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CIP Member Spotlight: Codethink

By | Blog

The Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project aims to speed implementation of Linux-based civil infrastructure systems, build upon existing open source foundations and expertise, establish de facto standards by providing a base layer reference implementation, and contribute to and influence upstream projects regarding industrial needs. CIP is driven by some of the world’s leading manufacturers of civil infrastructure systems and industry leaders including Codethink, Hitachi, Plat’Home, Renesas, Siemens, Moxa and Toshiba.

This spotlight series highlights CIP members and how they are contributing to open source software solutions that will benefit the world’s technical systems. Today, we highlight Codethink in a conversation with Agustín Benito Bethencourt, Principal Consultant and active CIP member.

What does your company do and what is your role?

Codethink is an independent engineering and consultancy services company. We specialize in system-level infrastructure to support advanced technical applications, working across a range of industries including finance, automotive, aerospace, medical and telecoms. We deliver critical technology services and solutions for international corporates. We develop and maintain system-level software and infrastructure within three practices: Enterprise, Devices and Automotive.

We have a wealth of experience in truly understanding the software development life-cycle and are happy to provide specialist expertise to slot into an existing project/product team, or to handle the turnkey supply of a complete solution to a managed budget, time or quality. We are experts in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). We participate in upstream and are active contributors to a wide range of FOSS projects.

As a consultant at Codethink, I have two main roles: I help customers to transition from traditional embedded delivery models to modern ones, embracing Open Source best practices and agile principles, either in R&D or in production environments with a special focus on automotive at the moment. Additionally, I represent Codethink at The Linux Foundation and CIP project.

Why is your company investing in an open source “base layer” of industrial grade software?

Historically, Codethink has a very strong Open Source Software background. We believe that within the civil infrastructure industry there is plenty of room for sharing effort in the open, to create a commodity base system that can be maintained and shaped long term, enabling numerous stakeholders to participate and consume such software and knowledge for product development. Open Source ecosystems offer good opportunities for companies like Codethink to learn and demonstrate capabilities by actively participating in and contributing to CIP.

Why did your company join CIP?

Modern software practices are moving towards producing and deploying software fast enough so that it can be kept up to date. A significant part of our business revolves around that idea. There are environments though, in which following this approach is particularly challenging. The Civil/Social Infrastructure industry is one of them.

When it comes to software delivery or maintenance, for instance, the time perspective and economics for developing products that will still be operating in 50 years, is new to most of those coming from Open Source, especially when applied to safety critical environments. This is the main reason we wanted to participate in the foundation of CIP. The Linux Foundation project represents – for us – the perfect forum to challenge ourselves while helping others to embrace an Open Source mindset.

How are you currently active in CIP?

Our previous experience in open source community environments, helped Codethink to play an important role in shaping and foster CIP as an open source forum. As the project shifted its focus to the CIP kernel, Codethink led the testing and maintenance effort. We currently share the responsibility with Siemens, who is managing the real-time version of the CIP kernel we maintain.

Additionally, Codethink supports CIP on several other fronts such as promotion, content creation, participating in CIP governance forums, building strategic relations with other projects, etc.

How are you going to use the software?

Since Codethink is a consulting company, we don’t ship products based on CIP’s industrial grade software, but some of our customers do, especially those in industries where safety is critically important. For example, our Automotive OEMs customers are great candidates for the software.

What benefits have you seen or what do you expect to achieve?

In the kernel front, for instance, CIP takes advantage of all the work done by the kernel community on the 4.4 LTS process. CIP is adding additional effort to that process, contributing directly upstream instead of creating a separate and independent process where upstream is just an input, which requires additional effort to close the circle when contributing back to upstream. Our current simple process has proved to be very efficient.

Once the current LTS process ends, CIP will be maintaining such a critical component on its own. That will be the moment of truth for CIP. The same will apply to the rest of the components of CIP’s “base layer”, called CIP Core, which relies on Debian sources.

If the learning process we are currently following at CIP is successful, and the consolidation of the project reaches the required activation threshold, CIP will become a key forum for all those parties that ship long lasting Linux based products. Otherwise, the scope of the Initiative will be solely determined by the needs and efforts of the current members which, looking at the size of some of them, might be a bright future too.

Where do you see civil infrastructure systems in 20 years?

I see civil infrastructure systems following the general path that embedded industries and automotive are following, where the commoditization of part of the software stack is the only approach to tackle the increasing complexity, leaving enough resources to focus on differentiation factors that add value to customers. This process should push companies towards sharing more effort and resources. Open Source enables the healthiest environment in which to do so.

I think that the same principle will apply to safety critical related systems, although the adoption there will probably be slower but inexorable.

In summary, the overall transition from being Open Source consumers to producers first and contributors later, will take place faster than most think, just like it has in other industries before the Civil/Social Infrastructure.

IoT Evolution World: Smart City IoT Infrastructure: Moxa Joins Linux Foundation’s CIP Community

By | In the News

Two global trends are converging and they will transform the way people live their lives.  One of them is the Internet of Things (IoT) – the increasing proliferation of internet connected, ‘smart’ devices.  Gartner estimates there will be 20 billion such devices by 2020 in homes, factories and cities.

Coupled with this is the increasing global need for civil infrastructure.  Countries like the US have large, aging infrastructure that must be modernized or replaced and emerging markets, like China, have a growing need for new infrastructure.

Read more at IoT Evolution World.

Opensourceforu.com: Moxa Smart City 3-in-1 solutions promise security, reliability and sustainability

By | In the News

Moxa strengthens its commitment to building smart cities by joining Civil Infrastructure Platform Project.

Moxa will now bring Smart City solutions which will be interoperable open source platform based. For the same, Moxa has joined as a Silver Member, the Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project.

The move will help Moxa, that offers a wide range of industrial networking, monitoring and computing products, strengthen its commitment to build smarter factories and cities on an interoperable open source platform that is secure, reliable and sustainable. Hosted by The Linux Foundation, CIP aims to speed implementation of Linux-based civil infrastructure systems, build upon existing open source foundations and expertise, and contribute to and influence upstream projects regarding industrial needs.

Read more at Opensourceforu.com.

Industrial Automation Asia: Moxa Joins Civil Infrastructure Platform Project

By | In the News

The Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project, which aims to provide a base layer of industrial grade open source software components, tools and methods to enable long-term management of critical systems, has announced that Moxa has joined as a Silver Member. The move helps Moxa, an edge-to-cloud connectivity solution provider that offers a range of industrial networking, monitoring and computing products, strengthen its commitment to building smarter factories and cities on an interoperable open source platform that is secure, reliable and sustainable.

Read more at Industrial Automation Asia.

Industry Leader Moxa joins Civil Infrastructure Platform Project

By | Announcement

Moxa strengthens its commitment to building smart cities based on interoperable open source platform that is secure, reliable and sustainable for more than 10 years

SAN FRANCISCO – January 18, 2017 – The Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project, which aims to provide a base layer of industrial grade open source software components, tools and methods to enable long-term management of critical systems, today announced that Moxa has joined as a Silver Member. The move helps Moxa, an edge-to-cloud connectivity solution provider that offers a wide range of industrial networking, monitoring and computing products, strengthen its commitment to building smarter factories and cities on an interoperable open source platform that is secure, reliable and sustainable.

Hosted by The Linux Foundation, CIP aims to speed implementation of Linux-based civil infrastructure systems, build upon existing open source foundations and expertise, establish de facto standards by providing a base layer reference implementation, and contribute to and influence upstream projects regarding industrial needs.

“Every solution Moxa creates offers reliability, safety and is easy to integrate,” said SZ Lin, Software Supervisor for Moxa. “We are excited to join the CIP project and believe it will help us ensure high-quality software components that will address the long-term needs of smart cities and the future of manufacturing.”

CIP addresses the needs of long-term software for the power generation and distribution, water, oil and gas, transportation and building automation industries. Moxa joins other industry leaders, such as Codethink, Hitachi, Plat’Home, Renesas, Siemens and Toshiba, in their work to create a reliable and secure Linux-based embedded software platform that can be sustained for more than 10 years.

“CIP is committed to developing, testing and maintaining an industrial grade software that lays the foundation needed for essential global civil infrastructure and economic systems for the next few decades,” said Urs Gleim, Head of the Central Smart Embedded Systems Group at Siemens and CIP Governing Board Chair. “Moxa brings extensive experience in industrial innovation that will be a welcome addition to the CIP members as we work together to create a better future of our communities.”

The CIP community is working to address major challenges civil infrastructure projects face such as:

  • Speed and cost: The community’s work building foundational elements that may be shared across civil infrastructure projects will save time and money.
  • Interoperability: CIP’s open framework supports existing standards.
  • Security and safety: The project’s industrial-grade software foundation is designed to enable delivery of critical services like power, gas and water.
  • Reliability: Because it is based on Linux, CIP will provide a proven software base for system designs.
  • Sustainability: CIP will help establish a long-term maintenance infrastructure for selected open source components, accounting for product life cycles of more than 10 years.

Last year, the project made great strides in developing the tools needed to test and maintain the CIP kernel, such as the CIP Core and Board At Desk v1.0. For more information about CIP and its mission, visit https://wiki.linuxfoundation.org/civilinfrastructureplatform/start.

About Moxa

Moxa is a leading provider of edge connectivity, industrial computing, and network infrastructure solutions for enabling connectivity for the Industrial Internet of Things. With over 30 years of industry experience, Moxa has connected more than 50 million devices worldwide and has a distribution and service network that reaches customers in more than 70 countries. Moxa delivers lasting business value by empowering industry with reliable networks and sincere service for industrial communications infrastructures. Information about Moxa’s solutions is available at www.moxa.com.

About CIP

The Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) is an open source project hosted by The Linux Foundation. The project is focused on establishing an open source base layer of industrial grade software to enable the use and implementation of reusable software building blocks that meet the safety, reliability and other requirements of industrial and civil infrastructure. For additional information, visit https://www.cip-project.org/.

About The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and commercial adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at www.linuxfoundation.org.

The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see its trademark usage page: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage/  Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

CIP Member Spotlight: Siemens

By | Blog

The Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) aims to speed implementation of Linux-based civil infrastructure systems, build upon existing open source foundations and expertise, establish de facto standards by providing a base layer reference implementation, and contribute to and influence upstream projects regarding industrial needs. CIP is driven by some of the world’s leading manufacturers of civil infrastructure systems and industry leaders including Codethink, Hitachi, Plat’Home, Renesas, Siemens and Toshiba.

This spotlight series highlights CIP members and how they are contributing to open source software solutions that will benefit the world’s technical systems. Today, we highlight Siemens in a conversation with Urs Gleim, Head of the Central Smart Embedded Systems Group.

What does your company do and what is your role?

Siemens is a global company providing products and solutions in the domains power generation and transmission, medical diagnosis, building technologies, industry, as well as rail and road mobility solutions. I head the “Smart Embedded Systems” group at the central unit “Corporate Technology”. This is a central expert center working for all of the business units as well as driving global strategic topics for the company.

How would you describe your company in a few sentences?

Siemens comes from the electrification and automation sector and is sometimes considered “old industry” in the middle of the transformation of a world of connected complex and heterogeneous systems. In the past, there were single purpose devices. But now, almost every device that has computing power, has an operating system that gets connected and can run different types of software. This transformation massively changes business models and technology. Siemens is one of those changed business models and technology.

Why is your company investing in an open source base layer of industrial grade software?

Today, we have lots of products that are Linux-based. Many of these products were developed independently, which resulted in a huge number of different Linux versions and distributions. With all of these different versions in use, developers work to maintain all them in parallel.

Furthermore, having more and more products connected increases the demand for providing security patches on short notice. Developers have worked in this way for a long time but this set-up is not scalable and cannot be managed like this in the future. To make matters more complicated, many companies are doing the same thing and maintaining several software stacks in parallel.

The solution to this complicated issue is the harmonization of the Linux versions used in products. This is called the base layer and it’s the foundation of what CIP is working on. As member companies collaborate on this base layer will save money, resources and time in the long-run.

Why did your company join CIP?

The idea of having an industrial-grade, long-term maintained Linux kernel was discussed for several years. At Siemens, there are some internal harmonization and cost effective work sharing activities but the real traction comes from close collaboration with upstream projects. From our point of view, this is only possible in an Open Source project driven together by partners who have the same problems. The Linux Foundation connected Siemens with other industry-leading companies that have the same vision. This is how we became a founding member of CIP.

How are you currently active in CIP?

As a founding member, Siemens has several people on the technical steering committee who help drive the strategic direction of the project. We are also active in CIP Core, in the testing effort, build environment and are driving the real-time support. Additionally, I am also the chair of the Governing Board.  

How are you going to use the software?

Based on the CIP kernel and CIP Core, we are building our internally used Linux distribution for different hardware platforms used in products. Beside the above mentioned cost savings, this harmonized approach also reduces OSS clearing of kernel and base packages as well as allows a central security & vulnerability management.

What benefits have you seen or what do you expect to achieve?

We expect reduced cost per product for patch and vulnerability management, maintenance, testing, and open source software clearing. We already see an increasing test coverage since the test tool chain and the tests are continuously improved by all members.

Where do you see civil infrastructure systems in 20 years?

Some of the ones we install now will still be here in 20 years. That’s why we need the Civil Infrastructure Platform.

 

 

Memoori: The Linux Foundation’s Civil Infrastructure Platform is Quietly Laying the Foundation for our Future

By | In the News

Civil infrastructure is at the very heart of modern society. Be it for power, water, transport or healthcare; these technical systems are ubiquitously responsible for supervision, control, and management of infrastructure that lays the foundation for almost everything we do. Civil infrastructure provides essential services and shelter, it supports social interactions and drives economic development.

The importance of civil infrastructure makes system reliability paramount. However, as we modernize our aging infrastructure to add features for rapidly evolving technology, within our dynamic urban spaces, it can be challenging to design and build for the longer term. That’s what the establishment of the Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) Initiative, hosted by the Linux Foundation hopes to address through open collaboration.

Read more at Memoori.

When Nature strikes in 2018, CIP has your back

By | Blog

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and floods have devastating effects on communities across our country. This year alone, we had back-to-back Hurricanes with Harvey, Irma and Maria and it took many months for the affected areas to begin rebuilding their electricity, water and waste management, communication and transportation systems after they were down.

These systems deliver essential services and social interactions that are crucial for daily life. They are among what IHS estimates are  20 billion connected devices this year that will continue to increase dramatically next year and onward. These connected systems and devices are being adopted in a widespread of different industries that are stored at the edge, which means edge computing at every level will become the norm. This trend highlights the urgent need for security, reliability and feature-rich software that will maintain these systems.

This exemplifies the mission of the Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP). CIP aims to provide a base layer of industrial grade open source software components, tools and methods to enable long-term management of critical systems. Hosted by The Linux Foundation, CIP is driven by some of the world’s leading manufacturers of civil infrastructure systems such as Codethink, Hitachi, Plat’Home, Renesas, Siemens and Toshiba. These member companies are working together to create a reliable and secure Linux-based embedded software platform that can be sustained more than 10 years and up to 60 years.

CIP Members at ELC-Europe

 

CIP has already made huge strides since launching in April 2016. In fact, this year CIP members created the CIP Core, a ​reference ​minimal file system ​that offers a customizable environment that developers can use to test the CIP kernel and core packages and Board AT Desk (B@D) v1.0, a customized and easy to deploy instance of the kernelci.org and LAVA projects that allows developers to test Linux kernels on boards connected to their own development machines using the tooling provided by kernelci.org. In addition, CIP also continued to maintain the kernel and make ongoing updates, bug fixes and support maintenance.

As 2018 quickly approaches, CIP will continue its momentum. The new year will bring a focus on functional safety, an exploration of how CIP can help safety standards and certification in automobiles and more collaboration with industry influencers like Debian and other open source projects. CIP will also be making testing efforts more harmonized with the Linux Kernel community, particularly with LTS maintained by Greg Kroah-Hartman. CIP is planning to build an infrastructure to contribute the test results to LTS. Ultimately, these efforts will get CIP closer to its mission of creating industrial grade software that is resilient, secure and reliable so that when weather disasters strike, there won’t be as much of an issue to bring systems back online.

 

IoT Evolution World: How the Civil Infrastructure Platform Project Powers Smart Cities

By | In the News

While much of the world’s legacy infrastructure is aging, and not capable of supporting the growth of the population alongside a more sustainable environment, members of The Linux Foundation’s Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) are working hand-in-glove to develop the software building blocks that will build smarter and smarter infrastructure powering smart cities (and more).

Read more at IoT Evolution World.

Datamation: How Open Source Will Enable Smart Cities

By | In the News

Developers of smart city technology will have no choice but to turn to open source if they want to keep up with the demand.

Go back a hundred years and services like electricity and running water — let alone phones — would have all been considered luxuries. Now, we see these services as critical infrastructure that could cause a serious threat to life and societal order if they were to break down.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a bigger part of our world, creating a marriage of software and hardware that ranges from the exceedingly useful to the overly creepy, it is also finding its way into many of the utilities that we depend on for modern living.

 

Read more at Datamation.