Edge Computing Use Cases Gain Momentum in Open Infrastructure Community—OpenStack Foundation

AUSTIN, Texas A hat trick of news from the OpenStack Foundation (OSF) highlights momentum gains in the edge computing community. First, a white paper released today by the OSF Edge Computing Group describes how advancements in defining edge architecture options are being guided by open source communities. The white paper, “Edge Computing: Next Steps in Architecture, Design and Testing,” describes specific ways open infrastructure operators are shaping the future of edge computing by collecting use cases and  technology requirements and contributing architectures, open source components and considerations for testing activities. 

Next, the StarlingX project plans a 4.0 release next month on the heels of being confirmed as a top-level open infrastructure project of the OpenStack Foundation. 

 The third piece of recent edge news is an announcement that the OSF has entered into a partnership with ETSI. The partnership will help strengthen collaboration between standardization and open source activities, including the area of edge computing. 

 “Edge computing is an exciting step in the technology evolution that is moving to the phase of solutions that OpenStack and the Open Infrastructure community broadly are working on,” said Ildiko Vancsa, ecosystem technical lead at the OpenStack Foundation. “Edge means different things to operators in various, not only IT-specific, industry segments, each with unique variables to optimize for. The new white paper is a thoughtful compilation of architectural models that provides connection points between different use cases as well as directions to pick the right solutions.” 

Newly confirmed StarlingX to issue 4.0 release in July 

The open source software project StarlingX, which provides a deployment-ready, scalable and highly reliable edge infrastructure software platform to build mission critical edge clouds, is planning to release version 4.0 in July. Slated enhancements for StarlingX 4.0 include support for Kata Containers as a container runtime, integration of the Ussuri version of OpenStack, and containerization of the remaining platform services. StarlingX leverages open source projects such as Ceph, Linux, KVM, OpenStack and Kubernetes to provide a cloud platform for demanding edge and IoT networks.  

 After initial code for the project was contributed by WindRiver and Intel, the active community of support for StarlingX has expanded to include 99Cloud, FiberHome, Intel, the OpenStack Foundation, China UnionPay and Wind River, among others. China UnionPay, China Unicom, and T-Systems have become early adopters of the software. 

 The OpenStack Foundation Board of Directors recently announced that former pilot project StarlingX had been confirmed as a top-level Open Infrastructure Project supported by the OpenStack Foundation (OSF). Confirmation by the OSF conveys recognition of a project’s success in meeting the goals of the pilot process and a commitment from the OSF to continue supporting the project. 

 ETSI Partnership 

The OSF and ETSI are increasing collaboration across a variety of use cases, including experiential networked intelligence (ENI), network functions virtualization (NFV), and multi-access edge computing (MEC). This partnership foresees collaboration on features needed for edge computing use cases across four OSF-supported projects: Airship, Kata Containers, OpenStack and StarlingX

  • The initial focus of Airship is deploying and managing OpenStack and Kubernetes components. This scope can expand to further components from the management and network orchestration (MANO) layer. Both for the initial and extended scope, the collaboration between the groups can align standardization activities to ensure the deployed platform provides compatible interfaces and configuration.  
  • Kata Containers is a packaging option for edge computing applications, so it is important to make sure it supports any relevant guidelines given by the MEC Industry Specification Group (ISG) within ETSI.  
  • OpenStack covers the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and virtualized infrastructure manager (VIM) components in the ETSI NFV Architectural Framework and provides services and interfaces utilized for MEC use cases. The collaboration between the OpenStack project and ETSI MEC can ensure the compatibility between the infrastructure and application layers. As the edge computing area is still relatively new, sharing information about relevant use cases and requirements can help to evolve the infrastructure services in line with the standardization activities.  
  • StarlingX has the same collaboration points as OpenStack, extended to include work around containerized workloads and container orchestration technologies as further building blocks towards open infrastructure that are highly relevant for MEC use cases as well.  




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