The Linux Foundation Launches a New Initiative to Unify the IoT Ecosystem

The Linux Foundation has launched a new open source project to build a common open framework for IoT edge computing and an ecosystem of interoperable components, unifying the marketplace and accelerating enterprise and Industrial IoT. The new EdgeX Foundry initiative is aligned to enable the simplification and standardization of Industrial IoT edge computing, while still allowing the ecosystem to add significant value.

IoT today, is delivering significant business value by improving efficiencies and increasing revenue through automation and analytics, but widespread fragmentation and the lack of a common IoT solution framework is hindering broad adoption and stalling market growth. EdgeX solves this by making it easy to quickly create IoT edge solutions that have the flexibility to adapt to changing business needs.

The new EdgeX Foundry will aid in unifying the marketplace around a common open framework and building an ecosystem of companies offering interoperable plug-and-play components. Designed to run on any hardware or operating system and with any combination of application environments, EdgeX can quickly and easily deliver interoperability between connected devices, applications, and services, across a wide range of use cases. Interoperability between community-developed software will be maintained through a certification program.

IT giant Dell, is seeding EdgeX Foundry with its FUSE source code base under Apache 2.0. The contribution consists of more than a dozen micro-services and over 125,000 lines of code which was architected with feedback from hundreds of technology providers and end users to facilitate interoperability between existing connectivity standards and commercial value-add such as edge analytics, security, system management and services. This is complemented by the recent merger of the IoTX project into the EdgeX effort, which was previously supported by EdgeX Foundry members including Two Bulls and Beechwoods Software, among others.

EdgeX is set to 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. Adopting an open source edge software platform would also allow EdgeX to benefit the entire IoT ecosystem, such as:

  • End customers can deploy IoT edge solutions quickly and easily with the flexibility to dynamically adapt to changing business needs;
  • Hardware Manufacturers can scale faster with an interoperable partner ecosystem and more robust security and system management;
  • Independent Software Vendors can benefit from interoperability with 3rd party applications and hardware without reinventing connectivity;
  • Sensor/Device Makers can write an application-level device driver with a selected protocol once using the SDK and get pull from all solution providers;
  • System Integrators can get to market faster with plug-and-play ingredients combined with their own proprietary inventions.

The Linux Foundation will establish a governance and membership structure for EdgeX Foundry to nurture a vibrant technical community. A Governing Board will guide business decisions, marketing and ensure alignment between the technical communities and members. The technical steering committee will provide leadership on the code and guide the technical direction of the project.

Live demonstrations of the EdgeX platform were on display at the Hannover Messe event in Hannover, Germany held from April 24-28, 2017.