The Linux Foundation Projects
Skip to main content
By | June 18, 2024

Leaders in LF Edge: Interview with Sam Armani

According to IDC, investments in edge computing are expected to reach $232 billion in 2024, with a projected value approaching $350 billion by 2027. This surge reflects the increasing need to process data closer to where it’s generated, driven by factors like the proliferation of IoT devices, the demand for real-time insights, and the need for more efficient data management.

The growth of edge computing presents a significant revenue opportunity for technology and telecom industries. As this technology continues to evolve, effective leadership will be crucial to guide the edge computing industry’s future and maximize its potential. Today we sat down with Sam Armani, SVP, Business Development at Mimik Technology Inc. Sam tells us how she 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?

My journey with the LF Edge community began through our collaborative efforts with IBM where we had identified a critical need to extend the LF Edge Open Horizon framework to support all end devices. At mimik, we have been pioneering a hybrid edge cloud (HEC) technology platform. Unlike traditional edge computing, which primarily focuses on extending cloud capabilities closer to the network edge, our HEC platform takes this concept further by exposing edge computing resources through APIs and making them discoverable and seamlessly consumable. This allows us to extend the edge into end devices, such as smartphones, IoT devices, and other smart gadgets. We’ve developed innovative solutions that leverage this HEC paradigm, enabling real-time data processing and local decision-making on billions of end devices. Recognizing the transformative potential, I was eager to contribute to a collaborative effort that could drive innovation and standardization across the industry. Joining LF Edge was a natural step to align our pioneering efforts with a broader community of like-minded professionals dedicated to advancing edge computing.

Currently, I serve as a governing board member of LF Edge. In this role, I actively participate in strategic decision-making processes, helping to guide the direction and priorities of the organization. My responsibilities include fostering collaboration among member organizations, promoting the adoption of open-source hybrid edge cloud solutions, and contributing to the development of initiatives that support the growth and evolution of the edge computing landscape. It’s an exciting role that allows me to work with industry leaders to shape the future of edge computing and drive the adoption of cutting-edge technologies that make computing resources more accessible and efficient.

What is your vision for the edge computing industry?

Envisioning the future of the edge computing industry, the Hybrid Edge Cloud (HEC) paradigm is set to transform the landscape by promoting a device-first approach rather than a cloud-first approach. This shift allows devices to make their initial API calls to their own local compute resources and extending across a continuum of resources from local clusters to the central cloud when necessary. This approach is based on aligning machine and human behavior, enabling them to work collaboratively and efficiently.

Over the next few years, HEC will become a crucial enabler, revolutionizing how we process and manage data. By prioritizing local processing on devices and distributing workloads from the data source up to the cloud, organizations can optimize data processing, reduce latency, and alleviate bandwidth constraints, all while maximizing scalability and efficiency.

This device-first strategy empowers real-time insights and actions at the edge by processing critical data close to its source. Simultaneously, it leverages the cloud for complex analytics and long-term storage, ensuring comprehensive data management. The ability to distribute workloads appropriately aligns computational resources with the diverse needs of various applications, from IoT devices in smart cities to connected vehicles.

Moreover, HEC’s ability to perform offline processing when internet connectivity is unavailable is a game-changer for many potential use cases. This offline capability ensures that critical operations can continue uninterrupted, regardless of network availability, making the technology robust and versatile for various environments. 

The advantages of this distributed architecture are manifold, enhancing performance, responsiveness, resilience, and fault tolerance while reducing operational costs, bandwidth usage and energy consumption. By processing data locally, devices can continue to operate effectively even in challenging environments, ensuring uninterrupted operations.

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 software has been instrumental in shaping the evolution of the edge market. It fosters innovation, drives standardization, lowers barriers to entry, enables customization, and promotes transparency. By providing collaborative environments, open APIs, and free access to code, open-source projects empower developers and organizations to experiment, innovate, and build interoperable edge computing solutions. As the edge market continues to evolve, open source will remain essential for driving collaboration, creativity, and trust, fueling the next wave of innovation in edge computing.

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

LF Edge, as part of the Linux Foundation, plays a crucial role in advancing the future of edge computing for several reasons: 

  1. Open Collaboration: LF Edge fosters open collaboration among industry leaders, developers, and end-users to accelerate the development and adoption of edge computing technologies. By providing a neutral and collaborative environment, LF Edge enables stakeholders to work together on common challenges, share best practices, and drive innovation across the edge ecosystem.
  2. Interoperability and Standardization: LF Edge projects focus on promoting interoperability and standardization within the edge computing space. By developing open-source frameworks, reference architectures, and APIs, LF Edge projects facilitate seamless integration and interoperability among edge devices, applications, and services. This standardization reduces complexity, accelerates deployment, and enables ecosystem growth.
  3. Edge Computing Solutions: LF Edge hosts a diverse portfolio of projects that address various aspects of edge computing, including edge orchestration, device management, security, and analytics. These projects provide building blocks and tools for developers to create scalable, secure, and innovative edge solutions that meet the diverse needs of industries such as telecommunications, IoT, retail, healthcare, and more.
  4. Community Engagement and Education: LF Edge fosters community engagement and education through events, workshops, and resources aimed at raising awareness, sharing knowledge, and empowering developers and end-users to leverage edge computing effectively. By providing educational opportunities and fostering a vibrant community, LF Edge ensures that stakeholders have the resources and support needed to succeed in the rapidly evolving edge computing landscape.
  5. Global Reach and Impact: LF Edge has a global reach and impact, with a diverse community of contributors and stakeholders from around the world. By bringing together industry leaders, developers, and end-users from different regions and sectors, LF Edge drives global collaboration and innovation, ensuring that edge computing solutions are relevant, accessible, and scalable across diverse markets and use cases.

Overall, LF Edge is important to advance the future of edge computing because it provides a collaborative, interoperable, and community-driven approach to developing open-source solutions that address the complex challenges and opportunities presented by edge computing. Through its efforts, LF Edge is driving innovation, standardization, and adoption of edge computing technologies, ultimately shaping the future of the digital economy.

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

mimik plays a pioneering role in edge computing by enabling a shift from a cloud-first to a device-first approach. Our Hybrid Edge Cloud (HEC) platform allows any device to act as either a client or a server, depending on the task at hand, extending edge computing beyond traditional network nodes to include end devices. This flexibility ensures robust performance and data processing capabilities even without internet connectivity, addressing the need for offline capabilities in various use cases.

Within the LF Edge community, mimik is a key contributor, actively participating in initiatives that broaden the scope of edge computing. We have extended the LF Edge Open Horizon framework to support all end devices, contributing this enhancement as an open-source solution. This has significantly expanded the reach and versatility of edge computing, making it more accessible for a wide range of applications. 

Our involvement with LF Edge also includes collaboration with other member organizations to advance the adoption of open-source edge computing technologies. By sharing our expertise and innovations, we aim to drive the development of a robust and interoperable edge computing ecosystem. This collaborative effort is essential for advancing the edge computing landscape and ensuring its seamless integration with both existing and emerging technologies.

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

For organizations looking to join the LF Edge community, start by understanding the impact of edge computing on your operations – reducing latency, operational costs, bandwidth and energy usage while enhancing data privacy, and improving performance. Engage with the community by attending meetings, joining forums, and participating in working groups to get familiar with ongoing projects and key contributors.

Encourage your team to contribute to open-source projects – whether it’s code, documentation, or use cases. This not only helps the community but also highlights your organization’s expertise.

Build relationships and collaborate with other members. LF Edge thrives on partnerships, and these connections can lead to innovative joint projects.

Promote the benefits of LF Edge both within your organization and in your industry. Advocate for edge computing technologies to drive broader adoption.

Lastly, by fostering collaboration, your organization can significantly impact the LF Edge community and the future of edge computing.