Bosch and Red Hat join initiative to develop cloud-based IoT platform components

Guy Daniels
By Guy Daniels

Oct 19, 2016

Stefan Ferber, VP Engineering, Bosch Software Innovations © Bosch

Stefan Ferber, VP Engineering, Bosch Software Innovations © Bosch

  • Goal is provide an ecosystem of industrial IoT platform core components
  • Initial release of the Eclipse Kapua source code, co-developed by Red Hat
  • Followed by Eclipse Hono, initiated by Bosch, for secure communications
  • GE Digital proposing Eclipse ACS access control framework

The Eclipse Foundation open source community is collaborating with Bosch Software Innovations, Red Hat and Eurotech to develop interoperable IoT components that can be deployed to a Cloud platform. We are constantly reminded that IoT is all about the ecosystem, but such extensive industry networks are only as valuable as their ability to work together and interoperate without unnecessary complications.

This latest collaboration will be part of the existing Eclipse IoT Working Group, a community of 26 open source IoT projects hosted by the Eclipse Foundation, though still a separate project. An ecosystem within an ecosystem then. This is getting very confusing.

The other key term in this announcement is “platform”. IoT devices and services are one thing, but the smart money appears to be focused on platform plays. Platform components provide capabilities that are needed for developing and managing the numerous IoT solutions and include functionality to implement secure communication between devices and services, manage and update devices, process device data and integrate device information into legacy enterprise applications. The Eclipse Foundation say such components may also be delivered as services on top of an underlying cloud infrastructure platform, like Cloud Foundry or OpenShift.

The first tangible product of this new collaboration will be the initial release of the Eclipse Kapua source code, contributed by Eurotech and Red Hat. This code provides a core integration framework and an initial set of modular components for device registry, device management, message routing, data management and application enablement.

“To best address the complexity of industrial IoT, solutions and infrastructure providers must maintain a high level of collaboration, which is really only sustainable through an open source community,” explained James Kirkland, Chief Architect for IoT at Red Hat. “The Eclipse Kapua project provides this open and transparent community approach and aims to help solve the complexities of the IoT by providing the required level of interoperability, scale, and flexibility in open IoT platforms.”

The next step will be the launch of Eclipse Hono – a project initiated by Bosch Software Innovations that enables secure and reliable communications between IoT devices and services, and which will be integrated as an extension to Kapua.

“Bosch is a major industrial IoT company that supports a wide range of devices, in many different industries, such as automotive, manufacturing and home appliances,” said Stefan Ferber, VP of Engineering at Bosch Software Innovations. “We believe the best way to support this complex environment is to base our commercial IoT platform, the Bosch IoT Suite, on open source components and open standards. These projects establish a horizontal open technology for IoT and provide the technical breeding grounds for successful business ecosystems.”

In parallel with all of this, Eclipse member GE Digital has proposed a new project called Eclipse ACS, which implements a simple, granular access control framework that makes it possible for IoT developers to integrate access control security into their IoT applications.

The partners hope that other Eclipse IoT projects, open source projects and commercial vendors will provide additional components that integrate with both Kapua and Hono. The goal is an ecosystem of IoT platform core components that work well together and that can be used to bootstrap IoT applications and solutions.

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