CableLabs added Kubernetes support to an overarching program to facilitate the adoption of SDN and NFV within the CableLabs’ community. Those efforts are based on its SDN/NFV Application development Platform and Stack (SNAPS) initiative.
Randy Levensalor, lead architect for wired technologies at CableLabs, wrote in a blog post that the SNAPS-Kubernetes platform provides easy-to-install infrastructure software for lab and development projects. It helps to deliver virtual network functions (VNFs) that use fewer resources, are more fault-tolerant, and can more quickly scale to meet demand. It was developed with consulting firm Aricent, which was part of the initial SNAPS development.
Levensalor explained that the Kubernetes support was part of the second wave of NFV maturity that the company has labeled as “cloud native.” This is targeted at edge and remote locations where compute resources are limited by space and power availability.
“Containers and Kubernetes excel in this quickly evolving section of the market,” Levensalor wrote. “These solutions aren’t yet as mature as OpenStack and other virtualization solutions, but they are lighter weight and integrate software and infrastructure management. This means that Kubernetes will scale and fail over applications, and the software updates are also managed.”
CableLabs’ first wave of NFV maturity was “lift and shift,” which involved the deployment of virtual machines (VMs) running in an OpenStack environment. The third wave is around autonomous networks, which is not expected to hit the market for several years.
The Kubernetes platform is based on the container orchestrator’s 1.10 release, which was unveiled at the end of March. The Kubernetes Project released a 1.11 version at the end of June. Levensalor said that CableLabs will update to the latest Kubernetes version as “new releases stabilize and we have time to validate these releases.”
SNAPS-Kubernetes will initially limit support to Docker-based containers because Docker is the most widely used container platform. Levensalor noted that it could add support for other container models that prove to be more suited for specific use cases.
SNAPS-Kubernetes can be run on an existing virtual platform. CableLabs’ continuous integration scripts use the SNAPS-OO product to automate the installation on an OpenStack platform.
CableLabs launched the SNAPS effort late last year as a way to fill in gaps within open source to ease the adoption of SDN and NFV for its cable members. It’s basically a virtualized service core based on an OpenStack foundation and using OpenStack code directly rather than a vendor distribution. It also uses Open vSwitch and the Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK).
That initial work was on the SNAPS-OO software development code that was eventually transferred to the OPNFV project. That was followed by a pair of open source projects in the SNAPS-Boot and SNAPS-OpenStack installer.
SNAPS-Boot is designed to prepare a network operator’s servers for OpenStack. The SNAPS-OpenStack installer brings up OpenStack on running servers.
“With a single command, you can install Linux on your servers and prepare them for your OpenStack installation,” Levensalor explained in a blog post.