New Linux Foundation Effort to Focus on Data Confidence Fabrics to Scale Digital Transformation Initiatives

In partnership with leading industry players, Linux Foundation to create Project Alvarium to facilitate intrinsic trust in data and applications spanning heterogeneous systems of systems 

BARCELONA, Spain IOT Solutions World Congress Oct. 28, 2019The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development among sustainable open source ecosystems, today announced the intent to form Project Alvarium. Project Alvarium will focus on building the concept of a Data Confidence Fabric (DCF) to facilitate measurable trust and confidence in data and applications spanning heterogeneous systems. The project will be seeded by code from Dell Technologies, with support from industry leaders including Arm, IBM, IOTA Foundation, MobiledgeX, OSIsoft, Unisys, and more. 

A DCF, or “trust fabric”, is a framework comprised of a variety of technologies that help insert trust into the data path, in turn facilitating the orchestration of trusted AI models and the delivery of data from devices to applications with measurable confidence. This is critical to scaling digital transformation initiatives that today often devolve into a debate of security, privacy and data ownership.

Project Alvarium will foster a community to collaborate on the baseline open source framework and related APIs that bind together the various ingredients that constitute trust fabrics, as well as to define the algorithms that drive confidence scores as data flows through any given implementation. The project will also seek to collaborate with other important industry efforts as the goal is to unify trust insertion capabilities, not reinvent them.

“We look forward to helping build a collaborative community to focus on creating and unifying trust insertion technologies,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge and IOT, the Linux Foundation. “As edge computing becomes more pervasive, a comprehensive open source framework that delivers measurable confidence across industries and across stacks is imperative. We welcome Project Alvarium to the Linux Foundation family of projects.”

The project will be seeded in the coming quarter with work from Dell Technologies which also seeded the EdgeX Foundry project in April 2017. Now part of the LF Edge Umbrella, EdgeX is adopted globally for device- to- application interoperability at the IoT Edge, recently hitting one million total microservice downloads with half of those over the prior two months. The EdgeX framework is a default component within the DCF seed for open data ingestion, but as with any other ingredients, it can be replaced with a preferred alternative.

More details on Project Alvarium, including a video outlining how trust fabrics will transform business models across industries, are available at https://alvarium.org.

For a live demo of the DCF visit the LF Edge space (Stand #151) at IoT Solutions World Congress October 29 – 31.

Industry Support for Project Alvarium

“Digital transformation and a world of a trillion connected devices will only be possible if we can
trust the data being generated and shared by these devices”, said Andy Rose, chief system
architect and fellow at Arm. “Project Alvarium will enable further collaboration on secure product
design, leading to a more secure Internet of Things. The Platform Security Architecture (PSA)
provides a secure framework, and PSA Certified devices will serve as a best-in-class Root of
Trust foundation for the Data Confidence Fabrics.”

“Trust fabrics will be a key enabler for scaling digital transformation across inherently heterogeneous systems,” said Jason Shepherd, Global CTO, Edge and  IoT, Dell Technologies. “There is not an industry on the planet that this effort won’t impact in terms of delivering data with measurable confidence, facilitating trusted workload consolidation and also helping organizations scale meeting compliance requirements such as GDPR. We look forward to collaborating with the community on this important topic.” 

“As enterprises move into the next chapter of cloud, data is at the core of their business and keeping that data secure and ensuring the privacy of the users is key to success,” said David Boloker, Distinguished Engineer and Director, Business Development for IBM Edge Computing. “IBM is collaborating on Project Alvarium to support this important industry effort to build an open-source foundation for system wide trust from edge devices to cloud applications.”

“Data is the seed from which information, knowledge and wisdom sprouts and blossoms.Every connected device, app, machine, and human will utilize meaningful data in one way or another for decision making. As such, confidence in data is paramount.” said David Sønstebø, co-founder of IOTA Foundation. “The development of Data Confidence Fabrics through collaboration in Project Alvarium will power a new era of trust and transparency in data, which is at the core of what IOTA is designed for.”

“At MobiledgeX we are working with more than a dozen mobile operators worldwide to safely open their trusted networks for edge computing spanning Augmented Reality for gaming to industrial use cases,” said Sunay Tripathi, CTO of MobiledgeX. “With many of our deployments today, our operators and application owners are increasingly focused on the issue of privacy, especially with respect to our Edge-Cloud capability that enables companies to use best of breed applications while ensuring sensitive data stays in-country or on-premise. We see project Alvarium as a key piece to further the trust and privacy based edge ecosystem.”

“Data Confidence is central to large sensor-laden compute systems like those found in Industrial IoT digital transformation projects.  Both the Object Management Group (with its forthcoming SENSR standard) and the Industrial Internet Consortium (with over 25 large industrial IoT testbeds around the world) welcome the forthcoming Alvarium project as necessary for these critical infrastructures.” said Richard Mark Soley, PhD., Chairman and CEO of the Object Management Group and Executive Director of OMG’s Industrial Internet Consortium. “With a long working relationship with important Linux Foundation projects, OMG and IIC are delighted to see this new project.”  

“For almost 40 years, OSIsoft has been helping the process industries manage and get value from their critical operations data. This data has traditionally come from sensors in the control and monitoring systems that keep critical operations running. Cost-effective sensing and integration represented by Industrial IoT introduces data from a “second network” that can meaningfully inform critical operations while not necessarily being part of direct process control. It is crucial for this data to be trusted if it is going to play an impactful role on the behavior of critical processes and operations,” said Richard Beeson, Chief Technology Officer of OSIsoft. “This is exactly where Project Alvarium can make a significant impact – by providing trust and confidence in Industrial IoT data so it can be relied upon or treated with an appropriate level of credibility when utilized in the decision, planning and actuation of critical operations and control systems.”

“Our consortium was founded two years ago to enable open-sourced development of trusted architectures for IoT, so working with Dell Technologies and their seed code for enabling Data Confidence Fabrics in the industry is an important organic part of our evolution,” said Anoop Nannra, Chairman of the Trusted IoT Alliance. “The Alliance is thrilled to be a part of the Project Alvarium initiative and our membership is excited to get involved in the ground-breaking technical work that lies ahead.”

“We are very pleased to be announcing the creation of the Digital Bill of Materials (DBoM) Consortium in partnership with Dell and leveraging Project Alvarium as an ingredient for scaling trust in the supply chain,” said Chris Blask, global director of IoT for Unisys. “Enterprises, vendors and consumers require trust in the sources of the software and hardware in their devices and infrastructure. The DBoM Consortium will establish an open structure for high-confidence and fine-grained visibility into each step a product experiences in the global supply chain.”

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 industry 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.

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