AWS Greengrass 2.0 Edge Runtime: New Dev Capabilities and Open Source

Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon company, recently unveiled a new version of its AWS IoT Greengrass edge runtime and cloud service. Version 2.0 comes with a set of pre-built software components, tools for local software development, and new features for managing software on large fleet devices--and it's open sourced under an Apache 2.0 license. It's available on GitHub here.

AWS announced the general availability of Greengrass 2.0 at its ongoing re:Invent virtual conference. Coming more than three years after its version 1.0 release in mid-2017, Greengrass 2.0 bears the burden of high expectations. Greengrass was designed to help users quickly and easily build intelligent device software. It enables local processing, messaging, data management, ML inference, and offers pre-built components to accelerate application development. It also provides a secure way to seamlessly connect edge devices to any AWS service, as well as to third-party services, the company says. Customers use it for their IoT applications on millions of devices in homes, factories, vehicles, and businesses, the company says.

By providing an open-source version, AWS is setting up the service for easier innovation from a growing community. "Access to the source code allows you to more easily integrate your applications, troubleshoot problems, and build more reliable and performant applications that use AWS IoT Greengrass," wrote Channy Yun, AWS principal developer advocate, in a blog post.

Greengrass 1.x users will need to migrate their devices and workloads to Greengrass 2.0 in order to begin using the new open source release, the company says. Existing Greengrass 1.x devices will run uninterrupted unless users decide to migrate.

Besides being newly open-sourced, version 2.0 of Greengrass features a few other changes and enhancements. It has a new command-line interface, as well as a new local debug console. These enhancements let users develop and debug their code on a test device before running it on production devices, according to Yun.

The new release also includes prebuilt components that users can add to or remove from their applications as needed. "For example, you can choose to include pre-built AWS IoT Greengrass components, such as stream manager, only when you need to process data streams with your application, or machine learning components only when you want to perform machine learning inference locally on your devices," Yun wrote.

He indicated that Greengrass 1.x users who decide to migrate to version 2.0 can add components to their applications while still keeping their version 1.x code unchanged until they decide to update.

Version 2.0 also integrates with AWS IoT "thing groups." Users can organize their devices into groups and control how applications are deployed across device fleets. They can control "rollout rates, timeouts, and rollbacks," for instance.

AWS is currently offering customers access to Greengrass 2.0 at no cost for their first 1,000 devices through the end of 2021. More information, including pricing, is available here.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.