Edging Closer to Enterprise IoT, Akraino Stack Announces Execution Phase

By Cynthia S. Artin August 22, 2018

The Linux Foundation is tackling new challenges associated with the growth of more sophisticated digital devices and high-end applications operating efficiently at the very edge of the Internet by continuing to organize communities of service providers, technology vendors, hardware, firm ware and software developers, and systems integrator “en masse” to move closer to “mass adoption” of cloud and network connected things.

It is hard to imagine a more active open source, non-profit foundation doing more in the last twelve months than Linux has, with the world’s largest companies jumping in to “open source everything” which would have been unimaginable a few years ago when many vendors, especially, resisted any initiatives that might threaten their business models. A combination of forceful mandates from companies like AT&T and Verizon in the US (establishing policies to only go forward with partners who supported their network virtualization strategies, for example) are making it impossible for “walled garden” offerings to win.  

Yesterday, Linux announced their Akraino Edge Stack project, creating an open source software stack that supports high-availability cloud services optimized for edge computing systems and applications, moved from formation into execution.

“Since forming earlier this year, the Akraino Edge Stack project has generated strong industry support and is now well-positioned to create blueprints optimized for various edge use cases,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking and Orchestration, The Linux Foundation. “We are pleased to welcome leading members with a broad swath of edge expertise and resources to collaborate on improving the state of open source edge software.”

What does this mean when it comes to the actual “to-do” list?

For one, the Akraino Edge Stack seed code will be opened up to the community this week based on AT&T’s seed code, (the Network Cloud blueprint,) contributed to The Linux Foundation.

Supporting a broad range of Telco, Enterprise, and Industrial Edge use cases, the execution phase starts with a focus on creating blueprints that will consist of validated hardware and software configurations against defined use case and performance specifications. 

The Akraino Edge Stack is designed to improve the state of edge cloud infrastructure for enterprise edge, OTT edge, and carrier edge networks. It will offer users new levels of flexibility to scale edge cloud services quickly, to maximize the applications and functions supported at the edge, and to help ensure the reliability of mission-critical systems.

Work has already begun to create these use case- based blueprints, with technical details now available on the project wiki. In addition, the community aims to tackle API definition where gaps exist to achieve edge use case objectives.

With new members joining, including technology giants Arm, AT&T, Dell EMC, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel Corporation, inwinSTACK, Juniper Networks, Nokia, Qualcomm, Radisys, Red Hat, and Wind River, Linux is bringing people together August 23-24 in Middletown, NJ for the first Akraino Edge Stack Developer Summit. Hosted by AT&T Labs

This 1.5 day event will focus on technical discussion of the project with sessions on blueprints, seed code, architecture and more.

The community has established a lightweight governance structure that welcomes technical contributions from all participants. The Technical Steering Committee (TSC), responsible for setting the technical direction of the project, is composed of active committers within the community with no prerequisite of financial contribution. The Governing Board, comprised of one representative from each member organization, is responsible for general oversight and will hold its first meeting later this month.

Comments from Akraino Edge Stack Board Members
“The edge of tomorrow’s network will enable a trillion connected devices and be defined by power efficiency, performance, and flexibility, fundamental hallmarks of Arm-based solutions,” said Mohamed Awad, vice president of marketing, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm. “Our collaboration within the Akraino Edge Stack project will showcase how the Arm ecosystem has architected solutions specifically tailored to meet the demands of distributed computing at the network edge.”

“We welcome the new members to the Akraino Edge Stack project. As a community, we can expand the development of next gen zero-touch edge cloud infrastructure for carrier and enterprise networks and foster a new ecosystem of applications that demand high performance, ultra-low latency and blazing speed,” said Mazin Gilbert, vice president of Advanced Technology & Systems, AT&T. “Embracing open interfaces and collaboration with edge computing will expedite new solutions and innovations for 5G services.”

“We fully embrace disaggregation as a means of driving innovation in communications service provider networks,” said Kevin Shatzkamer, vice president, Dell EMC Service Provider Solutions. “We see edge as the real enabler and onramp to the cloud and joined the Akraino Edge Stack project to help lead this important effort for customers to quickly scale edge cloud services.”

“Ericsson has a long history of leading standardization activities and open source projects for virtualization and cloud,” said Lars Mårtensson, head of Solution Area Cloud and NFV Infrastructure, Ericsson. “With the advent of 5G, we see clear business opportunities with the edge cloud use cases requiring distributed cloud capabilities across the network for enterprises, operators, OTT, IoT, and vertical applications. Distributed cloud will cater for lower latency, more efficient use of bandwidth, and enhanced security. The Akraino Edge Stack will play a key role in the evolution of distributed cloud. Ericsson has joined Akraino to work with the member community, thereby supporting the participating operators to develop an industry leading edge stack.”

“With the evolution of the digitalization and intelligent technologies in human society, edge computing will become the next focus in the industry,” said Bill Ren, VP, Network Industry & Ecosystem Development, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. “The rapid and healthy development of an ecosystem is the key to business sustainability. Huawei believes that the industry needs a unified full-stack framework to build a rich and open developer and application ecosystem, and that is why we are happy to be a co-founder of the Akranio Edge Stacj community. We hope that the industry will work together to build an open, collaborative and win-win platform to build a smart society with all things connected.”

“The Akraino project helps fill a critical gap in the ecosystem by supporting the rapid scale of edge solutions across Industrial, Enterprise and Telco. We look forward to establishing Akraino as a blueprint, helping to form the foundation of known-good software and hardware configurations that the ecosystem can easily adopt to foster collaborative development across industries and speed innovation,” said Imad Sousou, corporate vice president and general manager of the Open Source Technology Center, Intel. “We highly anticipate a continued collaboration to realize the bright future that is edge computing.”

“Edge computing has become a key technology that enterprises and telecommunication companies are actively investing and promoting. As a major long-time contributor in open source technologies, inwinSTACK is excited to be a part of the Akraino project,” said Joseph Wang, Vice President, inwinSTACK Inc. “We believe the Akraino project will play an important role in developing a common standard for edge computing, and our partnership will strengthen our ability to deliver enterprise-grade edge cloud solutions to organizations seeking to drive business values and innovations.”

“As application use cases at the edge continue to emerge, the need for a lightweight, low-latency, secure edge stack that’s also easy to deploy and manage is becoming more and more clear,” said Randy Bias, vice president of Technology and Strategy for Cloud Software, Juniper Networks. “The goal of Akraino is to deliver that stack in an open model allowing both network operators and the enterprises that rely on them to innovate and differentiate further up the stack. Juniper is actively engaged with the communities that are supporting edge infrastructure and Akraino is an important part of that mix.”

“Nokia is excited to join the Akraino Edge Stack project to support the emerging edge cloud ecosystem across multiple industries,” said Antti Romppanen, head of Cloud Foundation Product Management, Nokia. “Nokia has a long experience with carrier grade edge stacks, being the first company to demonstrate radio access network functions on OpenStack cloud infrastructure and recently launching Nokia’s Open Edge server specifically targeting edge deployments. We are looking forward to sharing our experience in the Akraino project!”

“Mobile edge computing is a game-changer for service providers as it enables them to deliver applications with ultra-low latency requirements, to save backhaul costs, and to make intelligent and informed decisions based on data analytics and thereby better manage their networks,” said Neeraj Patel, vice president and general manager, Software and Services Solutions, Radisys. “While proprietary edge computing solutions exist, at Radisys we believe that open platforms and solutions at the edge are critical for multiple 5G, enterprise and IoT use cases, and we are proud to bring our expertise in RAN, edge architectures and open telecom solutions to the Akraino project. We look forward to collaborating with the Akraino community to enable open end-to-end edge solutions.”

“The edge, serverless and virtualized central office (VCO) are important to telecommunications service provider and enterprise customers alike, which is why Red Hat is excited to join and actively contribute to the Akraino project,” said Tom Nadeau, technical director, NFV, Red Hat. “The Akraino Edge Stack project can represent a clearer path towards consistent, automated larger-scale deployments in these areas. We look forward to our collaboration with the Linux Foundation and the community.”

“Across multiple industries, we see companies increasingly leveraging virtualized edge solutions to reduce their operational costs and prepare for the explosion of 5G and IoT use cases by deploying secure, flexible software-based solutions as replacements to legacy, fixed-function hardware. Wind River is committed to working with the open source community to build critical infrastructure for the edge,” said Glenn Seiler, vice president of Product Management and Strategy for Software-defined Infrastructure, Wind River. “We are looking forward to working with the Akraino Edge Stack project to accelerate edge solutions and integrate upstream components using a common framework for edge computing. Akraino will play an important role by building blueprints for a range of cross-industry use cases.”

To learn more and register to attend , click here.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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Contributing Writer

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