AT&T Advances Akraino Assuredly

It's Friday, I couldn't resist the urge to try out some alliteration!

Akraino is a brand new Linux Foundation Edge Stack project with the seed code coming from AT&T. The move is very similar to what happened almost exactly an year ago with OpenECOMP (now ONAP), and ONAP has had a very successful first year.

There aren't many details available on Akraino, my guess is more will be made available at the Open Networking Summit later in March'18.

I have no inside knowledge of what Akraino is, but I was fortunate enough to attend a presentation by Kandan & Rodolfo from AT&T at OpenDev 2017 where they presented the various AT&T open source efforts around edge computing. Let me describe what I heard then, since this might be pertinent to Akraino.

While OpenStack and Kubernetes (NFVI/VIM) are available as underlying edge stack technologies, there's nothing available to deploy and manage the lifecycle of these stacks at scale. With tens of thousands of central offices i.e. edge locations, and even more possible through radio tower colocation, on the side of the highway or even at customer premises, manual orchestration of the edge stack is simply not an option.

The challenges laid out by AT&T during OpenDev for an edge stack are:

1. The deployment and lifecycle management needs to be fully automated

2. The automated process needs to support a very large scale -- tens or hundreds of thousand edge stacks if not millions

3. The stack needs to be modular to allow for different sizes/capabilities depending on how constrained the edge environment is

4. The stack needs to support new hardware acceleration technologies ranging from GPU, TPU, NPU, FPGA etc.

5. Finally, the edge stack needs to support integration with ONAP and other related software stacks

Given these requirements, AT&T talked about 6 open source software projects. These are all edge related and have been started by AT&T:

The git repositories are at: OpenStack Helm, Promenade, Shipyard, Drydock, Armada, Deckhand.

If Akraino has anything to do with these initiatives, I think it is a huge move towards the enablement of edge computing and making the edge stack open source (It's hard to imagine a proprietary edge stack with something like this on the horizon). Like you, I'm looking forward to finding out more.

And oh by the way, if you are attending ONS, do sign up for ONAP or OPNFV training courses conducted by my colleagues and me.

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