with sensors are collecting data 24/7, but he might as well have been. Because the edge is rife with insanity. Take manufacturing, where you find factory equipment, industrial robots, HVAC gear and other operational technology, as well as countless data formats, both standard and proprietary, some new, some older than Elvis. And when operational technology meets information technology, it’s more of a collision than anything else. Like Elvis Costello himself, if you’re tasked with weaving together the IoT edge for business purposes, you might be singing:

“I ask myself

Is all hope lost?

Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?”

Harmony at the edge.

Take heart, EdgeX Foundryis here! Released by the Linux Foundation, EdgeX Foundry promises to bring peace, love and understanding, a.k.a., interoperability, to the IoT edge, while preserving your ability to innovate and add value. Here’s a quote from the EdgeX press release:

HANNOVER (HANNOVER MESSE) AND SAN FRANCISCO – April 24, 2017 – The Linux Foundation today announced the launch of EdgeX Foundry, an open source project to build a common open framework for Internet of Things (IoT) edge computing and an ecosystem of interoperable components that unifies the marketplace and accelerates enterprise and Industrial IoT. The initiative is aligned around a common goal: the simplification and standardization of Industrial IoT edge computing, while still allowing the ecosystem to add significant value.

Spend your time inventing, not reinventing.

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With the arrival of EdgeX Foundry, the days of widespread fragmentation and the lack of a common IoT solution framework hindering broad IoT adoption and stalling market growth are numbered. No longer will hundreds of software platforms require the reinvention of connectivity at the application layer. Instead, an ecosystem of interoperable components will facilitate plug and play connectivity while leaving in place plenty of room for innovation. And in case you’re wondering if EdgeX Foundry is just a new standard in disguise, it is not. Rather, it will coexist with all of the existing connectivity protocols in the IoT edge today (in essence, live and let live) as it is architected to enable HW and OS agnostic interoperability, while still allowing the ecosystem to support standards as well as proprietary elements.

Here is how the Linux Foundation sums up the promise of EdgeX Foundry:

“Businesses currently have to invest a lot of time and energy into developing their own edge computing solutions, before they can even deploy IoT solutions to address business challenges,” said Philip DesAutels, PhD Senior Director of IoT at The Linux Foundation. “EdgeX will foster an ecosystem of interoperable components from a variety of vendors, so that resources can be spent on driving business value instead of combining and integrating IoT components.”

How to take your IoT strategy to the edge.

So where are the strong?

And who are the trusted?

And where is the harmony?

For unity at the edge, I think the answer is the Linux Foundation’s EdgeX Foundry. With over 50 companies on board at launch, including Analog Devices, Dell EMC, Foghorn and VMware, EdgeX Foundry already has serious momentum, nothing funny about it. If you’re interested in reading more about EdgeX Foundry and how it simplifies interoperability among edge devices and applications, visit EdgeXFoundry.org. Doing so won’t make you laugh, but it should put a smile on your face.

Jeff Shattuck is the global messaging lead for the Internet of Things (IoT) at Dell EMC. You can follow Jeff @jeffshattuck.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.