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Automating the installation of an edge computing environment

Setting up and configuring an edge computing environment can be a daunting complex task. With the automation scripts (bash commands) used in this tutorial, I hope to take some of the pain out of that process for you and help you install an edge environment that uses IBM Edge Application Manager (IEAM).

After completing this tutorial, you will have installed and configured:

  • A Red Hat OpenShift cluster
  • Either an IBM Cloud Bare Metal Server or an IBM Cloud Virtual Server, which emulates an edge device
  • IBM Edge Application Manager (IEAM), specifically the IEAM Management Hub and IEAM Agent.

The following figure represents the typical network architecture of the IBM Edge components integrated with IBM Cloud services (such as IBM Event Streams, IBM Watson Studio Streams Flows, and IBM Cloudant) that can be implemented using this code.

Architecture of the edge components

Prerequisites

To use the automation scripts and complete the installation of the edge components requires these prerequisites:

Steps

  1. Provision a Red Hat OpenShift Classic cluster

  2. Install the IEAM Management Hub

  3. Extract the IEAM Agent files

  4. Install the IEAM Agent on the edge nodes

1. Provision a Red Hat OpenShift Classic cluster

After downloading the project code, you use either Terraform or preferably IBM Cloud Schematics to provision the necessary cloud resources and set up the edge environment.

Follow the Task 1 steps in the project repo.

2. Install the IEAM Management Hub

You’ll use the automation scripts and the horizon CLI commands to install the IEAM Management Hub.

Follow the Task 2 steps in the project repo.

3. Extract the IEAM Agent files

After downloading the IEAM Agent package, you’ll use the IEAM Management Hub to extract the IEAM Agent files and create an API key that you’ll need to install and configure the IEAM Agent on the edge nodes.

Follow the Task 3 steps

4. Install the IEAM Agent on the edge nodes

After installing Docker on the edge nodes which can be virtualized servers or physical devices, you use the automation script to install the IEAM agent and publish sample edge services.

Follow the Task 4 steps in the project repo.

Summary and next steps

With this tutorial, and my automation scripts, I tried to help make it easier to set up and configure an edge computing environment that uses IBM Edge Application Manager (IEAM).

Now that you have IEAM set up, perhaps you are ready to explore a workplace safety use case in this edge computing article series or this edge computing code pattern. Or, perhaps you want to explore a manufacturing use case in this article.