The growth of the cloud native ecosystem has been explosive, unprecedented, and far reaching. The definition of “cloud native” along with the development and consistent application of cloud native principles provided the foundation upon which developers have built a software cathedral beyond anything imaginable even just 10 years ago. One look at the CNCF landscape shows us how far we have come in a short time and provides a model for what’s possible in the future.
“Cloud Native” of course arose to meet the demands and possibilities of cloud computing – a paradigm shift, transformative force, and catalyst for parallel and supporting innovations, models and ecosystems. Edge Computing is intricately woven into the cloud, while expanding the frontiers of compute, storage, and networking to any edge device that can run Kubernetes. Perhaps not surprisingly, the cloud edge is perhaps the fastest growing area of edge computing, driven by multi-cloud networking, machine learning, storage repatriation and more.
But edge computing occurs in different environments than cloud computing – constrained by smaller form factors deep in public and private networks. In edge environments, compute, connectivity, storage, and power are all limited, necessitating new approaches and a new set of edge native principles.
It is in this spirit that discussions began in the IOT Edge Working Group in the middle of 2022. Our goal was to explore what it means to be edge native, the differences and similarities between “cloud native” and “edge native”, and to proffer an initial set of principles for the industry to interpret, apply, and iterate upon. We landed on the following five broad principles:
The IoT Edge Woking group debuted the Edge Native Application Principles Whitepaper draft on Github and on the stage at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2022 and incorporated community feedback into this current draft. We hope to evolve the whitepaper over time as well as develop tangential papers as needed to give developers the guidance needed to accelerate development in the edge frontier. We hope that you will read the whitepaper, try out these principles in practice, and share your feedback with the IOT EDGE working group.