The Intelligent Edge – Coming Soon to Arm DevSummit 2021

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution – Key driver for the Intelligent Edge

For those of us not keeping score, we’re at the cusp of a technology shockwave that will fundamentally change the way we live, work, and interact with each other. Some call it the fourth industrial revolution (I4). While the third industrial revolution was all about process and product automation, the fourth industrial revolution (from an IT perspective) will center on the fusion of IT and OT.

When you look at I4’s design principles [according to Wikipedia] (Interconnection, Information Transparency, Technical Assistance, and Decentralized Decisions), their characteristics (Velocity, Scope and Systems Impact, and Paradigm shift in technology policy) and combine it with the enormous amounts of data being generated by sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, we have the conditions that drive the creation of a new type of Edge computing paradigm – an Intelligent Edge.

The Intelligent Edge – What and where is it?

For the context of this blog, the Intelligent Edge represents the combination of compute resources, artificial intelligence, and software edge infrastructure necessary to drive insights and quickly act upon them.

The “Edge” itself can be somewhat of a moving target. At SUSE, we talk about the “Near” Edge (closer to the core/cloud infrastructure) as well as the “Far Edge” (closer to the Sensors and/or IoT devices themselves). Workload requirements drive the actual location of the Edge.

Regardless of whether the Edge is “near” or “far”, customers now demand bringing compute, storage, and data management closer to the sources of data and deliver faster and smarter decision making. That’s what we call an intelligent edge.

The Intelligent Edge at Arm DevSummit

SUSE, Ampere Computing, and NVIDIA collaborated on a reference architecture named Hammerhead II to demonstrate the power of Arm-based Ampere Altra processors, NVIDIA’s ConnectX-6 adapters and Spectrum Switches combined with SUSE Rancher Operating Systems (SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and OpenSUSE [community distro]) and Cloud-Native infrastructure (RKE, K3s), Rancher Management and Longhorn for Persistent Storage and Workloads.

For all the details, please watch Bryan Gartner’s presentation: The Intelligent Edge: Compute, AI, and Software Edge Infrastructure with Ampere, Arm, NVIDIA, and SUSE” during Arm DevSummit 2021.

SUSE Elements: Software-Defined Infrastructure – Details.

Since we were building reference architectures, SUSE mixed and matched various components of the software defined infrastructure.

For example:

Figure 1. Hardware and software-defined stack for our AI at Edge Testing.

Operating Systems:

• SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro – Our simple to install, enterprise distribution built for container and cloud-native environments with an immutable root filesystem with SELinux support and inheriting SUSE Linux Enterprise Server certifications.
• SUSE Linux Enterprise Server – Our general-purpose enterprise OS supporting all workload types, multiple container runtimes and hypervisors as well as complying with several security certifications such as Common Criteria, FIPS, STIG, CAPS, and CISt.
• OpenSUSE Leap – For those looking for all the capabilities of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in a community distribution. Core binary compatible and upgradeable (subscription-wise) to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Cloud-Native:

• K3s – A one-line command, CNCF-certified Kubernetes distribution built for IoT & Edge computing, packaged as a single (< 40MB) binary that reduces dependencies and steps needed to install, run and auto-update a production Kubernetes cluster.
• Rancher Kubernetes Engine (RKE) – An enterprise-class CNCF-certified Kubernetes distribution that runs entirely within Docker containers, solving common frustration of installation complexity with Kubernetes.
• Rancher – Leading open-source Kubernetes management platform managing thousands of Kubernetes cluster across any CNCF-certified Kubernetes Orchestration engine. Manage all clusters through a single pane of glass and deploy persistent storage (Longhorn) through a single click.

 

More details on the SUSE components and capabilities as part of Bryan’s presentation.

Call to Action

While SUSE provides the software-defined infrastructure ‘glue’, there’s a lot more to be learned from our partners. Ampere Computing delivered a superb processor in the form of the 80-core Altra with its impressive performance and scalability. NVIDIA provided the high-speed networking components both on-server with their ConnectX-6 adapter as well as with their SN3700 Spectrum Switch.

Don’t miss Bryan’s Arm DevSummit presentation.

Last, but not least: Don’t hesitate to take Rancher and SUSE products for a spin, and check out the SUSE and Rancher Community.

Download SUSE Products

SUSE and Rancher Community

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Jose Betancourt
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