All About EVE: An Open Operating Systems for the Edge

Today, as businesses of all sizes across all industries look to digitally transform to keep up with the competition and consumer expectations, no application is becoming more essential to these companies than edge technology. The explosion of data is driving a necessary increase in processing at the edge for reasons including latency, bandwidth savings, security, privacy, and autonomy.

However, deploying computers at the distributed edge, both on-prem and in the field, for use cases spanning IoT, AI, 5G, network virtualization, and security is especially challenging because the landscape is inherently heterogeneous, consisting of a diverse mix of technologies, legacy investments, and skillsets. To scale edge computing, businesses need to tame this complexity by supporting a variety of deployment models in a more standardized and open way, in addition to enabling continued use of legacy investments.

One solution to this problem that is gaining momentum today is EVE-OS, a universal, open Linux-based operating system for distributed edge computing, being built by Project EVE within LF Edge. EVE-OS aims to do for the distributed edge what Android did for mobile by creating an open foundation that simplifies the development, orchestration, and security of edge computing nodes deployed on-prem and in the field.

Project EVE and EVE-OS were the main topics of discussion during the opening keynote for the second day at ZEDEDA Transform 2021, an event earlier this year that brought together experts from across the edge computing and IoT landscape.

Titled “EVErything EVE,” the presentation by Roman Shaposhnik, an open-source expert and ZEDEDA co-founder, went in-depth about Project EVE, discussing how EVE-OS is becoming the Android of the edge and how to get involved with the project while also walking through the history of operating systems and how they must evolve for the edge.

Shaposhnik started the presentation by simply discussing his definition of what the edge and edge technology is.

“We have different kinds of edges, and that’s actually what makes it kind of confusing because when people talk about the edge, different people mean different things. If you ask five different technologists, they will give you ten different definitions of what the edge is,” said Shaposhnik. “It’s your sensor, or maybe a thermostat. It’s what used to be known as IoT, but I think those two terms IoT and edge are now sort of converging.”

He then pivoted into what exactly the Linux Foundation is in relation to Project EVE and how they’re helping drive development.

“The Linux Foundation is home to a lot of different open-source collaborative projects, and probably the most famous one is by now Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the home for Kubernetes,” said Shaposhnik. “We created a sister organization called LF Edge, and the division of labor between the two is pretty simple, making work on the project efficient.”

He then segued this into what Project EVE’s target goals are and how they can achieve them.

“EVE targets smart device edge and on-prem data center edge. So, for example, your local target or your local Walmart typically would have on-prem data center edge in the back room because it’s a big deployment that they must manage these days,” said Shaposhnik. “Theoretically, EVE can be available to regional edge and telco edge, and maybe someday we’ll extend it all the way to the constrained device edge.”

Shaposhnik then started to discuss EVE-OS but talked about modern-day operating systems and their problems beforehand. He cited that many operating systems today are like Atlas, having to hold the whole world together, but that this is a misguided notion and one of the exact reasons they decided to build a brand new OS for the edge.

“We didn’t actually want our operating systems to be big or to be all-powerful. We just want enough of an operating system to basically support our favorite runtime, which kind of brings us to the ideal computer for 2021,” said Shaposhnik. “The operating system also needs to take care of things like connectivity and networking and basically take care of essentially all of the devices, but in a nice API-driven way. We just needed to have enough to support containers and VM on top of it, so we decided to go our own route.”

Shaposhnik then discussed what it would take for someone who wants to leverage EVE-OS.

“It needs to support virtual machines, so we’re leveraging hardware-assisted virtualization. But because we must run two partitions to basically do the updates securely, that goes up to 500 megabytes because it doubles, but it’s still pretty small compared to most of the operating systems today,” said Shaposhnik. “All of that together basically takes an overhead of about 500 megabytes of RAM and about one CPU core.” And with this relatively small footprint, enterprises are able to leverage EVE-OS for a cloud-like experience at the edge.

Shaposhnik then concluded the presentation, inviting the audience to use the EVE-OS stack. Click here to watch the full presentation on-demand.

Matt Vulpis

Matt Vulpis is a fresh out of college writer/journalist, already with a myriad of published articles across a variety of topics and industries. He is very passionate about writing, as well as sports, and television/film. While he enjoys writing articles pertaining to business tech, he wants to one day write a TV show as a head screenwriter. He has a bachelors in journalism with a minor in sports studies from Quinnipiac University.

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