EdgeX Foundry: How Dell Is Helping Accelerate Time-To-Market For IoT Devices

Solution providers delivering Internet of Things solutions at the edge face a time-consuming process because of the plethora of device standards. But a new open-source consortium has emerged that aims to align market leaders around a common Internet of Things framework.

The Linux Foundation in April lifted the curtain on EdgeX Foundry to accelerate interoperability in IoT edge computing. Dell has contributed its Project FUSE source code under Apache 2.0 for the initiative.

The source code consists of more than a dozen microservices and more than 125,000 lines of code to seed the EdgeX Foundry project.

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"We want this project to be about unifying, not re-inventing," Jason Shepherd, director of IoT strategy and partnerships at Dell, told CRN. "Customers are looking for IoT solutions at the edge, but it's hard to assemble all the pieces and to put together various industrial, enterprise-grade IoT applications that solve business problems. EdgeX is addressing this by forming an ecosystem, making it easier to deploy IoT in the ­field."

Systems integrators, for example, can take advantage of EdgeX Foundry to market their solutions faster with plug-and-play ingredients that they can further customize, while ISVs can benefit from interoperability with third-party applications.

"Talking from a channel perspective, this will help channel players accelerate their time to market," he said. "Systems integrators can work faster, add value to their IoT applications, still sell solutions and make money — but they don't need to re-invent the middle. Now they have time to focus on adding value."

EdgeX Foundry will drive interoperability between applications and connectivity standards through plug-and-play components that can be combined to secure easily scalable IoT solutions, according to Shepard.

The EdgeX Foundry initiative, which is designed to be flexible, platform-independent and industrial-grade, is aimed at edge hardware such as routers, gateways and servers, he said.

"Success in Internet of Things is dependent on having a healthy ecosystem that can deliver interoperability and drive digital transformation. … EdgeX Foundry is aligning market leaders around a common framework, which will drive IoT adoption and enable businesses to focus on developing innovative use cases that impact the bottom line," said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation.

EdgeX Foundry will be collaborating with other open-source projects and standards groups, including Cloud Foundry Foundation, Object Management Group and ULE Alliance. More than 40 companies have joined the consortium so far.

Michael Murray, general manager of industrial sensing products at semiconductor manufacturer Analog Devices, said the Norwood, Mass.-based company is an EdgeX Foundry partner.

"This strategic partnership with EdgeX Foundry is part of our commitment to playing a major role in providing solutions to help customers bridge the physical and digital through IoT," said Murray. "We want to reduce complexity, democratize IoT standards and provide trusted data for customers, and we look forward to working with the EdgeX community to achieve those goals."

In addition to its support for EdgeX Foundry, Round Rock, Texas-based Dell is looking to expand the breadth of partners deploying Internet of Things solutions with its IoT Solutions Partner Program.

The program currently includes ISVs and is made up of three tiers — Premier, Preferred and Registered. In the fall, the company said that it was adding systems integrators to its program, aiming to reach a broader range of vertical industries.