Introducing the SUSE Edge

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SUSE is proud to announce ‘SUSE Edge’ a full stack solution to help organizations build the next generation of cloud-ready and cloud-native intelligent edge products.

Edge applications are driving digital transformation

Adoption of intelligent edge applications is transformative for many industries, such as Autonomous Vehicles, Industrial Robotics, Drones/UAV, and Utilities (Smart Grid), to name a few. Fueling the adoption is also the tremendous growth in use of Industrial IoT devices, which are expected to double within 4 years (2020-2024) and are becoming significantly more complex. Both scale and complexity of the edge device are key, as the number of global active IoT connections touches 24B by 2024*.

Challenges at Edge

However, the market has yet to offer a fully managed edge solution.  So, it is no surprise that organizations implementing applications at the edge, observe some common challenges:

  • Lack of a consistent platform from core, to cloud, to edge
  • Concerns about security, privacy and compliance
  • Breadth and complexity of edge use-cases

Keeping the perspective of complexity and scale, SUSE took a customer-centric approach in addressing the edge use cases – What do the customers have today? What would they need for tomorrow?

With two design goals in mind: Remove complexity (deployment, administration, operations) and Design for scale, SUSE’s approach was born in the cloud and meets the edge wherever it is – near the data center, at a remote/branch location or the IoT/Edge devices themselves.

What is SUSE Edge?

SUSE is creating an open source, cloud native solution for full stack edge infrastructure management. A true open-source solution for full stack Edge infrastructure management, with following 3 foundations:

  • Lightweight cloud-native edge stack, which is also Kubernetes-ready
  • Reliable & secure edge infrastructure
  • Aim for maintenance-free infrastructure 

Lightweight Kubernetes at the Edge

SUSE Edge utilizes K3s – a CNCF sandbox project that delivers lightweight Kubernetes distribution fit for resource constrained and remote location or IoT devices.

K3s was built by the SUSE Rancher team and donated to the CNCF in August 2020. K3s is production ready and packaged as a single binary optimized for ARM64 and ARMv7 support.

When used with SUSE Rancher, K3s provides users with an exceptionally reliable, comprehensive Kubernetes experience that confidently manages thousands of clusters across the Edge. Using SUSE Rancher’s GitOps-powered Continuous Delivery features, K3s users can manage up to 1 million edge clusters built on x86 or ARM64-based hardware with maximum consistency and efficiency.

Longhorn, also a CNCF project, is used to deliver a powerful, distributed, software-defined storage platform for Kubernetes that can run anywhere. When combined with SUSE Rancher, Longhorn makes the deployment of highly available persistent block storage for your edge-based Kubernetes clusters easy, fast, and reliable.

By supporting both x86 and ARM64 architectures, Longhorn is the first Kubernetes-native storage solution designed to help teams store data reliably within even the most remote, low-powered environments at the edge.

Operating System Built for Edge

100% open source and built using open standards, SLE Micro provides a reliable and secure OS Platform for the Edge. SLE Micro is built from ground up to support containers and microservices.

SLE Micro leverages the enterprise-hardened technology components of SUSE Linux Enterprise and merges that with what developers want from a modern, immutable OS platform to provide an ultra-reliable infrastructure platform that is also simple to use.

SLE common code base provides FIPS 140-2, DISA SRG/STIG, integration with CIS and Common Criteria certified configurations. Fully supported security framework (SELinux) with policies is included.

Both Arm and x86 architectures are supported so you have architectural flexibility in deploying a broad range of edge applications.

Near Zero Maintenance

Our goal is zero maintenance – all routine maintenance functions like patches, updates, config changes are performed seamless. When things go wrong, security signed and verified transactional updates are easy to rollback.

SUSE Rancher’s Continuous Delivery utilizes a ‘GitOps’ approach to help users manage and deploy thousands of Kubernetes clusters easily. Driven by project ‘Fleet’, Rancher Continuous Delivery gives users the ability to manage Kubernetes at the Edge across any infrastructure environment.

More Operational Benefits

In addition to the above benefits that organizations realize from an “Open, Interoperable” solution, following are some of the operational benefits from point of view of “IT operations at the Edge”.

  • Ultra-low Latency
    By bringing advanced workloads as close as possible to where they’re delivering value, edge deployments from SUSE eliminate network latency and provide customers with instantaneous compute, storage, and container services.
  • Reduce Bandwidth
    SUSE works with some of the world’s largest enterprises to deliver on the promise of 5G. Our solutions enable them to process data faster than ever before, ideal for connected vehicles, robotics, VNF/CNF (Virtual Network Function/Cloud native Network Function) workloads, and other business-critical scenarios.
  • Enhance Security & Privacy
    By reducing the amount of data that has to travel over a network, SUSE edge solutions mitigate the risk of being intercepted by nefarious actors. Similarly, as data collection is distributed across multiple devices rather than stored in one place, our customers benefit from a robust security and privacy posture.

SUSE Edge solution serves a broad set of use cases ranging from organizations that are cloud-ready to organizations ready for cloud-native. The solution is modular. When combined with SUSE Manager or an open source management tool you can use for edge use cases that are not fully containerized. For edge use cases that are fully containerized and cloud-native, SUSE Rancher can enable managing the lifecycle of edge-scale Kubernetes deployments.

Learn More

To dig deeper into emerging use cases for running Kubernetes and adaptable Linux at the edge, we welcome you to watch the sessions, case studies, demos and conversations with open source experts at SUSECON Digital 2021: https://susecon.com/.

 

 

* BCG LinkedIn post “Open Source powers digital transformation”

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Raj Meel
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