Akraino Edge Stack

by | May 11, 2021 | Edge Computing

Akraino is a popular project hosted by the LF Edge Foundation, thanks to its potential to create new and improved ways for industrial and enterprise-level businesses to maximize operational efficiency and improve performance and safety. In February 2021, the Akraino Technical Steering Committee announced the launch of its release number 4 (R4). We’ll give an introduction to the LF Edge Foundation, some highlights of Akraino R4, and how Red Hat’s been involved with this project.

Red Hat’s Emerging Technologies blog includes posts that discuss technologies that are under active development in upstream open source communities and at Red Hat. We believe in sharing early and often the things we’re working on, but we want to note that unless otherwise stated the technologies and how-tos shared here aren’t part of supported products, nor promised to be in the future.

What is Akraino?

The LF Edge Foundation is an umbrella organization whose primary purpose is to support open source projects, like Akraino, that are related to development of an edge computing software stack—including infrastructure. Red Hat has been a key contributor since the inception of Akraino.

Since building out an edge infrastructure is new territory for many organizations, the Akraino Edge Stack project seeks to provide configurations that will help teams get started or expand at the edge. 

Akraino provides blueprint families, which are a set of open infrastructure configurations that cover a broad variety of use cases including 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), Edge Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)/Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Internet of Things (IoT) for both provider and enterprise edge domains. The blueprint term references a declarative description of an edge computing stack.

These blueprints have been developed by the Akraino community and have passed a certain criteria in terms of testing, documentation, APIs and security. According to the requirements of this criteria, blueprints will get a different state of maturity.

Akraino R4 

R4 comes with brand new blueprints and some consolidated ones reaching good maturity levels.

Red Hat has been involved in the project since its foundation more than two years ago. The Red Hat team, part of the Office of the CTO, is driving a set of blueprints grouped in the Kubernetes-Native Infrastructure blueprint family with two major use cases in mind:

  • Provider Access Edge: this blueprint targets small footprint deployments able to host NFV (in particular vRAN) and Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) workloads.
  • Industrial Edge: this blueprint addresses predictive maintenance in manufacturing, which involves detecting anomalies in sensor data coming from production line servers and scheduling maintenance to avoid costly downtimes. Anomaly detection is based on machine learning inference on streaming sensor data.

Blueprints in the Kubernetes-Native Infrastructure Blueprint Family leverage the best practices and tools from the Kubernetes community to declaratively manage edge computing stacks at scale and with a consistent user experience from the infrastructure up to the services, and from developer environments to production environments on bare metal or on public cloud.

All blueprints in this family share some common characteristics like having the latest Red Hat OpenShift as an underlying platform, implementing Kubernetes Machine API to manage infrastructure, leveraging the community’s Operator framework and allowing VM-based workloads via KubeVirt.

Making an impact

The Provider Access Edge blueprint was the baseline to demonstrate a fully working open source 5G network on top of Red Hat OpenShift, shown during one of the KubeCon San Diego keynotes

Akraino R4 is the first release for the Industrial Edge blueprint, but it has already created a big expectation among manufacturers who expect it to accelerate and optimize production chains.

If you are interested in contributing to the Kubernetes-Native Infrastructure blueprint family, please reach out.