DENVER — Airship, an AT&T-backed open infrastructure project for clouds, today debuted its first-ever release at the Open Infrastructure Summit (formerly the OpenStack Summit) to simplify cloud lifecycle automation via bare metal containers. The new version, Airship 1.0, enhances its security, resiliency, continuous integration and documentation, and updates its deployment and tooling features.
The initiative — which includes a number of loosely coupled, interoperable open source tools for automated cloud provisioning — was first launched in May 2018 by AT&T working with SK Telecom (SKT), Intel, and the OpenStack Foundation. The code was contributed by those three companies originally as part of contributions for the OpenStack Helm project, which launched in 2017. Helm is a project for deployment, maintenance, and upgrades of loosely coupled OpenStack services.
Airship provides a delivery mechanism for deploying containers as a unit of infrastructure delivery at scale. It does so by managing the full lifecycle of infrastructure, starting from bare metal, to deliver a production-grade Kubernetes cluster that includes Helm-deployed artifacts such as OpenStack Helm.
Some of the tools included in the project include OpenStack for virtual machines, Kubernetes for container orchestration, and metal as-a-service for bare metal. There are also plans to include support for OpenStack Ironic, a project that provisions bare metal machines instead of virtual machines (VMs), soon.
The 1.0 release of the project includes updates that were first released as part of its 1.0 release candidate in November 2018. These updates include the addition of enterprise-grade security, scalable operations, reliable upgrades, and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) validation for integrations and sample deployments.
The project also will be part of a containerized OpenStack that is scheduled to release this summer.
According to OpenStack, during its first year Airship can claim 137 contributors from 17 companies that have made over 3,000 commits in 15 repositories.
Airship In Production
AT&T has been using Airship in its production network since December 2018. And the operator says it will be a part of its 5G network rollout and launch, which it says is powered by an Airship-based containerized OpenStack Cloud. AT&T virtualized its 5G core so it can ride on its Network Cloud and is provisioned by Airship.
Simplifying the delivery of 5G infrastructure is one of the first emerging use cases for Airship. This can include the delivery of SDN, virtual network functions (VNFs), virtualized evolved packet core (vEPC), virtualized RAN (vRAN) backhaul, traffic shaping services, to name a few.
This isn’t the only use case. SUSE, another member of Airship, has used it for lifecycle management for releases of its OpenStack Cloud. And Ericsson, also a member, will be demoing a vRAN on an Airship-based, containerized OpenStack cloud.