Mirantis says telco network virtualization is bogged down in standards-setting and reference architectures. Telcos need downloadable code they can install at the edge -- where new revenue-generating services live. And Mirantis says it's got the answer.
Mirantis Inc. on Thursday introduced MCP Edge, a Kubernetes distribution designed to run at the service provider edge, specifically the regional POP or network aggregation point. MCP Edge provides high-availability services running in a small footprint, Boris Renski, Mirantis co-founder and CMO, tells Light Reading.
In addition to Kubernetes, the platform runs virtlet, a Kubernetes project that allows operators to use Kubernetes as a scheduler for virtual machines. Operators can run virtual network functions (VNFs) on virtual machines or containers, and use OpenContrail to network between them.
Instead of "seizing the edge opportunity," many service providers are focused on virtualizing the network core, and buying prepackaged edge solutions from incumbent vendors. Meanwhile, standards bodies such as OPNFV and ETSI are arguing about standards and reference architectures "and have yet to produce some real, downloadable artifact that people who are building applications with VNFs can take advantage of," Renski says.
He adds, "We're making this available as a tangible, downloadable piece of software that people can experiment with."
Virtualizing the network edge will be important as service providers deploy 5G; operators will need to locate network functions such as routing and video processing at the edge to get the full benefit of 5G's fast performance and flexibility, Renski says.
MCP Edge is available immediately, priced starting at $500 per node. "MCP" stands for Mirantis Cloud Platform, the company's flagship software. (See Mirantis: Your Tailor for Bespoke Private Cloud.)
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— Mitch Wagner Executive Editor, Light Reading