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By | April 27, 2023

Leaders in LF Edge: Interview with Michael Maxey

Gartner predicts that by 2025, more than 50% of enterprise-managed data will be created and processed outside the data center or cloud, with an over $500 billion increase in the edge computing market by 2030. As edge computing becomes a significant revenue opportunity for the technology and telecom industries, it’s even more important to have effective leaders to advance the future of edge computing industry.

Today we sat down with Michael Maxey, Vice President of Business Development at Zededa. Maxey tells us how he got involved in the edge computing industry and why leaders must plan for the growth of IoT and edge.

How did you get involved in the LF Edge community and what is your role now?

I joined ZEDEDA in 2022 as the Vice President for Business Development, to drive the company’s efforts in building out a rich ecosystem of partners, and ultimately to enable customers an easy way to compile the disparate solutions their projects required. Getting involved with LF Edge was a natural extension of these efforts. Today I sit on the LF Edge Governing Board.

What is your vision for the edge computing industry? Tell us briefly how you see the edge market developing over the next few years.

What we’re seeing today within the edge computing industry is just scratching the surface of what is possible. Edge deployments are largely bespoke, with each enterprise building a unique stack to solve specific business needs. We’re going to see this change as the industry develops. Deployment patterns will lead to standardization of the lower levels of the technology stack, providing a common set of services to help build and deploy applications, much like the LAMP stack in the early days of computing. This standardization of services will unlock massive developer communities, who have been building in the cloud for the past 10 years, and as a result, will drive a massive transformation of computing outside of the data center.

What impact do you see open source playing in the evolution of the edge market? And how has it shaped where we are today?

Open source brings a lot of benefits but the biggest one I see within the edge market is that of standardization. It’s hard to get your head around scale at the edge – it’s not just the sheer number of deployed devices and sites, but it’s that number split across many different types of hardware, running many different applications, and all in service to an endless number of use cases.  Standardization is key to enabling interoperability across all of this heterogeneity and provides an open foundation that ensures organizations can build something without falling into the silo trap that hinders the growth of so many projects.

Why is LF Edge important to advance the future of edge computing?

LF Edge is important for a number of reasons. First, the organization is driving the standardization that the heterogeneity and scale of the edge requires. Second, it has taken the fragmented edge landscape and given people a common taxonomy and framework to discuss, define, and understand it. Third, it has brought together existing efforts to address different parts of the edge landscape under a common umbrella, not only enabling interoperability between those projects but illustrating how the complexity of the edge requires an ecosystem of solutions in order to solve individual problems.

What is ZEDEDA’s role in edge computing and LF Edge?

ZEDEDA delivers a distributed, cloud-native edge management and orchestration solution, simplifying the security and remote management of edge infrastructure and applications at scale. Through ZEDEDA’s ecosystem of partners, customers can easily deploy any application at the edge via a Marketplace, enabling customers ease of use as they use different solutions for their edge projects. ZEDEDA leverages EVE, an LF Edge project, to provide an open, flexible and secure foundation while abstracting the complexity of the diverse hardware, connectivity and software at the distributed edge and eliminating any vendor lock-in. ZEDEDA customers include Fortune 500 companies from industries like energy, automotive, and manufacturing with thousands of edge nodes in production today across the globe.

ZEDEDA was a founding member of LF Edge and in May of 2019 donated the original code for what became EVE to LF Edge. Today ZEDEDA is active within LF Edge at multiple levels: within EVE from an ongoing code development perspective to sitting on the LF Edge Governing Board, as well as the Technical Advisory Council and Outreach Committee to continually evangelizing LF Edge to analysts, the media, customers, and more.

What advice do you give to organizations who want to get involved in the LF Edge community?

Now is the time to get involved! There’s a real need across the industry to develop architectural blueprints, build solutions, and in general demonstrate the transformative value that can be gained by making sense of all of the data that organizations generate across their distributed environments. By getting involved now, organizations are able to have real impact driving standardization, developing recommendations, and helping to create solutions applicable across industries and use cases.