OpenStack Foundation ecosystem technical lead Ildiko Vancsa offers a recap of discussions around edge computing at the recent Berlin Summit.


At the recent Berlin Summit, there was a dedicated track for edge computing with numerous presentations and panel discussions at the conference that were recorded. If you’d like to catch up or see some sessions again, check out visit the OpenStack website for videos.

In parallel to the conference,  the Forum took place with 40-minute-long working sessions for developers, operators and users to meet and discuss new requirements, challenges and pain points to address.

Let’s start with a recap of  the OSF Edge Computing Group and Edge Working Group sessions. (If you’re new to the activities of this group you may want to read my notes on the Denver PTG to catch up on the community’s and the group’s work on defining reference architectures for edge-use cases.)

During the Forum, we continued to discuss the minimum viable product (MVP) architecture that we started at the last PTG. Due to limited time available, we concluded on some basics and agreed on action items to follow up on. Session attendees agreed that the MVP architecture is an important first step and we will keep its scope limited to the current OpenStack services listed on the Wiki capturing the details. Although there’s interest in adding further services such as Ironic or Qinling, they were tabled for later.

The Edge WG is actively working on capturing edge computing use cases in order to understand  the requirements better and to work together with OpenStack and StarlingX projects on design and implementation work based the input the groups has been collecting. We had a session about use cases to identify which are the ones the group should focus on, the most interest was expressed for immediate action with vRAN and edge cloud, uCPE and industrial control.

The group is actively working on the map the MVP architecture options to the use cases identified by the group and to get more details on the ones we identified during the Forum session. If you are interested in participating in these activities please see the details of the group’s weekly meetings.

While the MVP architecture work is focusing on a minimalistic view to provide a reference architecture with the covered services prepared for edge use cases, there’s work ongoing in parallel in several OpenStack projects. (You can find notes on the Forum Etherpads on the progress of projects such as Cinder, Ironic, Kolla-Ansible and TripleO. The general consensus of the project discussions was that the services are in a good shape for edge requirements and there is a clear path forward, for example improving availability zone functionality or remote management of bare metal nodes.

With all the work ongoing in the projects as well as in the Edge WG, the expectation is that we’ll be able to easily move to the next phases with MVP architectures when the working group is ready. Both the group and the projects are looking for contributors for identifying further requirements, use cases or implementation and testing work.

Testing will be a crucial area for edge and we’re looking into both cross-project and cross-community collaborations for with projects such as OPNFV and Akraino.

While we didn’t have a Keystone-specific Forum session for edge this time, a small group came together to discuss next steps with federation. We’re converging towards some generic feature additions to Keystone based on the Athenz plugin from Oath.  (Here’s a Keystone summary from Lance Bragsad that includes plans related to edge.)

We had a couple of sessions at the Summit about StarlingX at the conference part and at the Forum. You can check out videos such as the project update and other relevant sessions of the Summit videos. Because the StarlingX community is working closely with the Edge WG as well as the relevant OpenStack project teams at the Forum, we organized sessions focusing on some specific items for planning future work and increasing understanding requirements for the project.

The team had a session on IoT to talk about the list of devices to consider and the requirements systems need to address in this space. The session also identified a collaboration option between StarlingX, IoTronic and Ironic when it comes to realizing and testing use cases.

With putting more emphasis on containers at the edge the team also had a session on containerized application requirements with a focus on Kubernetes clusters. During the session we talked about areas like container networking, multi-tenancy, persistent storage to see what options we have for them and what’s missing today cover that area. The StarlingX community will be focusing more on containerization for the upcoming releases, so feedback and ideas are important.

One more session to mention is the “Ask me anything about StarlingX” held at the Forum where experts from the community offered help to people who are new and or have questions about the project. The session was well attended and questions focused more on the practical angles like footprint or memory consumption.

Get involved

If you’d like to participate in these activities, you can dial-in to the Edge WG weekly calls or weekly Use cases calls or check the StarlingX sub-project team calls and find further material on the website about how to contribute or jump on IRC for OpenStack project team meetings in the area of your interest.



Cover photo // CC BY NC