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CableLabs Enlists Kubernetes in NFV Adoption Effort

With network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) maturing, evolving and branching out into new industries, a new open source offering has emerged targeting the cable operator space with the help of Kubernetes.

CableLabs added Kubernetes to its portfolio of open source projects designed to accelerate the adoption of NFV, a close cousin of the popular SDN movement.

CableLabs, a not-for-profit innovation and research and development lab with 60 cable system operator members, last week unveiled the open source SNAPS-Kubernetes project, providing easy-to-install infrastructure software for lab and development projects.

It's the latest in a series of SNAPS platform offerings, with SNAPS standing for SDN/NFV Application development Platform and Stack project. The organization previously shipped SNAPS-Boot (the fundamental building block of the SNAPS program) and SNAPS-OpenStack (for the free and open source cloud computing platform) installers.

The latest offering -- an installation tool to install Kubernetes on Linux machines that have been initialized with SNAPS-Boot -- targets Kubernetes 1.10, a hot open source project for production-grade container orchestration, allowing for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications.

"The use of cloud-native technologies, including Kubernetes, should provide for even lower overhead and an even better-performing network virtualization layer than existing virtual machine (VM)-based solutions," said Randy Levensalor lead architect, Wired Technologies, in last week's post. "It should also improve total cost of ownership (TCO) and quality of experience for end users. A few operators have started to evaluate Kubernetes, and we hope with SNAPS-Kubernetes that even more members will be able to begin this journey."

The initial release of SNAPS-Kubernetes supports Docker containers, the main player in the container space. Support for other container technologies may be added later if the organization finds other container technologies that are better suited to specific cable use cases.

SNAPS-Kubernetes was developed on conjunction with Aricent, which in its own post described the project's roadmap and key bootstrapping features in the base release:

  • Automated installation and configuration of the Kubernetes cluster
  • Support and choice of multiple cluster networking and CNI plugins, i.e., Weave, Flannel, Calico, MACvLAN and DHCP. Support for SR-IOV and multi-homed PODs
  • Support for CEPH based persistent storage boot volumes for PODs
  • Kubernetes dashboard POD. POD health notification and visualization of network topology
  • Resource management solutions like CPU Pinning, huge page support, POD/node affinity and anti-affinity and Availability zones
  • Authentication and role based access. Support for logging and diagnostics. Additional capabilities for CPU, memory and network usage monitoring

"In the future, we have plans to support serverless architectures to offload functions to the cloud native infrastructure," Aricent said. "This can help to implement event driven architectures. We also plan to add a complete reference micro-service architecture and service mesh architecture for developers to create rich, resilient and nimble applications."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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