Following on a series of announcements over the past few months, ZEDEDA today introduced a new Kubernetes direct integration solution designed to simplify secure deployment and management of Kubernetes clusters and hardware at the distributed edge at scale, without requiring specialized IT skills.
Working with SUSE, the technologies enable fully automated deployment of K3s clusters in the field, directly from ZEDEDA’s built-in app marketplace.
An open foundation and additional support for native Docker containers and VMs on edge hardware prevents lock-in and enables any brownfield or greenfield application, bringing several advantages to edge computing and IoT deployments that are broadly distributed.
As more workloads move to containerization, developers are increasingly leveraging Kubernetes for standardization, redundancy, and scale. This new approach addresses the challenge associated with scaling down and synchronizing tools developed for orchestrating and deploying Kubernetes in centralized data centers or the public cloud to support constrained edge nodes in the field.
Organizations have also faced the challenge of transitioning to cloud-native development principles at the edge while accommodating their legacy software investments.
ZEDEDA’s cloud-based orchestration solution includes 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.
“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.”
The solution integrates with customers’ existing CI/CD workflow, features a 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 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.
Orchestration solutions initially built for the data center cannot seamlessly transition to meet the unique needs of distributed edge computing in areas of available compute footprint, autonomy, security, and deployment scale. ZEDEDA’s solution is purpose-built to address these needs by starting with a lowest-common-denominator foundation that scales up to create a bridge to the data center paradigm.
Distributed edge nodes under management can range from IoT gateways to managed telco and universal enterprise CPE infrastructure to small remote server clusters. 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 network connectivity.
“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.”
Working with a leading oil and gas services company, ZEDEDA and SUSE, enabled 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’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.
ZEDEDA’s Zero Trust security architecture assumes that edge nodes distributed in the field are physically accessible, in addition to not having a defined network perimeter. Features include support for a silicon-based root of trust, measured boot, remote attestation, crypto-based ID (eliminating local device login), full disk encryption, remote port blocking, distributed firewall, and more. Distributed firewall capability enables secure routing of data between edge applications and both on-prem and cloud resources based on network-wide policies.
This 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 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 does for the mobile market.
The company’s open edge ecosystem provides end users, solution OEMs, and system integrators with a choice of hardware, applications, and services, thereby greatly reducing the complexity of dealing with the inherently diverse edge landscape.
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.
ZEDEDA’s strategic integration with Kubernetes follows their recent announcement of integration with Microsoft Azure IoT to simplify the deployment and scalability of solutions leveraging Azure IoT.
Several ecosystem partners, along with ARC Advisory, weighed in on this advancement of Kubernetes cluster management at the edge.
“The Lenovo 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.”
“The industrial edge cries out for the benefits of containerization and Kubernetes orchestration (for example, speed of deployment, high scalability, redundancy, a declarative configuration, self-healing, and roll-back). However, there have been several significant barriers. Edge hardware is often more constrained than data center infrastructure, the security requirements are unique, and IT skills—including Kubernetes expertise—are typically very scarce. Finally, today’s end-user workloads consist of both legacy and containerized applications,” said Harry Forbes, ARC Advisory.
“ZEDEDA offers end users a simple and secure edge orchestration solution, and the addition of Kubernetes support on top of existing capabilities for deploying and managing legacy applications and native Docker containers provides users with even more flexibility to scale their distributed edge solutions. Their collaboration with SUSE—the pioneer for the K3s distribution optimized for edge environments—has great promise to further simplify the extension of Kubernetes into the field.”
“Kubernetes continues to take the world by storm since it seeded the CNCF in 2015 as its first project,” said Mike Woster, Linux Foundation leadership executive. “It’s great to see developments like this that accelerate the extension of Kubernetes to edge computing, in addition to fostering collaboration between CNCF and LF Edge within The Linux Foundation’s ecosystem of open-source communities.”
ZEDEDA’s distributed edge orchestration solution is sold and consumed as a service with a subscription-based enterprise license, including 24/7 support. The “pay-as-you-go” model enables customers with the flexibility to start small and scale as their edge computing needs evolve. White-label models are also available for OEMs and SIs. For pricing, contact ZEDEDA.
To learn more about ZEDEDA’s Kubernetes cluster orchestration for the distributed edge, register here to join a May 18 webinar (10 am PT) that will feature customer use cases and a product demo.
Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.
Edited by Luke Bellos