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Where edge is making a difference

Red Hat Validated Patterns are real-world examples, based on customer use cases

Sponsored Feature In the first of three articles on why and how service providers and enterprises are taking advantage of edge, we outlined edge market growth and how open source software is playing a key role in delivering the data processing advantages of edge computing as a natural extension of an open hybrid cloud architecture.

In this second article, we consider how organizations can ease their own projects and deployments by leveraging Validated Patterns (VPs) which are real-world examples, based on customer use cases, and are designed to speed POC (proof of concept) to production. We also discuss some key edge use cases that illustrate how real customers are taking full advantage of the edge. 

For many enterprises, it may be more efficient and cost-effective to process data close to where it is needed, at the edge. This could be in a factory, college or hospital, for instance, or the nearest point of the mobile network the organization uses. 

The benefits are clear. Edge computing enables quicker decisions as the data is processed and analyzed where it is generated - i.e. not in a remote datacenter or in the cloud. Edge installations also mitigate the intermittent connectivity and network latency issues that remote data processing often entails. Edge deployments aid operational resiliency and efficiency. For example, the network capacity costs fall as the amount of network traffic generated by the organization is reduced.

Open source edge solutions

Open source edge solutions are key to increasing application velocity, improving productivity and easing the management of operations, as they better support the integration between services, and usually prove to be more scalable and cost-efficient. Many organizations are adopting open source containers, and are using open source container management and orchestration software such as Kubernetes, as part of supporting their open hybrid cloud strategies.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Red Hat OpenShift are among open source solutions that aid edge working by providing a common infrastructure that can stretch across organizations' IT and OT (operational technology) systems, as well as across edge, core and public cloud deployments. Red Hat's technology can be customized for user needs, you do not need to start from scratch and you can plainly see within the source code, so there are no surprises. So. If a customer wants to understand how a subsystem works, they can open up the code and see for themselves. This is not the case with proprietary solutions, Red Hat notes.

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Validated patterns

Red Hat helps new adopters of edge computing with its Validated Patterns. They are pre-defined, pre-integrated and validated configurations, which contain all the infrastructure needed to enable partners, SIs, consultants and customers to build their edge solutions, so you can go from zero to POC faster. All steps are fully automated through GitOps processes to automate deployments consistently, across multiple locations and at scale.

And unlike other typical point-in-time reference architectures these Validated Patterns are continuously tested against current product releases, so that your deployment is kept up-to-date. This reduces the risk when using the latest capabilities. This foundational architecture can be further customized by you, to meet the needs of your use case. In addition, rather than just a paper document outlining the steps needed to implement a configuration, the Validated Patterns are publicly available in git repos ready to deploy.

Shane Madigan, Senior Principal Portfolio Manager, Edge Computing at Red Hat, says: "Red Hat validated patterns are pre-built, pre-tested and freely available. Validated patterns help organizations accelerate edge compute proof of concepts and stand up their edge infrastructure faster."

There are three publicly available VPs], so far, covering Multi-cloud GitOps, Industrial edge and Medical Diagnosis, and others will be added as we go through 2022. In addition, third parties can submit their own patterns via The site. This includes links to the git repo of patterns generated by Red Hat but only the go through the company's internal testing process to become validated. Once a pattern transitions to validated, all VPs go through Red Hat's internal testing. 

Red Hat generated VPs are accompanied by full installation instructions. For the Industrial edge VP, for instance, you should have at least one Red Hat OpenShift cluster running. It is desirable to have a cluster for deploying the datacenter assets and a separate cluster or clusters for the factory assets.

If you do not have a Red Hat OpenShift cluster running, you can start one on a public or private cloud by using Red Hat's cloud service.

You must fork the Industrial edge repository on GitHub. It is necessary to fork because your fork will be updated as part of the GitOps and DevOps processes. This is the case for using any of the VPs, says Red Hat. The Red Hat OpenShift Validated Patterns Operator makes this very simple as it will clone the repo as part of the configuration process.

GitOps and DevOps can be used for a number of demonstrations, to change both configuration information and the applications that are going to be deployed. It is also very customizable, says Madigan, "so if a user would like to modify parts of a pattern to make the environment more suitable for their use, it is relatively easy with GitOps, which is why the VPs are built on this."

Outer space

Let's take a look at some case studies that show some of the many ways that Red Hat's edge technology is being put to work.

In March 2021, Leaf Space and LEOcloud teamed up to integrate their services, enabling end users to connect to satellite data suppliers and operate in a hybrid cloud environment at the Space edge.

Leaf Space operates in the emerging ground segment as-a-service (GSaaS) market, working with space and satellite customers to increase performance and availability of crucial data, while lowering costs and decreasing latency.

LEOcloud's Space edge strategy is to bring hybrid cloud edge computing services as close as possible to the satellite-sourced data, or data collected from remote regions of the world. End users can then operate their business or mission critical services or applications in a seamless hybrid cloud environment, and realize the lowest latency possible for conversion from raw to monetized or actionable data.

LEOcloud has deployed Red Hat OpenShift, the enterprise Kubernetes-based platform, to deliver a consistent experience across all environments, including Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Kubernetes helps automate application deployment, scaling and operations, and OpenShift is the container platform that works with Kubernetes to help applications run more efficiently. Users will be able to run LEOcloud services across the entirety of the hybrid cloud, including at the edge, unlocking more speed, agility and flexibility, the company says.

5G edge

Edge computing is a key building block of the 5G mobile network platform. And as you might expect, the mobile telecommunications equipment giants are piling into this market. For example, Samsung Electronics has created a secure containerized network that provides edge management and AI solutions designed to help businesses take full advantage of 5G. 

Samsung Electronics is building a consistent hybrid cloud environment using Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation for storage. Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenShift provides robust automation capabilities and modular flexibility to Samsung, supported by integrated, software-defined storage through OpenShift Data Foundation. 

With this new infrastructure in place, Samsung is accelerating edge data processing in a distributed cloud architecture. The benefits of this deployment, according to the company, are faster delivery of new applications using real-time edge data, including machine learning workloads, scalability to respond to 5G data growth, improved application security and performance, and reduced management and operational costs.

Driving at the edge

Vehicles are increasingly becoming mobile datacenters with advanced driver assistance and infotainment systems. Development is also moving in the direction of highly automated and autonomous driving. With these changes, the underlying operating system plays a fundamental role in the emerging software stack. 

Currently, automotive software is based on proprietary, functionally limited and rather "slow" components that minimize potential risks and errors. These solution approaches no longer meet the new requirements, which include vehicle systems that require real-time data processing and high computing power. In response, OEMs are considering new development approaches for connectivity, mobility, and autonomous driving.

In April 2021, Red Hat announced its intention to deliver a functional-safety certified Linux operating system. The Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating System will bring more flexibility to automakers and will enable a shift of focus toward developing innovative applications, services and functionalities around the car of the future. A standardized Linux and functionally safe operating system can act as a strong foundation for all of the OEMs' specific software platforms above it, enabling them to differentiate themselves with new features and services. 

So that's the edge market, edge open source, edge use cases and edge deployment help covered. In the third and final piece we will take a close look at Industry 4.0 - why smart manufacturing is moving closer to the edge, and how key industry partnerships are allowing it to happen.

Sponsored by Red Hat.

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