Akraino is an open source software stack that can support carrier availability and performance needs in cloud services optimized for edge computing systems and applications. Edge computing is synonymous with multi-access edge computing and mobile edge computing, which both go by the MEC acronym.
The Akraino project was born from seed code donated by AT&T. That code is targeted at developing carrier-grade computing applications running in virtual machines (VMs) and containers. Akraino is designed to allow for scaling of edge cloud services. The project will work on areas currently unmet by other open source projects, and it will also integrate with those efforts.
For instance, both the Linux Foundation and AT&T mention Akraino complementing the Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP) to automate services from the edge to the core of the network. That integration is convenient as much of the ONAP source code also came from AT&T’s ECOMP initiative that was combined with Open-O to form ONAP.
Mazin Gilbert, vice president of advanced technology at AT&T Labs, also lumped OpenStack into the mix to power the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G.
“Akraino, coupled with ONAP and OpenStack, will help to accelerate progress toward development of next-generation, network-based edge services, fueling a new ecosystem of applications for 5G and IoT,” Gilbert noted in a statement.
AT&T itself is highly reliant on OpenStack to power its AT&T Integrated Cloud (AIC) platform. However, it’s also looking to tap open source container orchestrator Kubernetes as part of its next-generation AIC platform.
The Linux Foundation recently combined ONAP with five other projects into the LF Networking Fund (LFN). The half-dozen projects within LFN form the basis of a networking stack from the data plane to the control plane, to orchestration, automation, and end-to-end testing. Akraino could provide further extension of those capabilities.
“There is a simple process for a project to be part of LFN since we have been expecting several complementary projects to extend the scope of end to end networking,” explained Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking at the Linux Foundation, in an email. “These are reviewed by the LF Networking Governing Board and with feedback from the TAC (Technology Advisory Council). Akraino extends the network automation to the new edge. We will provide an update around ONS based on the focus of initial use cases.”
The Akraino project is currently lobbying for community members and expects to release the initial open source code by mid-year.
AT&T this week began testing edge computing in support of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) services on mobile devices at its recently opened test zone in Palo Alto, California. The test will look at reducing blurry and choppy graphics often associated with current AR and VR services running on mobile devices across MEC platforms.
The carrier is working with GridRaster, which provides the underlying compute and network stack used in the test. GridRaster’s technology unloads the real-time graphics processing from the mobile device to the network cloud.
An AT&T spokeswoman said the test was not tied to any specific protocol, with the carrier initially focused on use cases rather than creating overall architectures.
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