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LF Edge Roundtable: Expert Insights on Edge Orchestration, AI and Technology Strategies

May 15, 2024

Edge computing is rapidly expanding and driving a new wave of innovation across various sectors. At a recent LF Edge networking event, ZEDEDA Vice President of Business Development and LF Edge Board Chair Michael Maxey hosted an insightful discussion about the challenges and opportunities of deploying edge technologies with ZEDEDA Co-Founder and CTO Erik Nordmark, IBM Application Manager Chief Architect David Booz, and Intel Network and Edge Chief Architect Oguz Sunay. The group shed light on the real-world complexities of edge environments, from hardware diversity to security concerns, and offered practical insights about the evolution of edge platform design, the vital role of orchestration in successful edge deployments, and the transformative power of AI in diverse use cases.

Following are 5 key takeaways from the discussion:

  1. Edge Computing’s Unique Challenges: Successfully deploying and managing edge computing solutions requires recognizing and addressing the fundamental differences between edge and cloud environments. The edge is characterized by extreme diversity in locations, hardware, and workload requirements, while also necessitating management at a massive scale. This complexity further amplifies the need to seamlessly integrate traditional applications with AI-driven workloads, all while addressing unique security and data sovereignty concerns.
  2. The Importance of Orchestration: Policy-driven orchestration is vital for efficient management of the diverse edge landscape. Orchestration needs to streamline infrastructure inventory, software provisioning, and application mapping.
  3. AI’s Edge Evolution: AI is rapidly becoming integral to edge solutions, with machine vision applications leading the way. Enterprises are shifting their focus to AI inferencing, presenting unique challenges in model management across geographically distributed edge locations. Adapting to the dynamic nature of AI models, which evolve based on local data, is essential for successful edge deployments.
  4. Edge Use Case Explosion: Edge computing demonstrates remarkable potential to transform diverse industry operations. Innovative use cases like defect detection, worker safety monitoring, and predictive maintenance highlight the technology’s ability to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance safety. The integration of AI is a powerful driver for the development of custom, multi-purpose models, further extending the capabilities of edge solutions.
  5. Technology Choices: Strategic shifts and diverse technology stacks power edge innovation:
        • Open Horizon’s successful pivot from data monetization to policy-driven container and AI model deployment highlights the need for adaptability in the rapidly evolving edge landscape.
        • LF Edge initiatives emphasize the importance of developer-friendly solutions tailored to operational technology (OT), addressing a historically different user base than traditional cloud and IT developers.
        • Intel’s acquisitions in edge orchestration, OpenVINO, and AI/ML underscore the necessity of a unified, scalable platform that offers a simplified, cloud-like experience for managing complex edge deployments.

For additional insights from these open source and edge computing experts, watch the complete roundtable discussion here.

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