Stefan Vallin, Avassa: Simplifying edge computing deployment and customisation

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To delve deeper into how Avassa is simplifying edge computing deployment and customisation, Edge Computing News sat down with the company’s Head of Product, Stefan Vallin, at this year’s Edge Computing Expo North America.

When asked about the key objectives of Avassa, Vallin explains that their primary focus is to assist organisations in deploying containerised applications across multiple locations.

While deploying such applications in the cloud is relatively straightforward, the challenge arises when organisations have numerous dispersed locations where they want to run their applications. Avassa offers a centralised solution that allows seamless deployment of containers within customers’ networks or enterprise networks across various sites.

“It’s challenging if you have hundreds of places where you already want to run your applications. We might call that the edge, we might call it on-site. So, a centralised solution to deploy your containers inside your customers’ networks or your own enterprise network that is spread in many places, that’s at the heart of it,” explains Vallin.

Avassa’s solution in particular is highly adaptable to an enterprise’s specific needs. As software containers have become a standard in the industry, Avassa’s platform can handle diverse applications, whether they are edge AI, point of sales, or control systems for robots. The standardised nature of containers enables effortless deployment without the need for extensive customisation or complex integration projects, thereby saving time and resources.

In terms of Avassa’s customer base, Vallin highlights two primary categories:

  • The first category consists of enterprises such as retailers or factories that require a platform to deploy containerised applications across multiple locations.
  • The second category includes independent software vendors (ISVs) who need a reliable method to deploy their software solutions at their customers’ on-premises locations. Avassa’s solution simplifies the deployment process for ISVs, eliminating the need for cumbersome installation procedures, and allowing them to offer their products as services that run on-site for their enterprise customers.

Moving on to the onboarding process, Vallin explains that Avassa’s solution is agnostic to the compute infrastructure at the edge.

Customers typically have their own compute resources, be it Intel or ARM-based systems with various Linux flavours. To initiate the onboarding process, Avassa provides a lightweight agent called the Edge Enforcer. Installing this agent on the relevant edge devices establishes a connection with Avassa’s portal, enabling customers to manage and deploy their applications effortlessly.

When asked about Avassa’s unique selling points, Vallin highlights a few key features:

  • Firstly, the platform ensures full autonomy for on-site deployments, even in challenging network conditions. This is especially crucial for applications related to personal safety in industries like mining, where network connectivity can be unreliable.
  • Secondly, Avassa’s solution offers comprehensive monitoring and observability capabilities, providing deep insights into application health across all locations.
  • Lastly, Avassa’s unwavering focus on the application layer sets it apart from competitors who primarily concentrate on infrastructure management. This user-centric approach allows application developers to deploy their applications with a single click, streamlining the overall deployment process.

Reflecting on common mistakes made by enterprises venturing into edge computing, Vallin points out that many organisations rely on tools designed for central cloud deployments and attempt to use them at a larger scale for edge computing. This approach often proves ineffective when scaling to hundreds or thousands of disconnected sites. He emphasises the importance of selecting tools specifically tailored to edge computing requirements to ensure successful deployments.

Lastly, Vallin shares his insights on emerging trends in edge computing. He highlights the convergence of edge computing and IoT, with a shift from real-time embedded operating systems to open compute environments based on standardised Linux and containers. This trend enables seamless integration of IoT devices with edge computing infrastructure. 

Additionally, the rise of edge AI applications is becoming a reality, particularly in industries like mining, where local inference engines are essential for processing camera or sensor data without relying on cloud connectivity. The merging of various technologies, including edge computing, AI, and IoT, is creating powerful solutions and driving innovation across industries.

“We have customers in the mining industry and there’s always a camera or a LiDAR device and you can’t pipe that back to the cloud—you need to have the local inference engine. You train it in the cloud, but you need to run it locally,” says Vallin.

As edge computing continues to evolve, Avassa remains at the forefront, driving innovation and enabling organizations to harness the power of the edge.

You can watch our full interview with Vallin below:

(Photo by Moritz Kindler on Unsplash)

Want to learn more about edge computing from industry leaders? Check out Edge Computing Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. The event is co-located with Cyber Security & Cloud Expo.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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