As we increasingly distribute compute between endpoints and the cloud, it is important to view processing planes across the edge as part of a continuum. Along this continuum, various aggregation points benefit from right-sized compute delivered precisely where needed. Enterprises, cloud service providers, Mobile Network Operators, or System integrators looking to manage services across verticals benefit from a secure baseline across diverse Arm platforms capable of hosting cloud-native stacks at the edge.
Project Cassini, announced at the 2019 Arm TechCon, is the open, collaborative, standards-based initiative to ensure a cloud native software experience across a secure Arm edge ecosystem. This week at Arm DevSummit 2020, we invite you to learn more about the three key pillars of Project Cassini, and explore the benefits across a variety of edge use-cases presented in concert with industry leaders.
By 2035, endpoints create trillions of data streams, requiring the aggregation points to function as optimized compute platforms within their environments. The IoT & Infrastructure Edge spans Industry 4.0, connected cars, smart cities, and smart homes that are doubling up as remote workplaces. Taking advantage of 5G as well as AI and ML, service providers are building open, virtualized, and software-defined network infrastructure. These are reflected across industry initiatives such as O-RAN, ETSI MEC and Intent Based Networking systems. AIoT capabilities are transforming HD cameras, IoT gateways, sensor networks and access points into proactive decision engines, building self-learning and healing networks.
According to IDC, the overall installed base of Edge (IoT & Infrastructure Edge) systems is forecasted to be worth nearly $125 billion in 2024. In a notable trend in support of this predicted growth, by 2023, more than 50% of new infrastructure deployed will be in increasingly critical edge locations rather than corporate datacenters, up from less than 10% today.
IoT rollouts are looking beyond opex savings, into subscription-based monetization opportunities. But sheer volumes, coupled with the diversity of connected devices, stand in the way of achieving scale. To address this market, applications – a mix of structured IT software and specialized OT stacks – need to be securely managed at-scale, across diverse infrastructure and IoT platforms. A model for this has already arisen in the data center - ‘Cloud native’ applies to a set of capabilities, technologies, and design paradigms that have revolutionized how software is delivered in that segment. The vision underlying Project Cassini is that the edge, in essence, should also evolve to become cloud native.
For Silicon Partners, ODMs, OEMs, ISVs, and end-users, Project Cassini unlocks the edge compute opportunity, by accelerating deployment of cloud native applications across diverse Arm platforms.
Project Cassini is built from three foundational components: -
The Arm SystemReady program, launched this week at the DevSummit, is a foundational certification program, with a vision of enabling software to work seamlessly, across a vibrant, diverse ecosystem of hardware. It builds on the existing ServerReady program, setting the standards for a broader set of devices, initially in the Infrastructure Edge and IoT Edge segments.
To enable systems to install and run generic off-the-shelf operating systems and hypervisors effortlessly, a set of minimum hardware and firmware requirements need to be implemented. For hardware, the Arm SystemReady program defines a common Base System Architecture (BSA) and a set of market-specific supplements. Similarly, for firmware, the Base Boot Requirements specification (BBR) describes standards-based boot recipes and implementations.
Arm SystemReady is an industry-driven, collaborative program, and Arm invites partners to explore how this initiative might be beneficial across use-cases and market verticals. For more information, please see the Arm SystemReady blog.
Deploying secure systems for the infrastructure edge is no easy task, as the systems are diverse, and complex, which leaves a lot to think about. Arm believes that, at a minimum, all connected devices need to meet key security goals and utilize a Root of Trust (ROT) at the heart of their systems, ensuring that these devices have a baseline of security.
The PSA Certified initiative offers an independent evaluation of chip and device ROT with three levels of assurance and robustness. This builds trust in the ecosystem that chips and devices have a security baseline aligned with end use cases. PSA Certified has delivered certification for connected devices for some time now, and is now expanding focus to also reduce friction for securing infrastructure edge devices. For the latest on PSA Certified, please read the momentum blog.
Access to hardware security services for cloud native applications is an industry-wide problem. Application developers today do not possess simple, effective, and widely available tools to take advantage of best-in-class security services that are rooted in hardware.
Platform Abstraction for Security (PARSEC) – an open-source initiative based on the PSA API and originally developed by Arm in collaboration with Docker – provides secure ROT abstraction and common runtime security services for applications in an architecture-agnostic manner. Arm has contributed PARSEC to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as a community Sandbox project. For more information, please visit the PARSEC GitHub page.
As IoT demands vary widely based on use cases across market segments, a one-size fits all approach to architectures becomes impractical. For instance, consider a system integrator deciding on secure gateways, edge routers, cloud services, OS, and application stacks, along with connectivity, device, and data management options. Overlay market-specific requirements on security, data privacy, latency, and throughput, and solutions can become quite complex.
Project Cassini simplifies the effort by enabling reference architectures and implementations that advance the vision of a cloud native edge. Technology areas such as virtualization and container orchestration for IoT gateways, services aggregation on uCPE devices, cross-platform operational consistency between edge and cloud, performance monitoring and observability, and more, are explored both through proof-of-concept engagements with partners, and open-source reference designs such as the SMARTER stack from Arm.
To learn more about these and other use cases please visit the Project Cassini website.
Project Cassini – composed of the foundational pillars of Arm SystemReady, PSA Certified and PARSEC, and reference implementation solutions for a cloud native edge – promotes a secure, standards-driven baseline for Arm-based platforms at the edge. Project Cassini is designed with a goal to enable diverse and vibrant hardware to leverage an unburdened, cloud native software ecosystem across the complete range of IoT and Infrastructure edge deployments. Arm is delighted to stand with our partners and invite you to engage with us in delivering this ambitious vision.
For latest developments please visit the Project Cassini page, or contact the Arm team.
Visit Project Cassini Website