Intel OpenNESS

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Intel Open Network Edge Services Software (OpenNESS) is an open-source software solution for Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) to support Cloud-Native Functions and Virtual Machines. This is a great initiative from Intel that emerged with a perspective of making edge platform architecture open and community-driven.
ATSgen, a strong proponent of open-source software believes that such platforms will truly democratize the edge computing ecosystem and align the industry towards an open architecture. ATSgen has tried out the OpenNESS platform in a lab setup simply by using virtual machines and would like to share our experiences in this article.

Intel OpenNESS Set Up

The setup has been tried with Oracle VirtualBox and KVM based virtualization system. You can choose any environment of your choice. The setup has been created using 3 virtual machines (it can also be done with 2 VMs as explained below):

Virtual Machine 1

This is the deployment VM which will trigger Ansible scripts to deploy the Edge Controller and Network Edge or On-Premise Edge. OpenNESS supports on-prem and network edge platforms. You can also do this step on the host machine itself. We have tried this step on a CentOS Linux VM and a physical machine. For a VM, 4 vCPUs and 4GB RAM is sufficient with about 10 GB of disk space.

Then clone from Github using the following command:

git clone https://github.com/open-ness/OpenNESS-experience-kits.git

The above command will pull the necessary files to create the required Edge Controller and Network edge nodes.

Virtual Machine 2

This VM will serve as an edge controller. Intel OpenNESS presently works only with a specific version of CentOS and Kernel version. We have used the following ISO file: CentOS-7-x86_64-DVD-1810. You can get this image from http://repos-va.psychz.net/centos/7.6.1810/isos/x86_64/ . Please note that the edge controller VM and the network edge/on-prem VM work with a specific kernel version 3.10.0-957.el7.x86_64. This kernel version is provided in the above ISO image.

Virtual Machine 3

This is the network edge/on-prem VM. It also needs the specific CentOS kernel version. Do bring up this VM using the ISO file mentioned above.

Figure 1: Creating Intel OpenNESS Setup with Virtual Machines

OpenNESS Online Documentation

OpenNESS online documentation has gone through changes in recent times. The latest structured documentation can be found at https://www.OpenNESS.org/docs/doc/architecture/. In our lab, we have created a network edge setup and this link has useful information: https://www.OpenNESS.org/docs/doc/getting-started/network-edge/controller-edge-node-setup/. In general, Intel’s latest documentation looks very structured and easy to follow.

Troubleshooting

Once you have got the edge controller and network /on-prem edge node up running, you may face issues with some pods crashing in a loop. Try restarting the VM to resolve this issue.

Use Cases

OpenNESS supports a few edge services such as RAN, 4G & 5G core. You can try out these services. Details are available at https://www.OpenNESS.org/docs/doc/architecture/.
OpenNESS also showcases applications that it can run on the edge such as Smart City, Video Analytics, and Computer Vision.

For any help or support, please feel free to reach out to ATSgen at info@atsgen.com. This is an exploration and an exciting time for the Edge Computing revolution. Intel OpenNESS could make an immense impact on it. Good luck!

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