Linux Foundation Launches Unified Open Source Framework for the Edge

Linux Foundation Launches Unified Open Source Framework for the Edge

This is another aspect of consolidation as the Linux Foundation brings several open source projects together under one umbrella. This action should coordinate development and speed access to the market. Among these announcements, I see that EdgeXFoundry the project I’ve addressed a few times before and actively backed by Dell Technologies has been morphed into the organization. An announcement by ZEDATA relative to these activities is attached below.

The Linux Foundation launches LF Edge, an umbrella organization that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating systems.

Backed by more than 60 global leaders including AT&T, Samsung, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Huawei, Qualcomm, Red Hat and ARM, LF Edge will create a software stack that brings the best of telecom, cloud, and enterprise to ensure greater harmonization with lower latency, increased data speed, more security and scalability.

LF Edge is initially comprised of five projects that will support emerging edge applications in the area of non-traditional video and connected things that require lower latency, faster processing and mobility.

LF Edge includes Akraino Edge Stack, EdgeX Foundry, and Open Glossary of Edge Computing, formerly stand-alone projects at The Linux Foundation. The initiative also includes a new project contributed by Samsung Electronics, which will create a hub for real-time data collected through smart home devices, and another project from ZEDEDA, which is contributing a new agnostic standard edge architecture.

“The market opportunity for LF Edge spans industrial, enterprise and consumer use cases in complex environments that cut across multiple edges and domains. We’re thrilled with the level of support backing us at launch, with more than 60 global organizations as founding members and new project contributions,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, The Linux Foundation. “This massive endorsement, combined with existing code and project contributions like Akraino from AT&T and EdgeX Foundry from Dell EMC, means LF Edge is well-positioned to transform edge and IoT application development.”

Through the formation of a software stack that brings the best of telecom, cloud, and enterprise (representing location, latency and mobility differentiation), LF Edge will help ensure greater harmonization to accelerate deployment among the rapidly growing number of edge devices slated to exceed 20 billion by 2020. In order for the broader IoT to succeed, the currently fragmented edge market needs to be able to work together to identify and protect against problematic security vulnerabilities and advance a common, constructive vision for the future of the industry.

More about LF Edge projects:

  • Akraino Edge Stack is creating an open source software stack that supports high-availability cloud services optimized for edge computing systems and applications;
  • EdgeX Foundry is focused on building a common open framework for IoT edge computing.
  • Home Edge Project, seed code contributed by Samsung Electronics, is a new project that concentrates on driving and enabling a robust, reliable, and intelligent home edge computing framework, platform and ecosystem running on a variety of devices in our daily lives.
  • Open Glossary of Edge Computing provides a concise collection of terms related to the field of edge computing.
  • Project EVE (Edge Virtualization Engine), contributed by ZEDEDA, will create an open and agnostic standard edge architecture that accommodates complex and diverse on- and off-prem hardware, network and application selections.

As the IoT increasingly trades legacy embedded devices for cloud native computing devices with greater compute power, edge and IoT developers need vendor-neutral platforms and a shared vocabulary for deploying and securing their devices. Industries including industrial manufacturing, cities and government, energy, transportation, retail, homes, building automation, automotive, logistics and healthcare all stand to be transformed by edge computing, which by its nature spans many different systems, domains, hardware and software.

Bringing Unity to the Fragmented Edge Computing Realm

Already home to several other thriving umbrella organizations – including Cloud Native Computing Foundation, LF Networking, and LF Deep Learning –The Linux Foundation provides a neutral structure for building an open source community. Under the auspices of The Linux Foundation, LF Edge will drive better, more secure development at the edge, outlining an aligned vision for the diverse and complex edge projects being built today.

LF Edge is already supported by a strong roster of industry-leading founding members: (Premier) Arm, AT&T, Baidu, Dell EMC, Dianomic Inc., Ericsson, HP Inc., HPE, Huawei, IBM, Intel, inwinStack, Juniper Networks, MobiledgeX, Netsia, Nokia Solutions, NTT, OSIsoft, Qualcomm Technologies, Radisys, Red Hat, Samsung Electronics, Seagate Technology, Tencent, WindRiver, Wipro, ZEDEDA; and (General) Advantech Co., Alleantia srl, Beechwoods Software Inc., Canonical Group Limited, CertusNet, CloudPlugs Inc., Concept Reply, DATA AHEAD AG, Enigmedia, EpiSensor, Foghorn Systems Inc., ForgeRock US Inc., Foundries.io, Hangzhou EMQ Technologies Co. Ltd., IOTech Systems Ltd., IoTium, KMC, Linaro, Mainflux, Mocana, NetFoundry, Packet, Pluribus Networks, RackN, Redis Labs, VaporIO, Vitro Technology Corp., Volterra Inc., Wanxiang Group; and (Associate) Automotive Edge Computing Consortium (AECC), Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Infrastructure Masons, Inc., and Project Haystack.

Supporting quotes:

“End-to-end cohesion requires big companies to come together to foster the space for industrial collaboration and emerging architectures across mobile, residential, SMB and enterprise organizations when dealing with the edge,” said Roman Shaposhnik, vice president of Product and Strategy, ZEDEDA. “This initiative provides critical leadership — not just a piece of the edge puzzle — with the ultimate output being working code.”

“As devices play more important roles in our everyday lives, the edge computing is one of the key driving forces for a new computing paradigm within the IT industry,” said Seunghwan Cho, executive vice president of Samsung Research, the advanced R&D arm of Samsung Electronics’ device business. “As Samsung is one of the leading open source contributors at LF Edge, we’ll be in the forefront of realizing and accelerating edge computing, which can provide assistance to a wide array of fields, including Home Edge, Industrial, and Mobile Edge Computing (MEC).”

“The Linux Foundation has created the perfect vehicle for collaboration and coordination across the diversity of LF Edge projects,” said Matt Trifiro, former chair of the Open Glossary of Edge Computing and chief marketing officer, Vapor IO. “We see the the Open Glossary playing a vital role in fostering a shared understanding that accelerates innovation. We look forward to working with the all of the LF Edge projects to cross-pollinate terminologies and harmonize the lexicon.”

“We are thrilled by the progress of Akraino Edge Stack so far and excited to see the Linux Foundation deepen its commitment into edge computing,” said Oliver Spatscheck, former Akraino Board chair and assistant vice president at AT&T Labs. “The launch of LF Edge will accelerate edge innovation and drive real business value by bringing a diverse set of edge players under one roof.”

“LF Edge will create a comprehensive and coordinated set of foundational open source tools to enable developers to accelerate time to value in creating IoT and Edge computing solutions,” said Jason Shepherd, former governing board chair of EdgeX Foundry, and IoT and Edge Computing chief technology officer at Dell Technologies. “We look forward to continuing to foster IoT interoperability within the EdgeX community in addition to collaborating across LF Edge projects to develop de facto-standard APIs for intelligent interactions between the application and infrastructure planes within the broader edge ecosystem.”

In further news, ZEDEDA Announces Project EVE, Partners with The Linux Foundation to Develop an Open On-Prem Enterprise Edge Computing Architecture

Open source Project EVE (Edge Virtualization Engine) chartered to create open, agnostic edge architecture targeting on-premise, cyber-physical enterprise edge

Joins LF Edge, The Linux Foundation’s new umbrella organization to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system.

Project EVE establishes a lightweight virtualization engine and open APIs for IoT edge gateways and edge servers with built-in security for enterprise applications including industrial automation, clean energy, retail and beyond

Embraces zero-trust as the de-facto method for securing on-prem edge devices

“Open source is the ideal approach for enabling app developers to navigate the crowded, diverse, multi-vendor edge that exists in the enterprise today,” said Roman Shaposhnik, Co-Founder and VP Product & Strategy, ZEDEDA. “By accelerating the development of cloud-native edge applications, Project EVE is paving the way for the next generation of edge applications in enterprises — from robotics to AI to predictive analytics and automation.”

Industrial Internet Consortium and OpenFog Consortium Unite

Industrial Internet Consortium and OpenFog Consortium Unite

Consolidation is the name of the game for the past few years in the automation and controls market. We’ve seen companies on the acquisition trail. Not limited to for-profit companies, industry alliances and organizations have been consolidating as well. A few years ago it was Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation joining to form FieldComm Group. Now we have consolidation in the Industrial Internet of Things space. This no doubt signals growing maturity of the market and technologies.

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and the OpenFog Consortium (OpenFog) announced January 31 that they have finalized the details to combine the two “largest and most influential” international consortia in Industrial IoT, fog, and edge computing. Effective immediately, the organizations will work together under the IIC umbrella to drive the momentum of the industrial internet, including the development and promotion of industry guidance and best practices for fog and edge computing.

This action brings OpenFog members into the IIC at a time when their complementary areas of technology are emerging in the mainstream. The first formal meeting of the unified organization will be held in Raleigh, N.C., from February 11-14.

The IIC, now incorporating OpenFog, also announced that the IIC Steering Committee, which guides the strategic direction of the organization, has elected two OpenFog principals:

· Ron Zahavi, Chief Strategist for IoT Standards, Azure IoT, Microsoft. Mr. Zahavi is focused on IoT standards and consortia and also leads Microsoft’s Worldwide IoT Architecture Community. Mr. Zahavi has extensive experience in all aspects of technology management and solution delivery, 18 of those related to IoT solutions. Matt Vasey, Microsoft director, AI and IoT business development, will serve as the alternate to Mr. Zahavi.

· Mung Chiang, John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, Purdue University. Dr. Chiang was previously the Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor at Princeton University and founded the Princeton EDGE Lab in 2009. The Lab bridges the theory-practice gap in edge computing/networking research by spanning from proofs to prototypes. Dr. Chiang received the 2013 Alan T. Waterman Award for his contributions to networking R&D.

“This agreement brings together the two most important organizations shaping the Industrial Internet of Things. The combined organization offers greater influence to members, more clarity to the market, and a lower-risk path to the future for end users. We will be the center of gravity for the future of Industrial IoT systems across industry verticals,” said Stan Schneider, CEO of Real-Time Innovations (RTI) and Vice Chair of the IIC Steering Committee. “We welcome the experience and vision that Ron Zahavi and Mung Chiang bring to our Steering Committee.”

“We are excited to take the first steps toward integrating the OpenFog Working Groups, Testbeds and Use Cases with those of the IIC,” said Matt Vasey, OpenFog chairman and president, and director, AI and IoT business development, Microsoft. “Our membership is highly motivated to contribute at every level to continue the advancement of fog technology in the Industrial Internet.”

Following are additional quotes from IIC Steering Committee Members

“We are looking forward to our continued work at the IIC strengthened with the addition of OpenFog. The combined organization will cover the edge to cloud continuum and leverage the international diversity of its members, regional committees and testbeds.” Ron Zahavi, Chief Strategist for IoT Standards, Azure IoT, Microsoft, IIC Steering Committee Member

“The OpenFog Consortium and the Industrial Internet Consortium coming together marks a major step in the evolution of IoT and embedded AI. The complementary strengths of the two organizations now jointly serve global industry in the most exciting era of these technologies.” Dr. Mung Chiang, John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, Purdue University, IIC Steering Committee Member

“Building out the IIoT ecosystem is essential to ensuring quick market adoption. A significant amount of data is processed at the edge in a majority of IoT solutions being deployed. Joining our memberships as well as our technical edge and fog expertise is a force multiplier for the guidance that we are creating for the IoT industry.” Wael William Diab, Senior Director, Huawei Technologies, IIC Steering Committee Secretary

“ABB’s digital approach recognizes the importance of all elements of an IIoT stack, from the edge to the cloud, from the sensor, the automation system, and the IoT analytics, as well as the importance of open standards to ensure interoperability. As an IIC member since early days and an IIC Steering Committee member, ABB sees a great value in joining forces between the Industrial Internet Consortium and the Open Fog consortium.” Dr. Christopher Ganz, ABB Group VP Service R&D, IIC Steering Committee Member

Rockwell Automation Acquires Emulate3D for Simulating and Emulating Industrial Automation Systems

Rockwell Automation Acquires Emulate3D for Simulating and Emulating Industrial Automation Systems

Once I was involved in the design, build, and installation of automated assembly machines. I have a feel for how much time and money could be saved through simulation of industrial automation systems. Further, I’ve observed Rockwell Automation’s attempts at partnership to bring simulation to fruition.

After many false starts, it has acquired a company—Emulate3D. The company’s products sit between CAD and controls design enabling a visual model of the system (the website shows conveyor and material handling systems, not the inner workings of a machine). It can integrate controls and look for interferences allowing engineers to “test” machine design before cutting iron.

I have not seen a demo, yet, but in theory this is a great advance for Rockwell’s customers.

“We are excited about the opportunities that Emulate3D’s software offers our customers,” said Fran Wlodarczyk, Rockwell Automation senior vice president for its architecture and software segment. “They will have the ability to improve their time to market and operational productivity through digital machine prototyping and virtual commissioning. It also marks another investment by Rockwell Automation to bring the Connected Enterprise to life.”

“As a former Rockwell Automation Encompass partner, we established great working relationships with Rockwell Automation and its customers,” said Ian McGregor, Emulate3D global sales and marketing director. “We look forward to building on those relationships under our new ownership. Rockwell Automation’s installed base and our engineering software provides a great opportunity to better address customer needs in today’s rapidly changing, technologically-advanced manufacturing environment.”

Rockwell Automation will add Emulate3D’s technology to its digital design portfolio to deliver solutions to automotive, logistics, material handling, and other industrial applications. Software will be sold as Emulate3D by Rockwell Automation, as part of Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk DesignSuite.

Beware The Expert

Beware The Expert

I just finished Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s study of randomness, The Black Swan. Yes, I know, even its update was several years ago. But if you have not read it, I recommend the book.

Often my reading uncovers things in flocks. In this case, I’m coupling Taleb’s view of experts with that of a piece in the MIT Sloan Management Review. (Note: I am sure that Taleb would flinch at the idea of pairing him with an MIT piece, but it fits.)

I will take a moment aside to notice the “exception that proves the rule” as they say. In certain sciences, there are experts. In the field of most of the people who read this, there are process control experts who truly can give excellent and accurate advice on their subject. They know what they are doing through a series of study, experience, reflection, more experience, and iterate.

In these latter stages of my career, I’ve been labeled “SME” (subject matter expert). That scares me. I have a friend who introduces me as an expert. That worries me. Mostly I am a student and observer who thinks about what I learn and observe. And thanks to being blindsided by the economy or company politics a few times, I also try to have antennae scanning the ecosystem watching for curious blips on the horizon that just might signal crisis—or opportunity.

Back to Taleb. He says the power of random events, “black swans,” can confound even Nobel laureate level experts. They can’t be predicted, especially by using bell curves or linear regression. One can train awareness to become sensitive to vulnerabilities to these black swan events.

Taleb writes with an irreverence that I appreciate. Although, reading some comments revealed the sensitivities of those he tweaks (or skewers).

Taleb noticed experts had nothing over ordinary people—e.g. his uncle a government minister and his chauffeur. He tells the story of being a youth in Lebanon during the civil war. His uncle was a minister in the government. One day he asked his chauffeur what he thought about the war. Neither the minister or the chauffeur seemed to have a better grasp on what was happening in the war.

He further noticed during his career as a trader that business executives don’t know much about the situation when they make decisions, oblivious to the danger of not knowing when you don’t know.

People, especially experts, have a map in mind of how things are that is not based on empirical evidence. This blinds them to looking for potential outliers waiting to pounce.

In the winter 2019 issue of the MIT Sloan Management Review essay “Think Critically About the Wisdom of Experts,” Andrew A. King debunks the myth of the expert. “Expert analysis informs the decisions we make as leaders and managers — and in our everyday lives. Much of our knowledge is ultimately garnered from the testimony of teachers, mentors, colleagues, and authors who write for publications like this one.”

He goes on to say, “But we also live in a world where, almost daily, some expert’s previous certainty is discredited by new analysis.”

Take these examples from King:

  • Diets once thought to be foolproof are ridiculed; management practices once decried are suddenly praised.
  • In the second most popular TED talk of all time, social psychologist Amy Cuddy tells us that holding certain physical postures boosts our power hormones and makes us more courageous; however, attempts to replicate that result have failed.
  • European governments chose to adopt austerity policies in part because esteemed Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff told them that high debt levels cause a sudden drop in economic growth. Then a graduate student, Thomas Herndon, discovered that their claim was influenced by an Excel spreadsheet error.
  • The replication crisis — whereby scientific findings are increasingly being revealed as tough to reproduce — is plaguing psychology, economics, and medical research.

So how should we treat the next piece of advice we get from a scholar or a consultant? We should always think critically about what we hear or read.

Cybersecurity Updates for Industrial Control

Cybersecurity Updates for Industrial Control

Discussing industrial technology while ignoring cybersecurity is impossible these days. I just saw a survey that contends CEOs are more worried about cybersecurity than recession.

Note—I have been traveling for meetings and finally got my schedule together to post something. I’m also compiling my schedule for the annual ARC Advisory Group Industry Forum in a couple of weeks. If you’re going, I’d love to meet you. Send a note or a text. Maybe we can have coffee.

Schneider Electric Partners with Nozomi Networks

Schneider Electric has signed a global partnership agreement with Nozomi Networks to collaborate with Nozomi to provide customers in the industrial manufacturing and critical infrastructure segments advanced anomaly detection, vulnerability assessment, and other cybersecurity solutions and services, helping them to control, prevent and mitigate risks to their operations and business performance.

“The industry-wide transformation taking place today enables our customers to improve their business performance in ways they never imagined, but it requires them to expand connectivity across their operations, so they can extract, contextualize and apply new levels of rich data,” said Nathalie Marcotte, senior vice president, Industry Services and Cybersecurity, Schneider Electric. “However, extending connectivity also extends the attack surface for would-be cyber criminals. Therefore, cybersecurity can no longer be an afterthought. There’s too much at stake, financially and operationally. By adding Nozomi Networks to our family of partners, we strengthen our ability to help customers understand and eliminate risks and threats to their operations and assets, while reducing potential impact on their business success.”

The partnership enables Schneider Electric to respond more aggressively to immediate demand for effective, operational technology cybersecurity services, solutions and expertise in oil and gas, power, building automation and other industrial sectors. Schneider Electric will offer Nozomi Networks’ advanced solutions for industrial control system cyber resiliency and real-time operational visibility to customers worldwide. Schneider Electric will combine its EcoStruxure IIoT process automation and industrial control solutions with Nozomi’s SCADAguardian platform for real-time operations visibility, including:

  • Advanced ICS Cybersecurity Solutions: The bundled solution will deliver the deep network visibility and OT cybersecurity industry operators require in one, comprehensive and highly scalable solution.
  • Nozomi Networks SCADAguardian solution provides accurate asset discovery, superior threat detection and flexible and scalable deployment options to Schneider Electric customers.
  • Nozomi Networks Certified Consultants: Schneider Electric consultants around the world will continue to be trained as certified Nozomi Networks engineers, scaling to support clients throughout their cybersecurity solution implementation, and providing expert OT threat hunting and forensic analysis.
  • SCADAguardian Live in Schneider Electric Sites: Schneider Electric customers can experience Nozomi Networks’ real-time operational visibility and cybersecurity solutions via live threat scenarios running in Schneider Electric sites around the world.

EcoStruxure is Schneider Electric’s open, interoperable, IoT-enabled system architecture and platform.

“Years of multi-industry experience discerning the complexities of industrial control system networks, continuous innovation and expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning have made Nozomi Networks SCADAguardian the most comprehensive, scalable and mature product in its category,” said Edgard Capdevielle, chief executive officer, Nozomi Networks. “Our partnership with Schneider Electric accelerates our joint efforts to further protect global infrastructure while helping to improve the safety, efficiency, reliability and profitability of the world’s most critical operations.”

“The digital enterprise requires a holistic security approach that not only provides safeguards, but continually assesses, manages and monitors business and operating systems, which Nozomi Networks’ solutions do seamlessly,” Marcotte said. “Addressing cybersecurity head on can’t be limited to a single company, segment or region. That is why we are committed to being open, transparent and collaborative when it comes to helping global industry prevent and respond to cyberattacks. As this partnership shows, we will continue to collaborate with industry leaders who have the technology, expertise and unique skills required to secure and protect our customers’ people, production and profits.”

Mocana Integrates with Unified Automation’s High Performance OPC UA SDK

Simplifies Replacement of OpenSSL with Mocana’s FIPS 140-2 Validated Cryptographic Engine

Mocana announced the integration of Mocana TrustPoint, the company’s embedded cybersecurity software, with Unified Automation’s High Performance OPC Unified Architecture (UA) Software Development Kit (SDK). This integration enables industrial manufacturers and operators to easily replace OpenSSL, an open source crypto library, with Mocana’s proven cybersecurity software solution that is FIPS 140-2 validated and compliant with leading industrial cybersecurity standards.

“Mocana’s embedded cybersecurity solutions are used by the largest industrial companies for mission critical systems,” said Uwe Steinkrauss, Executive Director at Unified Automation. “We’re committed to partnering with Mocana to provide the OPC UA community with solutions that are secure and compliant with industry standards.”

OPC UA is an open machine-to-machine communication platform for industrial automation developed by the OPC Foundation. The OPC UA standard enables industrial control system (ICS) devices across multiple platforms to communicate using a services-oriented architecture (SOA) including enhanced publish / subscribe capabilities. The standard is broadly used across many industries including pharmaceutical, oil and gas, building automation, industrial robotics, security, manufacturing, process control, and transportation.

By default, most OPC UA SDKs have been designed to use OpenSSL, open source security software, to handle security functions such as authentication and encryption. Besides the large footprint hindering implementation on the smallest embedded devices, OpenSSL has been shown to have thousands of vulnerabilities, a hard to maintain complex code base, and slow vulnerability remediation times. Additionally, the latest NIST 140-2 standards cannot be met by the current version of OpenSSL. As a result, industrial companies are migrating away from OpenSSL to meet cybersecurity compliance standards.

Mocana’s integration with Unified Automation’s OPC UA SDKs makes it easy to replace OpenSSL with Mocana’s FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic engine and comprehensive device security lifecycle management platform. Mocana provides an OpenSSL Connector, a shim that transparently intercepts the device application’s OpenSSL API calls, changes the arguments, and passes them onto Mocana’s cryptographic engine without requiring any application code changes.

“Unified Automation has deep expertise with OPC UA and was instrumental in developing the OPC UA stacks, in particular the ANSI C stack,” said Srinivas Kumar, Vice President of Engineering at Mocana. “We are committed to making it easy to enable the highest level of security and device integrity for OPC UA-enabled industrial devices.”

Mocana’s proven device security solution facilitates compliance with cybersecurity standards, such as the NIST FIPS 140-2, IEC 62443, NIST 800-63, and CIP-007. Mocana and Unified Automation are members of the OPC Foundation.

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