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By | January 9, 2023

Leaders in LF Edge: Interview with Tina Tsou

According to Gartner, more than 50% of enterprise-managed data will be created and processed outside the data center or cloud by 2025, with an increase of  over $500 billion 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 the edge computing industry.

Today we sat down with Tina Tsou, LF Edge Governing Board Chair, and Director, Infrastructure Ecosystem at Arm. Tina tells us how she got involved in open source, 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 have been involved in the Akraino project specifically since 2018 before the LF Edge umbrella organization was formed in 2019. My role was Akraino Technical Steering Committee (TSC) Co-Chair, and later Akraino TSC Chair, LF Edge Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) member, and then most recently, I was elected Chair of the LF Edge Governing Board. I help the LF Edge community from both a technical and governance standpoint. 

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

From the perspective of edge cloud technology development, edge cloud technology must not only conform to the technical route of cloud computing development, but also meet edge innovation services and new requirements of the scene. This places high demands on the software and hardware of edge cloud technology. Overall, “converging” technology and “collaboration” technology will become the core of edge cloud technology development.

In terms of computing technology, computing power virtualization technology is gradually developing towards the edge cloud-native direction at the edge. It’s the development direction of converged computing technology.

In terms of network technology, hyper-converged network architecture is the main trend of edge networks.The trend of integration of network technologies is developing towards the direction of cloud-network integration.

In terms of storage technology, distributed “cache” technology will gradually become the mainstream of edge cloud storage technology. The group ensures the security, reliability, redundancy and backup requirements of data storage, and also meets the timeliness and periodic requirements of data read and write.

In terms of edge management and control technology, the unified management and control technology will continue to be upgraded, and at the same time, a perfect hierarchical management system will be established between the center and the edge. A control mechanism is used to realize the coordination and unification of edge clouds at the resource and business level.

In terms of edge hardware infrastructure technology, with the introduction of heterogeneous devices such as smart network cards, GPUs, and NPUs, edge hardware will support the integration of a large number of heterogeneous devices in the future. At the same time, in order to meet the customization requirements of edge scenarios, there will also be Lots of custom equipment.

As technology evolves, so does standard placement and work. With the gradual improvement of edge cloud industry standards, general requirements such as related term definitions and basic service capabilities in the field of edge cloud technology are also improved. At the same time, standards are gradually regulating the development of edge cloud technology and services. In the future, the industry will continue to promote the standardization process of edge cloud: edge cloud hardware, focusing on edge cloud hardware for scenario-based applications (cloud games, cloud applications, codecs, bare metal, etc.), edge cloud all-in-one machines, etc.; edge cloud platform services In terms of edge cloud management and control, the focus is on edge cloud management, automated operation and maintenance, global scheduling, etc. In terms of edge cloud applications, the focus is on the edge for industries and application scenarios. Cloud services (government, industry, audio and video, etc.), etc.

In the future, with the continuous evolution and development of edge cloud technology and standards, it will promote the practical application of edge cloud in more industries and scenarios, and expand cloud services. It can help the distributed and ubiquitous development of computing power, and accelerate the digital transformation process of various industries.

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 collaboration helps to drive standards, differentiation versus innovation with benefits. Open source helps to remove vendor lock-in and enable automation, speed of innovation and deployment. Successful open source development depends on the complete life cycle of projects, products that the market can adopt and deploy. 

Using open source best practices, LF Edge enables communities to leverage CI/CD infrastructure. 

Closed Innovation

  • The smartest people work for us
  • We must build it ourself
  • We can get to market first
  • Controlling R&D is our path to growth
  • Controlling our IP helps limit competition

Open Innovation

  • We work with smart people everywhere
  • It takes an organized community to build it
  • Building better matters more than being first
  • We don’t have to originate all the research
  • We profit from others and others profit from us
Why is LF Edge important to advance the future of edge computing?

In the Connected Vehicle Blueprint (CVB) project, we established a collaborative architecture between the central cloud and the roadside MEC computing unit through the following architecture:

The real-time video of the road is obtained through the camera on the roadside, and the image AI processing work is carried out in the roadside MEC to achieve the goal of the road.

Monitoring and tracking, scene recognition and traffic abnormal scene judgment in the central cloud, early warning through 5G and V2X message distribution.

During the Winter Olympics, based on some technical achievements of the vehicle-road collaboration in the CVB project, Tencent and China Unicom created a 5G vehicle-road coordination full-link travel service. Before traveling, you can use the car-hailing service to book an online car-hailing service that supports vehicle-road coordination.

During the travel process, the vehicle-road coordination service provides the user’s vehicle with a traffic warning service. After reaching the destination, the car provides automatic parking services based on vehicle-road coordination.

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

Arm is a leading contributor in the LF Edge Catalog to reduce friction to deployment of LF Edge Templates, and provide a centralized location for all deployable Templates (Template = software + configuration). The catalog provides recipes for deploying templates. 

Arm leads System Security on the Edge aspects. During Akraino blueprint development, blueprint owners may put a lot of effort into analyzing security threats and implementing security features in their projects. However, in many cases, blueprint owners assume that the blueprint execution environment is well-protected and does not require their attention.

Such assumptions may lead to attacks using platform-level vulnerabilities that interfere with the blueprint functionality and cause the loss of private or critical data. For this reason, the requirements for platform-level security should be considered an important part of blueprint requirements.

The Akraino PSA, Platform Security Architecture, defines core security requirements for Akraino platforms and blueprint execution environments. Akraino PSA requirements are platform agnostic and define security requirements for platform hardware and system software. Arm developed a Platform Abstraction Interface, made available to Akraino blueprints, to securely access the platform’s runtime services and secure devices.

Arm is also a leading contributor of the Akraino blueprint family, ” Project Cassini for a Cloud Native Edge,” This BP family provides a common API for hardware security and cryptographic services in a platform-agnostic way, helping to keep workloads decoupled from physical platform details,  which then enables cloud-native delivery flow within the data center and at the edge.

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

If you are a deployer, and you think about your specific use case, come to LF Edge to navigate which project you feel like to get involved in. Solution Showcase will give you ideas you want to deploy for Telco, Energy, or Retail, etc.

If you are a developer, you want to figure out whether you want to apply multi-cloud multi-tenancy in vRouter, using Tensung Fabric, or just want it to integrate MindSpore to KubeFlow on KubeEdge? LF Edge has a wide spectrum for developers to play, join our slack channel, and ask any questions.

About LF Edge:

LF Edge is an umbrella organization to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system. With the support of 29 Premier members, 28 General members and 14 associate members, LF Edge hosts 11 projects including Akraino, EdgeX Foundry, Project EVE and more. 

Advance the future of edge computing with LF Edge and become a paying member