Zero Touch, Zero Trust Kubernetes Orchestration Solution for Distributed Edge Introduced by ZEDEDA

By Shrey Fadia, Analyst & Consultant  |  April 30, 2021

Today, following on a stream of announcements by ZEDEDA, an edge orchestration provider based in Silicon Valley, the company introduced a solution that promises to simplify the deployment and management of Kubernetes clusters and hardware at the distributed edge. 

Earlier this month, ZEDEDA received an additional round of capital after announcing several international Industrial IoT and edge computing customer deployments and the advance of their Microsoft (News - Alert) Azure IoT solution, as well as participation in a variety of Linux Foundation LF Edge projects. 

Citing direct integration, the company said its new solution, which has been in the works for months, simplifies secure deployment and management of Kubernetes clusters and hardware at the distributed edge at scale, without requiring specialized IT skills.

“Adding Kubernetes support on top of our already industry-leading distributed edge orchestration solution gives our customers unmatched flexibility,” said ZEDEDA founder and CEO Said Ouissal. “By collaborating with SUSE, we’ve teamed up with the leader in Kubernetes to put these types of advanced deployments within reach for anyone.”

Working with a leading oil and gas services company, ZEDEDA teamed up with SUSE to develop an edge solution that consolidates existing SCADA software with NFV capability and other functionality on compute clusters within their trucks to optimize monitoring of oil wells through wireline analytics.

SUSE Linux is a computer operating system developed by SUSE, a pioneer in Linux innovation; SUSE merged with Rancher and has announced it is planning an IPO as the company continues to build its partner ecosystem with many of the top edge computing and IoT companies in the world. SUSE is built on top of the free and open-source Linux kernel and is distributed with system and application software from other open-source projects.

Collaboration with SUSE enables the fully automated deployment of K3s clusters in the field. SUSE’s K3s runtime is now available in ZEDEDA’s built-in app marketplace, ready for bulk deployment on edge computing clusters with a few clicks.

“Edge is about management at scale, and our customers need a solution that provides low-level hardware management and visibility as they increasingly look to deploy Kubernetes clusters outside of centralized data centers,” said Keith Basil, vice president of Cloud Native Infrastructure at SUSE. “We think it’s great that ZEDEDA has integrated with Kubernetes and that K3s is now available in their marketplace. We are excited for their contribution to the rapidly growing Kubernetes ecosystem.”

“There is a clear trend for the majority of workloads to be containerized and to increasingly leverage Kubernetes for standardization, redundancy, and scale-out,” ZEDEDA said in a statement. “However, this presents users with a challenge because the same tools developed for orchestrating and deploying Kubernetes in centralized data centers or the public cloud do not scale down to constrained edge nodes in the field. Organizations also face the challenge of transitioning to cloud-native development principles at the edge while accommodating their legacy software investments.”

ZEDEDA’s cloud-based orchestration solution is based on simplification, an intuitive user experience, and interface, along with APIs that abstract all the complexities of provisioning Kubernetes clusters at the distributed edge, automating cluster bring-up on target edge nodes within minutes. 

With a few clicks or API calls, administrators without specialized IT skills can deploy Kubernetes clusters in the field and remotely manage the entire lifecycle of both their Kubernetes runtime and the underlying hardware at scale.

The solution integrates with customers’ existing CI/CD workflow, features a robust and unique Zero Trust security architecture, and supports any combination of virtual machines (VMs) and native Docker containers. In addition to supporting the choice of Kubernetes runtime distribution, ZEDEDA’s unique enablement of VMs on edge nodes enables deployment of any combination of legacy Windows-based applications (e.g., SCADA, HMI, Historian, VMS, POS), monolithic Linux-based images, and other popular container runtimes such as Docker/Moby, Azure IoT Edge, and AWS Greengrass.

The collective open foundation and additional support for native Docker containers and VMs on edge hardware prevents lock-in and enables any brownfield or greenfield application.

The solution supports any vertical use case, including IoT, edge AI, virtualized networking, and security technologies in deployments spanning the factory floor, retail stores, oil rigs, wind turbines, transportation systems, and beyond. The full-stack edge orchestration approach is based on an eventual consistency model to ensure that edge nodes will run autonomously in these environments, even if they periodically lose connectivity to the ZEDEDA cloud orchestrator.

ZEDEDA’s subscription-based cloud orchestration solution leverages the bare metal EVE-OS deployed on edge nodes. EVE-OS is an open, secure, and universal operating system for distributed edge computing with vendor-neutral APIs hosted within Project EVE in the Linux Foundation’s (News - Alert) LF Edge organization. In addition to preventing vendor lock-in, EVE-OS provides an anchor point to unify an ecosystem of edge computing hardware and software, “similar to what Android (News - Alert) does for the mobile market,” the company said.

ZEDEDA’s app marketplace features popular edge applications spanning industrial connectivity, edge application frameworks, security, networking, analytics, data management, and cloud connectivity. Customers can also create private marketplaces with their own curated and in-house developed content. 

“The Lenovo (News - Alert) ThinkEdge portfolio of rugged and secure embedded platforms work closely with a wide range of ISVs and system integrators to become a seamless part of a customers’ overall ecosystem,” said Blake Kerrigan, GM of Edge Computing, Lenovo Intelligent Devices Group. “We look forward to working with the technical community as our customers expand their Kubernetes investments on Lenovo’s growing portfolio of edge infrastructure.”

“There’s a great demand among our energy market customers for a foundation that supports legacy deployment alongside more modern, cloud-native AI/ML apps running in containers and Kubernetes clusters,” said Agora President and CEO Sujit Kumar. “ZEDEDA’s unique approach is built on an open architecture that promotes interoperability to offer dynamic intelligence to the oilfield with AI and IOT solutions that optimize for operational efficiency and productivity.”

Edited by Luke Bellos
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