A global survey of 1,652 published today by Eclipse Foundation suggests a flood is lifting all platform boats as IT organizations begin to build and deploy a wide range of edge computing applications.
The survey finds artificial intelligence (30%) is the workload organizations plan to deploy on edge computing platforms, followed closely by control logic (29%), data exchange between multiple nodes (27%) and data aggregation and filtering (27%), also known as sensor filtering.
The battle among providers of platforms for building and deploying these workloads is heated on all fronts. In terms of operating systems deployed, Linux (43%), FreeRTOS (35%) and Windows (31%) lead the way.
The most widely employed developer tools are integrated development environments (IDEs) or text editors for the desktop from the Eclipse Foundation (38%) and Visual Studio Code (35%) from Microsoft. Java (20%) is the No. 1 programming language being employed at the edge and in the cloud (24%), followed by Python (17%), while C (20%) followed closely by Java (19%) is the primary language for constrained devices.
Container images (36%), native binary (33%) and script files (30%) are the top edge computing artifacts, while MySQL/MariaDB (31%), MongoDB (22%) and PostgreSQL (21%) are the top three databases.
IoT middleware is a tight race between Amazon Web Services (AWS) Internet of Things (35%), Microsoft Azure IoT (31%), and Google Cloud IoT Platform (30%). The top public IoT and cloud platforms are Amazon AWS (AWS), Microsoft Azure (31%) and Google Cloud Platform (26%).
When it comes to building and deploying these applications, the top concerns are security (39%), connectivity (27%), data collection and analytics (26%), performance (24%) and privacy (23%). Communication security (43%), data encryption at rest (41%) and JSON web tokens (30%) and distributed ledgers (22%) are the most widely employed security technologies.
In terms of communications, HTTP/HTTPS (51%), MQTT (41%) and TCP/IP (33%) are most widely employed. The dominant connectivity protocols are Wi-Fi (44%) and Ethernet (39%), with cellular and Bluetooth tied for third (37%).
Cloud-managed over-the-air updates (48%), locally managed over-the-air updates (42%) and network cable (38%) are ranked as the top means for deploying artifacts.
Mike Milinkovich, executive director for The Eclipse Foundation, said it appears that best DevOps processes are being extended to create an “EdgeOps” discipline around which edge computing applications are built and deployed. A wide variety of open source technologies will play a critical role in advancing EdgeOps—nearly two-thirds of respondents (65%) of respondents either experiment with, use or contribute to open source projects, with the Apache Software Foundation (51%), Eclipse IoT/Eclipse Foundation (49%), Linux Foundation (49%) and IEEE (41%) cited as being the most relevant open source bodies.
In terms of vertical industry sectors, agriculture (26%) leads, followed by industrial automation, education, automotive and connected/smart cities all tied at 21%.
There is, of course, multiple definitions when it comes to edge computing. However, as edge computing continues to evolve, the day when there are more workloads deployed at the edge than in the cloud or local data centers may not be all that far off. Chances are also very high that legacy approaches to managing edge computing platforms will also need to be updated to support what, by definition, are highly distributed application environments.