Tag Archives: Standardization

OpenStack Targets Edge Computing, Launches OpenDev Event

OpenStack has become the clear open source choice for turning organizations’ data centers into private clouds. But now OpenStack is looking beyond the data center and out towards Edge Computing.

OpenStack’ 16th (and latest) release, codenamed Pike, puts emphasis on composable infrastructure which is stated to “make possible use cases like edge computing and NFV“. While Network Function Virtualization (NFV) has been picking up at OpenStack over the last years with good traction in the Telecommunications industry, edge computing hasn’t been properly addressed so far. Now OpenStack is set to change that.

OpenStack organized OpenDev 2017 conference last month in San Francisco to “advance the future of EDGE computing“. The event drew much attention with participants from over 30 organizations. Seeing the great interest in Edge Computing in the Telecoms industry it wasn’t surprising to see at OpenDev major Telecoms carriers such as Verizon, AT&T and NTT (which last month founded with Toyota and others an Automotive Edge Computing Consortium), as well as vendors such as Intel, VMware, Ericsson, Red Hat and Huawei. Besides the Telecom industry you could see at OpenDev retail giants such as eBay and Wallmart and others.

OpenDev-2017-edgecomputing

OpenStack also collaborates with other edge computing groups such as Open Edge Computing and The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

While OpenStack promotes a private cloud approach to edge computing, the public cloud vendors are also targeting edge computing. The battle between private and public cloud options which began at the centralized cloud will surely continue on to the edge as well.

Here are a few of the interesting bits from OpenDev 2017:

Verizon‘s Beth Cohen presented Verizon’s Virtual Network Services offering cloud-based services such as Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN), security, and routing at a uCPE “OpenStack in a Box” at customer premises:

AT&T‘s Kandan Kathirvel and Rodolfo Pacheco talked about telco challenges such as supporting massive scale of millions of edge nodes, and presented AT&T’s prototyped solution, based entirely on open source such as Google’s Kubernetes and ONAP orchestration (based on AT&T’s ECOMP merged with OPEN-O under Linux Foundation):

Jonathan Bryce from OpenStack Foundation shared on his keynote more on OpenStack’s view and plans for edge computing:

For more information on OpenStack’s Edge Computing click here.

For more information on OpenDev 2017 click here.

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One Open Source To Orchestrate Them All

First the change happened in Information Technology (IT): moving from hardware to software; virtualization inspired by cloud computing; data centers becoming configurable and programmable as software using DevOps approach; traditional vendor-locked solutions superseded by new world open source initiatives such as OpenStack, Open Compute Project and Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

Then Communications Technology (CT) followed the lead, making its move into the new world with notions such as software defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV) and central office re-architected as a data center (CORD). Inevitably open source took a lead role here as well, with a multitude of projects popping up, led by different industry forces.

LinuxFoundationNetworkingAndOrchestrationIn fact, too many project, which left the Telecom industry perplexed and unable to converge under one de-facto standard. Have you tried to orchestrate with each player requiring a different sign language from the maestro?

But then came the twist in the plot when the Chinese and Americans decided to join forces: ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) that was open sourced by AT&T, and Open-O (Open Orchestrator) project led primarily by China Mobile, China Telecom and Huawei, have decided to join forces under the Linux Foundation’s umbrella, to create Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP).

What shape will the merged project take? That is yet to be decided by the community. This topic was much discussed February at the announcement on Mobile World Congress and even more so during Open Networking Summit this month, but still more questions than answers for ONAP, around modeling, protocols, descriptors, architecture…

The most important question, however, is whether the new merged mega-project will bear the critical mass required to gravitate the industry towards it, to become the converging force, the de-facto standard. Seeing the forces behind ECOMP, OPEN-O and now ONAP, including Intel, IBM, Cisco, Nokia and others, it looks promising. And the Linux Foundation is a proven vehicle for widely adopted open source projects. If succeed, this may very well be the turning point, taking the NFV & SDN wagon out of the mud and unto the fast track to production.

*Disclaimer: The writer has been working on the orchestration initiatives of ONAP members Amdocs and GigaSpaces.

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Filed under Cloud, DevOps, NFV, SDN, Telecommunications

The common language of the Internet of Things

On my last post I described the chronology of the Internet Of Things (IoT) since the early 1990s and until these days, and the drive for its evolution. On that post we’ve established the motivation and the $$ to invest in the IoT. So what is the next step?

Since the Internet of Things is all about enabling devices of various kinds to talk to each other, we need to have a common language for these devices to talk. This becomes more acute when when involving devices of different vendors and providers.

Do you remember the Internet in its early days? back then there were islands of isolated networks and we were missing a common language to enable them to talk between them. In the internet case the solution was the invent of Internet Protocol (IP), which standardized the communication “language” and addressing system (together with higher-level standards which followed such as TCP, UDP and HTTP). These open standards paved the way for the mass adoption of the internet and its worldwide spread. In fact, IP got caught up with its own success, with IPv4 (4th version of the protocol) nearing exhaustion of its address space, and mandating the inevitable switch to IPv6, through a sometimes-painful migration process (as many old systems were hard-wired to the IPv4 format).

ascore-2014-jan-ipv4v6-standalone-1200x710

What is the “Internet Protocol” of the Internet Of Things?
This question drove the formation of a new standardization body which was announced yesterday and which is backed by a consortium of industry leaders such as Samsung, Intel and Dell. The new consortium, called Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), is said to focus on :

… delivering a specification, an open source implementation, and a certification program for wirelessly connecting devices.

oic-diagram

This initiative joins other initiatives in the area, most notably AllSeen Alliance which was founded in December and already has 51 members including LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Cisco another and others, and the newest member – Microsoft – which joined just earlier this month. During its Worldwide Developers Conference last month Apple also announced a similar initiative called HomeKit based on iOS devices. These initiatives are all aimed at standardizing the language in which devices will talk in the Internet of Things.

Standardization is an important step in maturing of any technology. Furthermore, open source standards, APIs, and reference implementations, have become a predominant part of the IT industry, and emerging technologies are now expected to provide them. An excellent example of that is Cloud Computing, which grew the open standards of OpenStack and CloudStack that are backed by impressive communities incorporating industry leader corporation, service integrators and individual contributors worldwide alike. Reviewing the recently-released statement of work by the OIC shows it is well aware of this expectation and is set to provide that.

Open standards and open source implementation is the right step for IoT. We should only hope that the communities grow and establish good collaboration between the members and between the different alliances (and avoid needless politics) so that they could put forth the right standard to meet the needs, and more importantly – adapt them to the changing needs in an agile manner for the benefit of all.

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* Update: in a subsequent post I cover a new IoT standardization initiative by Google. read more here.

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Filed under Internet of Things, IoT, Smart Home