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Virtualization

CableLabs Announces SNAPS-Boot and SNAPS-OpenStack Installers

Randy Levensalor
Lead Architect, Wired Technologies

Dec 14, 2017

After living and breathing open source since experimenting in high school, there is nothing as sweet as sharing your latest project with the world! Today, CableLabs is thrilled to announce the extension of our SNAPS-OO initiative with two new projects: SNAPS-Boot and SNAPS-OpenStack installers. SNAPS-Boot and SNAPS-OpenStack are based on requirements generated by CableLabs to meet our member needs and drive interoperability. The software was developed by CableLabs and Aricent.

SNAPS-Boot

SNAPS-Boot will prepare your servers for OpenStack. With a single command, you can install Linux on your servers and prepare them for your OpenStack installation using IPMI, PXE and other standard technologies to automate the installation.

SNAPS-OpenStack

The SNAPS-OpenStack installer will bring up OpenStack on your running servers. We are using a containerized version of the OpenStack software. SNAPS-OpenStack is based on the OpenStack Pike release, as this is the most recent stable release of OpenStack. You can find an updated version of the platform that we used for the virtual CCAP core and mobile convergence demo here.

How you can participate:

We encourage you to go to GitHub and try for yourself: 

Why SNAPS?

SNAPS (SDN & NFV Application Platform and Stack) is the overarching program to provide the foundation for virtualization projects and deployment leveraging SDN and NFV. CableLabs spearheaded the SNAPS project to fill in gaps in the open source community to ease the adoption of SDN/NFV with our cable members by:

Encouraging interoperability for both traditional and prevailing software-based network services: As cable networks evolve and add more capabilities, SNAPS seeks to organize and unify the industry around distributed architectures and virtualization on a stable open source platform to develop baseline OpenStack and NFV installations and configurations.

Network virtualization requires an open platform. Rather than basing our platform on a vendor-specific version, or being over 6 months behind the latest OpenStack release, we added a lightweight wrapper on top of upstream OpenStack to instantiate virtual network functions (VNFs) in a real-time dynamic way.

Seeding a group of knowledgeable developers that will help build a rich and strong open source community, driving developers to cable: SNAPS is aimed at developers who want to experiment with building apps that require low latency (gaming, virtual reality and augmented reality) at the edge. Developers are able to share information in the open source community on how they optimize their application. This not only helps other app developers, but helps the cable industry understand how to implement SDN/NFV in their networks and gain easy access to these new apps.

At CableLabs, we pursue a “release early” principle to enable contributions to improve and guide the development of new features and encourage others to participate in our projects. This enables us to continuously optimize the software, extend features and improve the ease of use. Our subsidiary, Kyrio, is also handling the integration and testing on the platform at their NFV Interoperability lab.

You can find more information about SNAPS in my previous blog posts “SNAPS-OO is an Open Sourced Collaborative Development” and “NFV for Cable Matures with SNAPS

Who benefits from SNAPS?

  • App Developers will have access to a virtual sandbox that allows them to test how their app will run in a cable scenario, saving them time and money.
  • Service providers, vendors and enterprises will be able to build more exciting applications, on a pure open source NFV platform focused on stability and performance, on top of the cable architecture.

How we developed SNAPS:

We leverage containers which have been built and tested by the OpenStack Kolla project. If you are not familiar with Kolla, it is an OpenStack project that maintains a set of Docker containers for many of the OpenStack components. We use these scripts to deploy the containers because the Kolla-Ansible scripts are the most mature and include a broad set of features which can be used in a low latency edge data center. By using containers, we are improving the installation process and updating.

To maximize the usefulness of the SNAPS platform, we included many of the most popular OpenStack projects:

Additional services we included:

Where the future of SNAPS is headed:

  • We plan to continue to make the platform more robust and stable. 
  • Because of the capabilities we have developed in SNAPS, we have started discussions with the OPNFV Cross Community Continuous Integration (XCI) project to use SNAPS OpenStack as a stable platform for testing test tools and VNFs with a goal to pilot the project in early 2018.
  • Aricent is a strong participant in the open source community and has co-created the SNAPS-Boot and SNAPS-OpenStack installer project. Aricent will be one of the first companies to join our open source community contributing code and thought leadership, as well as helping others to create powerful applications that will be valuable to cable.
  • As an open source project, we encourage other cable vendors and our members to join the project, contribute code and utilize the open source work products.

There are three general areas where we want to enhance the SNAPS project:

  • Integration with NFV orchestrators: We are including the OpenStack NFV orchestrator (Tacker) with this release and we want to extend this to work with other orchestrators in the future.
  • Containers and Kubernetes support: We already have some support for Kubernetes running in VMs.  We would like to evaluate the benefit of running Kubernetes with or without the benefit/overhead of VMs.
  • Serverless computing: We believe that Serverless computing will be a powerful new paradigm that will be important to the cable industry and will be exploring how best to use SNAPS as a Serverless computing platform.

Interactive SNAPS portfolio overview:

CableLabs Announces SNAPS-Boot and SNAPS-OpenStack Installer

Click image for an interactive experience

Have Questions? We’d love to hear from you

Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to read more about NFV and SNAPS in our upcoming in-depth SNAPS series. Members can join our NFV Workshop February 13-15, 2018. You can find more information about the workshop and the schedule here.

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