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Open Source Infrastructure Software for vRAN Deployment and Operation

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© HEAVY READING | WIND RIVER | OPEN SOURCE INFRASTRUCTURE SOFTWARE | AUGUST 2019 8 To the left is a small footprint single server, such as might be deployed at a cell site, in a roadside unit for cellular vehicle-to-X, or at a branch office. A larger two-server hardware configuration might be needed where high availability is critical. An example of this might be an industrial site running vRAN and local industrial IoT applications within a private mobile network. In both these cases, hyperconverged hardware that integrates control/ storage/compute to a single node is likely to be used. In some cases, the hardware will be in ruggedized form factors suitable for harsh operating conditions. Racked hardware is more likely to be deployed at larger edge sites such as central offices or repurposed facilities in basements and offices. In a vRAN context, this could mean at hub sites such as used for cloud RAN baseband pools. These locations are closer to standard data centers, but nevertheless are often brownfield sites that are more likely to have environmental restrictions (power, access, fire, space weight, etc.) and may require hardened equipment. The requirement on StarlingX is to manage distributed multi-node clusters regardless of these factors. SUMMARY: STARLINGX FOR VRAN StarlingX is an open source infrastructure software stack used to manage geographically dispersed far edge cloud locations. It is especially suitable for applications with low latency and high reliability requirements, such as vRAN and the URLLC services emerging in 5G. The RAN market itself is at a transition point, with 5G deployment underway and open, virtualized systems now coming to market. To maximize the benefits of vRAN, operators need an underlying cloud platform designed to support network-wide configuration and management of far edge applications and infrastructure. StarlingX promises to bring cloud- centric operating models and efficiencies to the RAN. There are several reasons why StarlingX is emerging as an appropriate platform for vRAN deployment and operation: • StarlingX builds on well-established open source cloud management tools such as Kubernetes and OpenStack. It also leverages many other open source projects, with active communities, such as CentOS, Ceph, Helm, Calico, and more. • A vRAN comprises a set of performance-intensive applications and is often deployed alongside other demanding mobile network functions. Containerization, support for multiple network interfaces, enhanced platform awareness (for VM placement and CPU pinning), time synchronization, and Layer 3 mesh networking have been adopted by the StarlingX project team to address these requirements. • Integration between StarlingX and other edge initiatives, such as the open source Akraino, or with standards initiatives such as MEC is important to creating the overall edge cloud platform operators will need to run, not only vRAN, but also other network functions and end-user services at the edge. In many cases, vRAN will be part of a larger multipurpose, multi-access edge. To learn more about StarlingX, visit www.StarlingX.io .

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