Cutting edge open source projects are driving this architectural shift even further, says AT&T’s Gnanavelkandan Kathirvel.


Gnanavelkandan Kathirvel of AT&T is sure of one thing: it will take a large group of open-source projects working together to push computing closer to the edge.

He’s behind the telecom’s efforts at Akraino Edge Stack, a Linux Foundation project that aims to create an open-source software for edge.  The AT&T contribution is designed for carrier-scale edge computing applications running in virtual machines and containers to support reliability and performance requirements.

To accomplish this, Arkraino will count on collaboration from other open source projects including ONAP, OpenStack, Airship, Kubernetes, Docker, Ceph, ONF, EdgeXFoundry and more. To ensure that there are no holes in the functionalities will require strong collaboration between Arkraino and upstream open-source communities. “Besides the upstream work, the community will innovate and develop solutions that don’t belong in the upstream communities to support a broad spectrum of edge use cases,” he adds.

The push for edge is driven by “clear business value:”  by combining edge cloud services with 5G networks, next-generation applications will have access to near-real-time processing, leading to new opportunities. Telecom providers also have brick-and-mortar assets like central offices that could provide prime locations to allow third-party cloud providers to host their edge clouds, he notes.

As for the eternal question of edge pushing out the cloud, Kathirvel says there’s room for everyone.

“You could contrast edge computing with the highly-centralized computing resources of cloud computing supported by service providers and web companies,” Kathirvel says. “There will still be a need for centralized cloud computing, but we will need complementary edge computing to help enable next-generation edge technologies.”

Get involved


OpenStack Edge Working group offers a number of resources and points of contact:

EdgeX Foundry

Here’s a guide on how to get started, plus a calendar packed with community meetings (from devices to dev-ops) – here’s the full monthly schedule.

Airship Project
Airship in a Bottle lets you try all of the services in a single environment appropriate for testing.

Mailing lists:

Freenode IRC: #airshipit

Akraino Edge Stack

Mailing lists


At the upcoming Berlin Summit, there’s an entire track dedicated to edge, plus a pre-Summit hackathon.

Of particular interest, a session titled “Comparing Open Edge Projects” offers  a detailed look into the architecture of Akraino, StarlingX and OpenCord and compares them with ETSI MEC RA. Speakers include 99cloud’s Li Kai, Shuquan Huang and Intel’s Jianfeng JF Ding.