New Features for Edge Innovation with OpenNESS 20.06

New Features for Edge Innovation with OpenNESS 20.06

Last Updated: July 24, 2020
By Renu Navale, Vice President, Data Platforms Group, and General Manager, Edge Computing and Ecosystem Enabling, at Intel

Enterprises across various industries are shifting more compute to the edge to gain enhanced insights for their businesses. As this happens, edge software and tools play an important role to help developers streamline workflows, meet edge KPIs (e.g., latency, bandwidth, data locality/privacy) and speed deployment of edge platforms and services.

The Open Network Edge Services Software (OpenNESS) – a multi-access edge computing (MEC) software toolkit – is one of those tools that helps developers by enabling highly optimized and performant edge platforms to on-board and manage applications and network functions with cloud-like agility across any type of network. The fully cloud native and modular architecture of OpenNESS abstracts network complexity across edge deployments and provides flexibility to selectively adopt its functional building blocks for specific capabilities desired for service innovation in their edge platforms.

I am excited to share two recent updates to OpenNESS. The fifth release of the toolkit, version 20.06, is now available and includes significant enhancements focused on expanded feature capabilities of the MEC module, inferencing at the network edge, new telemetry services, Helm Charts, support for extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF) and many more. Further, Intel is introducing the Intel® Distribution of Open Network Edge Services Software (Intel Distribution of OpenNESS), a free, proprietary distribution of the OpenNESS toolkit.

OpenNESS 20.06

Since launching in February 2019, Intel has introduced five releases of OpenNESS, each focused on core MEC and network elements (such as 4G Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS), 5G Edge Cloud, and Radio Access Network (RAN)), platform optimizations (such as Enhanced Platform Awareness (EPA) and hardware accelerators), and support for applications (such as OpenVINO™ toolkit, Open Visual Cloud, and Smart City).

OpenNESS 20.06 enables new capabilities including:

  • inferencing at the network edge with the Visual Cloud Accelerator Card – Analytics (VCAC-A) to support end-to-end video decode and inference pipelines;
  • support for extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF) for optimal CPU utilization and higher packet throughput rate through reduction in kernel overhead;
  • a new telemetry service to monitor resource utilization and platform state as well as features to expose EPA (Enhanced Platform Awareness) telemetry data to Kubernetes; and
  • Helm Charts to package and deploy applications faster, simplify upgrades and make the modular adoption of functional blocks more seamless.

The latest OpenNESS release also provides several sample applications and network functions to simplify creating customized edge deployments. Examples of these include CDN caching and transcoding, a smart city inferencing application, and network specific functions like virtualized RAN and User Plane Forwarding. I encourage you to explore the full list of new features at https://github.com/open-ness/specs.

The Intel Distribution of OpenNESS

The Intel Distribution of OpenNESS is a new proprietary distribution available at no cost under a license. It encompasses all the features of the open source distribution as well as additional feature optimizations and capabilities that support state-of-the-art commercial deployments. This premium distribution allows us to rapidly innovate for customer needs and provides advanced capabilities and expanded support that is desired by commercial partners and customers. We hope to introduce several exciting new features to this distribution throughout this year and beyond. Source code for the Intel Distribution of OpenNESS is available through a license that can be requested on the OpenNESS.org website.

Advancing Support for Edge Applications and Services

Our vision with regards to OpenNESS remains unchanged since the first launch in February 2019. The quarterly releases address the needs of developers upfront as well as the pain points that our partners and customers face for edge deployments. The expanded distribution options mark a significant milestone in the evolution of OpenNESS, and we are excited about what the options and capabilities mean for our partners and developers as they design and implement advanced edge services across network, cloud and on-premise deployments. We look forward to working with our partners and the open source community to rapidly develop and release new features in 2020 and beyond.

Follow me on Twitter and visit Intel Network Builders for more in-depth information about our work with partners on OpenNESS and other initiatives.

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