Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Sinfonia: Cross-Tier Orchestration for
Edge-Native Applications

Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Jan Harkes, Jim Blakley,
Marc Meunier*, Govindarajan Mohandoss*, Kiel Friedt*,
Arun Thulasi**, Pranav Saxena**, Brian Barritt**

July 2022


Keywords: Edge computing, cloud computing, mobile computing, pervasive computing, IoT, offload, cyber foraging, Kubernetes, virtual machines, containers, augmented reality, video analytics, autonomous drones, edge AI, machine learning, wearable cognitive assistance, GPU, flow-aware, load-aware, wireless networks, 5G, low latency, jitter, bandwidth adaptation

The convergence of 5G wireless networks and edge computing enables new edge-native applications that are simultaneously bandwidth-hungry, latency-sensitive, and compute-intensive. Examples include deeply immersive augmented reality, wearable cognitive assistance, privacy-preserving video analytics, edge-triggered serendipity, and autonomous swarms of featherweight drones. Such edge-native applications require network-aware and load-aware orchestration of resources across the cloud (Tier-1), cloudlets (Tier-2), and device (Tier-3). This paper describes the architecture of Sinfonia, an open-source system for such cross-tier orchestration. Key attributes of Sinfonia include:

  • support for multiple vendor-specific Tier-1 roots of orchestration, providing end-to-end runtime control that spans technical and non-technical criteria;
  • use of third-party Kubernetes clusters as cloudlets, with unified treatment of telco-managed, hyperconverged, and just-in-time variants of cloudlets;
  • masking of orchestration complexity from applications, thus lowering the barrier to creation of new edge-native applications.
We describe an initial release of Sinfonia (, and share our thoughts on evolving it in the future.

16 pages

*ARM, Inc.
**Meta, Inc.

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