StarlingX, the cloud for edge computing, gets a major upgrade


When Gartner recently looked into its crystal ball, it found, “By 2025, more than 50% of enterprise-managed data will be created and processed outside of the data center or cloud.” Where will it be then? It’s going to be edge computing, and chances are you’ll be using the latest version of StarlingX there, StarlingX 7.0, the open-source edge computing and IoT cloud platform.

Likewise: Google is exiting the IoT business. Microsoft does the opposite

Why? Because instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, the OpenInfra Foundation’s StarlingX uses the best open source programs to provide a complete edge computing stack. That starts with Ceph. Sponsored by Red Hat, this open source, do-it-all, software-defined storage platform can work with object, block, and file-level storage. The proven OpenStack is used for cloud management. And of course, StarlingX uses Kubernetes for container orchestration.

Not surprisingly, StarlingX is used in industrial Internet of Things (IoT), telecom, video delivery, etc. In short, if you need ultra-low latency and all the resources that a full cloud stack can give you, StarlingX is probably for you. Telcos like Docomo, NTT, Verizon and Vodafone are already using it for their 5G deployments.

Ildikó Váncsa, Senior Manager for Community & Ecosystem at OpenInfra, added in a statement that more is to come. While what it brings to the table is great for the 5G Open Radio Access Network (RAN), its characteristics also make StarlingX the ideal platform for innovations such as autonomous vehicles, smart cities, augmented reality, manufacturing, drone delivery and remote healthcare a reality .”

The biggest single change is that StarlingX no longer uses CentOS as the base operating system. Instead, it now uses Debian. Specifically the latest stable Debian release, Bullseye. Developers switched to Debian because they didn’t want to rely on a commercial Linux distribution. They felt burned by Red Hat’s decision to move CentOS to upstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Debian, on the other hand, appeared more stable and had a robust community already supporting core StarlingX open source programs such as Kubernetes, Ceph and OpenStack.

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However, StarlingX 7.0 includes prebuilt CentOS, Debian, and Docker images. It also now defaults to Kubernetes 1.23, the December 2021 release.

To help StarlingX realize its potential, the key new features of StarlingX 7.0 include:

  • Improved scalability: The more sub-clouds StarlingX distributed cloud architecture can manage, the larger you can scale your edge infrastructure, StarlingX 7.0 can handle up to 1,000 sub-clouds.

  • Higher network speed: StarlingX 7.0 now uses Istio Service Mesh to accelerate Kubernetes observability, traffic management, security, and policy management capabilities.

  • Improved security: It now allows you to log commands to Kubernetes using the popular Application Programming Interface (API) Representational State Transfer (REST). This allows you to detect and block suspicious activity before it can cause problems.

  • Increased security II: It also replaced the Kubernetes Pod Security Policies (PSP) with the Pod Security Admission Controller. This is a more efficient and reliable way of enforcing pod security standards.

For more information on these and other features, see the StarlingX 7.0 Release Notes.

If you see edge computing in the future of your business, check out StarlingX. When Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking at the Linux Foundation, said in 2019 that edge computing would overtake cloud computing by 2025, it looks like he was right. And by using the best open source software to build a complete stack, your developers will have a much easier time building solid edge computing applications and services.

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