It has always been a dream of technologists to be able to move computing out of datacenters and take it closer to the users. Edge computing has brought that dream to reality. But edge is a new technology, and like all new technologies, it has some imperfections.
ZEDEDA, a fast-growing software company in the edge space, took the lid off the barriers of edge computing during a presentation at the recent Edge Field Day event in California. ZEDEDA showed the audience how to effectively deal with them. VP of Product Management and Customer Success, Raghu Vatte showcased the ZEDEDA Edge Management and Orchestration Solution, a product designed to beat the biggest edge computing challenges, and unlock its true potential.
A Sea Change
Many see edge as the answer to all the problems that cloud dug up. But the edge is also a sea change, and often enterprises fail to grasp it before late.
“Most of the time, it’s too late, because you have already invested, you have chosen your vendors, you have chosen your technology, and there’s so much inertia about going back to the drawing board and starting over again. That is the biggest problem right now in terms of what edge poses, and how edge is not same as cloud.”
For all its differences, edge can be a lot like cloud, if you do the right thing, said Mr. Vatte.
Challenges at the edge can be put into three buckets – visibility, security and control, all of which emerges from the same root – the distributed nature of edge. The edge is everywhere, in a posh part of a vibrant city or in the middle of nowhere. Problem occurs when something breaks down in a remote edge location where the chances of finding on-site technicians is next to nil.
Mr. Vatte explained the management pain points from the perspective of engineers who are at the frontline combatting these challenges. Their first responsibility is to keep the hardware, and applications in them available. This is obstructed by a number of factors, of which the diversity of hardware they have to deal with is one.
Because the edge is scattered everywhere, maintaining holistic security, both physical and logical, is also problematic than it is in the cloud.
“You have to look at the layer of security right from silicon, all the way to the apps. But security is not just about the applications, or the hardware out there – security is about everything that is the full workflow, right from the people you hire to the people who operate,” explained Mr. Vatte.
A Competitive Edge
ZEDEDA sees opportunity in these challenges. Born in 2016, ZEDEDA identified the preconditions of leveraging edge computing earlier than its peers. In order to operate seamlessly at the edge, organizations require a solution that does not demand truck rolls, or additional app development. The expectation customers carry from cloud to the edge is cloud-like simplicity, and automation of operations at scale.
ZEDEDA knows that enforcing security, visibility and control at the edge completes the vision of edge, and that’s the real challenge that needs to be dealt with.
“There is no one solution that can take care of all this, and that was the thing I was sold on when I joined ZEDEDA,” remembered Mr. Vatte.
ZEDEDA’s mission from the very beginning was to solve these problems at the edge. Having seen these problems coming long before enterprises experienced them, they had begun the work years ahead so that a product is ready by the time the problems are felt.
Along the way, ZEDEDA challenged itself to build a solution that caters widely to the different personas working across industries.
Organizations operating in core industries have a robust workforce that is made up of people of diverse skillsets. Mr. Vatte pointed out, “It’s not enough to create a solution that works. It is equally important that the solution can be handled by workforces of diverse nature.”
ZEDEDA Edge Management and Orchestration Solution
The ZEDEDA Edge Management and Orchestration technology is a cloud-based solution designed to deliver cloud-like agility at the edge. The solution provides full-stack observability and remote management of all edge hardware and applications.
ZEDEDA Edge Management and Orchestration comprises EVE-OS, a vendor-agnostic operating system from which users can launch, orchestrate and control the security of cloud-native and legacy applications on edge compute nodes.
Mr. Vatte explained that ZEDEDA engineered the platform to be first, intent-driven, and second, fit for multi-roles, so that when creating a deployment, all concerned teams can apply their intent no matter how different. Those translate to fleet-level, site-level and node-level properties that are then implemented to the field hardware.
“The way we architected it right from the beginning is that it has to be intent driven because there are multiple players in this equation. It’s not just about one person sitting there.”
There are no limits to the number of hardware or applications that can be managed via the platform. Users can onboard any number of hardware and manage them remotely. Zero Touch provisioning enables quick and hassle-free deployment of the compute nodes.
This is topped with a Zero Trust security model that counters the risks of perimeter-less environments. The platform offers anomaly detection in the software stack, preserves device integrity with hardware root of trust, protects data with at rest and in-flight data encryption, and minimizes breaches with Role-based Access Controls.
ZEDEDA provides full visibility of all hardware and applications through reports and real-time status updates, alerts and analytics.