Eclipse Edge Native Working Group Releases ioFog 2.0 for True "EdgeOps"

The Eclipse Foundation's Native Working Group this week announced the release of Eclipse ioFog 2.0, an open-source solution for deploying and orchestrating containerized cloud applications to the Edge.

Eclipse ioFog is a commercial-grade, production-ready, open-source platform architected for edge computing environments. Leveraging contributions from such working group members as Edgeworx and Red Hat, the 2.0 release provides what the Foundation describes as "industry-first EdgeOps" capabilities that enable the deployment of new applications across hybrid cloud and edge environments.

"Eclipse ioFog 2.0 has evolved to meet the demands of today’s cloud and edge developers," said Kilton Hopkins, co-founder and CTO for Edgeworx and Eclipse ioFog project lead, in a statement. "Today, many enterprises and service providers need the ability to easily build and manage a diverse variety of edge computing architectures. ioFog 2.0 provides organizations a robust and production-grade infrastructure platform to stitch existing services together and easily manage agents across multiple environments."

Edge computing brings compute power and storage physically closer to data and applications to improve performance and increase efficiency. According to Grandview Research (March 2020), the edge computing market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 36.9% from 2020 to 2027, reaching $43.36 billion by 2027.

As defined and promoted by the Edge Native Working Group, EdgeOps is "an evolution of DevOps principles and techniques focused specifically on edge computing architectures."

"Edge computing is central to a number of transformative technologies, such as AI, autonomous vehicles, smart manufacturing, and Industry 4.0, as well as being key to 5G adoption,” said the Foundation's executive director, Mike Milinkovich, in a statement. "The release of ioFog 2.0 showcases the Edge Native Working Group’s ability to support community members and deliver production-ready code to the broader edge computing industry."

The platform has been proven in the field, Milinkovich said, in multiple real-world use cases, including serving as the backbone of an Edge AI application monitoring temperatures and mask compliance among schoolchildren to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The ioFog platform is currently in use by major service providers and Fortune 500 enterprises, bringing cloud-native architectures such as Kubernetes to the edge, enabling developers to easily manage, orchestrate and deploy microservices to any edge device as easily as they build cloud-based infrastructure.

The core concept of the ioFog architecture is the Edge Compute Network (ECN), which consists of three primary components:

  • Controller: Orchestration, which provides lifecycle management, and deployment of distributed microservice applications
  • Agents, which are lightweight universal container runtimes installed on edge devices to manage the lifecycle of microservices, volumes, and edge resources.
  • Service mesh, which facilitates communication between the Controller and Agents and distributed microservice applications  

What makes ioFog unique, the Foundation says, is that it abstracts the complexities of networking away from applications. It can be deployed on bare-metal, all major clouds, in VMs, and onto Kubernetes as an edge native second-level scheduler. At the edge, ioFog supports any device with a modern Linux kernel, seamlessly making it a part of an ECN. In addition, ioFog relies on an innovative keyless security model to secure applications and their data.

The major development focus in this release is a robust set of features required for production-grade deployments and management of "EdgeAI" applications. Central to this was a collaboration with Red Hat to replace ioFog’s legacy Service Mesh with Red Hat's Skupper project. Skupper uses the Apache Qpid Dispatch Router to implement application connectivity between datacenters and any type of edge without VPNs or special firewall rules.

"Edge computing can be a challenging architecture for developing new microservices,” said Red Hat product manager Mark Cheshire, in a statement. "Skupper offers new flexibility to Eclipse ioFog 2.0 to help bring cloud-based development to the edge. We’re excited to collaborate with the Eclipse Foundation on this initiative as we help to enable the next wave of open-source adoption and contribution."


About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].