At the online Open Networking & Edge Summit + Kubernetes on Edge Day event LF Networking (LFN), an arm of the Linux Foundation focused on networking, today added several projects that promise to make it simpler to programmatically manage networking services based on open source software.
Walmart is contributing a L3AF project for managing network applications that make use of an extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF) capability that allows applications to run in a sandbox at the microkernel level of an operating system. Intel and Aarna Networks, meanwhile, are donating the seed code from an EMCO project that provides a universal control plane to securely connect and deploy workloads across distributed computing environments that span everything from the edge to the cloud.
Arpit Joshipura, general manager for networking, edge and internet of things (IoT) for the Linux Foundation, said the L3AF project adds a control plane for managing those applications to the LFN portfolio that addresses load balancing, rate limiting, traffic mirroring, flow exporter, packet manipulation, performance tuning and other management tasks. Earlier this year, the Linux Foundation set up a separate eBPF Foundation to further advance development and adoption of eBPF across multiple operating systems.
At the same time, LFN also revealed today that Project Alvarium, a tool for measuring how well data is being delivered to devices that was originally created by Dell, and eKuiper, an existing open source lightweight IoT data analytics and streaming platform, are now part of the LF EDGE portfolio of projects.
Finally, an open source mobile edge computing project, dubbed Edge Gallery, that was originally created by Huawei has been contributed to the Linux Foundation.
Joshipura said the LFN continues to gain momentum as more vendors contribute core technologies that, ultimately, don’t provide them with enough differentiated value to continue to develop on their own. The LFN today also revealed that VMware and F5 Networks have joined the LF EDGE consortium as premier members, while mimik and Veena, Inc. have become general members of LFN and the Eclipse Foundation has become an associate member.
The LFN also provides a mechanism that promotes adoption of those technologies more widely than any one vendor can achieve on its own. The total cost of delivering next-generation edge computing platforms based on wireless 5G networks will also be sharply reduced as LFN projects continue to mature, said Joshipura.
In general, the rate at which various LFN projects are updated continues to accelerate, said Joshipura. The Akraino project for creating blueprints for edge computing platforms recently delivered its fifth update to address use cases involving smart cities, cloud-native multi-tenant environments and vehicular networks. An EdgeX Foundry project for IoT platforms, meanwhile, recently revamped its application programming interfaces (APIs) to make them more secure and enable more message-based communications. The Home Edge project will also soon issue a Drewberries update that will address code stabilization, scripting, APIs, data synchronization and security.
It’s now only a matter of time before these LFN projects become more integrated with DevOps workflows as IT teams seek to give developers more programmatic control over network services. The issue now is deciding not so much whether to integrate network operations and DevOps teams but rather determining to what degree those teams will need to fold into each other.