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By | November 4, 2021

Akraino R5: Spotlight on Integrated Edge Cloud, Type2 — LightWeight Multi-Access Edge Cloud (MEC) on AWS

By Vinothini Raju

Integrated Edge Cloud (IEC) is a family of blueprints within the  Akraino project, which is developing a fully integrated edge infrastructure solution. This open source software stack provides critical infrastructure to enable high performance, reduce latency, improve availability, lower operational overhead, provide scalability, address security needs, and improve fault management within edge computing. The IEC project addresses multiple edge use cases and industries, (not just Telco). The group is  developing solutions and support for carriers, providers, and the IoT networks. The IEC Type2 blueprint, specifically, focuses on medium deployment of edge clouds.

Meanwhile, Multiaccess Edge Cloud (MEC) offers cloud computing capabilities at the edge of the network. Collecting and processing data closer to subscribers reduces latency, data congestion and improves subscriber experience by providing real-time updates. A cloud native implementation at the edge realises the full potential of cloud that allows developers to focus on writing scalable and highly reliable applications, instead of worrying about the operational constraints. Developing applications at the edge goes beyond the scalability requirements, as these edge native applications need real time processing as they are latency-sensitive and are hungry for high bandwidth.

  • Modern Developer platforms should offer a unified experience for building both cloud and edge native applications seamlessly. Using these cloud and edge native sandbox environments, developers should be able to simulate a real-time environment to test applications on mobility, test caching, performance etc. Out-of-the-box integrations like AI/ML frameworks like Kubeflow, data processing frameworks like EdgeXFoundry to synthesize data at the edge, monitoring and logging frameworks like Prometheus, Grafana, EFK/ELK stacks– along with no code/low code experience– can accelerate time- to- delivery and promote developer innovation. 

Apart from providing a rich developer experience, these sandbox environments should be lightweight, which can be provisioned really quickly, and later, extended to a production- ready environment. 

Additionally, leveraging public cloud providers like AWS for a distributed cloud at the edge can greatly reduce the CAPEX/OPEX to set up a MEC Cloud.

Considering these requirements, gopaddle team has proposed and developed an Akraino blueprint that provisions a lightweight Multi-Access Edge Cloud on AWS leveraging microk8s. 

A word about microk8s

Microk8s is a lightweight Kubernetes distribution from Canonical. It uses  snap manager to spin up a Kubernetes cluster in less than a minute. Snap installer consumes as little as 192 MB RAM, and K8s distribution consumes as little as 540 MB. It is fairly simple to spin up a single node cluster, which later can be extended to a multi-node cluster. Once there are 3+ nodes, a High Availability mode can be enabled, making the cluster production-ready. Microk8s offers out-of-the-box tool chains like Kubeflow for Machine Learning workloads, Prometheus for monitoring, in-build image registry, etc. 

While there are other lightweight Kubernetes distributions, microk8s offers better CPU/Memory/Disk utilization. Thus ,microk8s stands out as a good candidate for a developer sandbox environment which can be scaled to a production environment.

Reference: Sebastian B¨ohm and Guido Wirtz 

Distributed Systems Group, University of Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany

AWS Wavelength – Bringing Cloud Experience to the Edge

AWS has partnered with a few telecom carrier providers like Verizon, Vodafone, etc. to offer edge environments called AWS Wavelength zones in a few selected regions/zones. AWS VPCs can be extended to AWS Wavelength zones, bringing the AWS experience to the edge environment. 

Using AWS carrier gateway, developers can connect to the carrier network and use their 5G network for developing AI/ML or embedded applications. This gives a real-time development experience to validate their application performance, latency, and caching in real time. This also gives a unified experience for enterprise cloud development and edge development as well.

gopaddle – No Code for Cloud & Edge Native Development

gopaddle is a no code platform to build, deploy and maintain Cloud and Edge native applications across hybrid environments across cloud and edge. The platform helps in easy onboarding of applications using intelligent scaffolding, provides out-of-the-box DevSecOps automation by integrating with 30+ third party tools, pre-built ready-to-use application templates like EdgeXFoundy and provides a centralized provisioning and governance of Multi Cloud and Hybrid Kubernetes environments.

LightWeight MEC Blueprint

The blueprint leverages the three main building blocks  – microk8s, AWS and gopaddle to provision a light weight MEC that acts as a developer sandbox which can be extended for production deployments. The provisioning of the microk8s- based MEC environment on AWS is automated using terraform templates. These templates can be uploaded and centrally managed through gopaddle. Using these templates, multiple environments can be provisioned and centrally managed. 

Fore more information on the IEC Type 2 Akraino blueprint available with the R5 release, visit this page: