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Airship 1.0 marries Kubernetes and OpenStack for 5G’s good

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Your business must develop 5G use cases now
MWC2019: More bandwidth, less latency and data processing at the edge will help 5G boost mobile workers.

In Denver, Colo., at Open Infrastructure Summit, formerly the OpenStack Summit, the OpenStack Foundation announced that Airship 1.0, a set of open-source tools for automating cloud provisioning and management, has been released. Airship provides a declarative framework for defining and managing open infrastructure tools and their underlying hardware. These tools include OpenStack for virtual machines, Kubernetes for container orchestration, and Metal-as-a-Service (MaaS) for bare metal, with planned support for OpenStack Ironic.

By design, Airship has four goals:

  • Use a declarative architecture: Sites are declared using YAML. This includes both hard assets such as network configuration and bare-metal hosts as well as soft assets like Helm charts, their overrides, and container images. You manage the document and Airship implements it.
  • A single workflow for life-cycle management: We needed a system with predictable life-cycle management at its core. This meant ensuring we had one workflow that handled both initial deployments and future site updates. In other words, there should be virtually nothing different when interacting with a new deployment or providing an update to an existing site.
  • Containers are the only unit of software delivery: Containers are the unit of software delivery for Airship. Everything is a container. This allows us to progress environments from development, to testing, and finally to production with confidence.
  • Flexible for different architectures and software: Airship is delivering environments both very small and large with a wide range of configurations. We use Airship to manage our entire cloud platform, not just OpenStack.

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While Airshop will make complex infrastructure cloud building easier for everyone, job one is to build a robust delivery mechanism for organizations that need to embrace containers as the new unit of infrastructure delivery at scale. Specifically, that means telecoms, such as one of Airship’s primary builder: AT&T.

Airship will make it easier to deliver 5G infrastructure programs, such as: Software Defined Networks (SDN), Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), Virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC), Virtualized Radio Access Network (VRAN) backhaul, traffic shaping services, customer usage tracking, smart voicemail, video streaming, and consumer-facing services.

Starting from bare metal, Airship will let companies manage your software-defined infrastructure life-cycle with a production-grade Kubernetes cluster working in concert with OpenStack Helm-deployed artifacts. It does this by enabling sysadmins to manage their infrastructure deployments and life-cycle through declarative YAML documents. Thus, Airship can handle both your initial deployments and their updates.

This isn’t just a batch of half-baked code. Ryan van Wyk, AT&T’s assistant vice president of Network Cloud Software Engineering, said: “AT&T has been using Airship in our production network since last December.” AT&T is powering its 5G rollouts on an Airship-based, containerized OpenStack cloud.

AT&T isn’t the only one deploying Airship. Matthew Johns, SUSE‘s product and solutions marketing manager, said: “We are already using Airship for life cycle management as a key part of our plans for future releases of SUSE OpenStack Cloud. As active contributors to OpenStack, we are also active in the Airship community and part of that means making open source easier. Airship helps us do that.” 

Finally, Ericsson is demoing a virtualized Radio Access Network (VRAN) on an Airship-based containerized OpenStack cloud

Want to see it for yourself? You can download Airship 1.0 or run a trial version of Airship for a single node on Ubuntu Linux.

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Incredible and iconic 1970 Porsche 917 K race car heads to auction

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RM Sotheby’s is auctioning some incredibly expensive, rare, and iconic vehicles in Monterey, California, starting on August 14. One of the highlights of the show is an extremely rare and perfect 1970 Porsche 917 K racer. The car was delivered new in 1970 to Porsche Works team JW Automotive Engineering.

The car was driven by David Hobbs and Mike Hailwood in the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours. This car is also the same vehicle used as the winning car in the Steve McQueen classic Le Mans. The vehicle was rebuilt to 917 Spyder specification at the Porsche factory in 1971. It currently wears one of the most iconic racing liveries in history with the blue and orange of Gulf.

The car was raced in Interserie in 1971 through 1973 by Jürgen Neuhaus, Team Shell Heckersbruch, and Gelo Racing. Subsequently, it was owned and raced in historic events by the late Michael Amalfitano for over 20 years. The vehicle was restored to its original 917 K specification but is accompanied by the original Spyder body.

This racing car may be decades old, but it’s incredibly fast, reaching 220 mph. The vehicle is chassis number 917-031/026 with engine number 917-031. The sale comes with numerous spare parts, additional hardware, tools, and ancillary components. The vehicle has an extensive racing pedigree with multiple drivers and multiple racing series.

It also finished in first place in many of the events it entered. The car is rare enough, and with such an extensive racing pedigree coupled with the fact that it was used in the iconic Steve McQueen film, it’s expected to bring a huge amount of money. The action estimates the vehicle will sell for between $16 million and $18.5 million when the gavel drops.

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Mercedes S 680 Guard 4matic is a rolling safe room

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For some people in some locations, personal safety is a significant issue. Mercedes has been producing armored vehicles for celebrities and heads of state who might be the target of kidnappers or others that wish them harm. The automaker announced previously that it would rely solely on its S-Class for its factory armored vehicles.

The latest model is available only with a long wheelbase and the Maybach 612 PS V12 turbocharged engine. The new armored model also gets all-wheel drive. Mercedes says the S 680 Guard 4matic is a model focused on people and their safety. It also says no other series sedan fully meets the highest protection class for civil vehicles.

The car is available as a four or five-seater and has a maximum payload of 660 kilograms. The vehicle weighs in at 4.2-tonne making it very heavy. Occupants ride in a protected cell that is unnoticeable from the outside. One of the only clues that this vehicle is fully armored is the centimeter-thick windows and special tires from Michelin featuring Pax emergency running system. The windows are fitted with a polycarbonate splinter protection system on the inside

The material and thickness of the side panels meet VR10 classification. The window regulators have a hydraulic emergency function, and their optional equipment including a fire extinguisher system and emergency fresh air system to protect occupants from smoke or irritant gases. Vehicles can also be fitted with flashers, signal systems, or radio.

These vehicles are built on order and take 51 days to complete. Exactly how much the vehicles will cost remains to be seen, but it’s expected to be around €500,000. Typically, royalty or government officials use vehicles of this type, but it seems anyone can purchase the vehicle if they desire.

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Rivian is in talks for a UK factory

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Of all the start-up electric vehicle manufacturers, one of the most anticipated is Rivian. The company has shown off very interesting and appealing SUV and truck models so far that are completely electric. Rivian is backed by Amazon and Ford, among others. A new report is circulating claiming that the electric vehicle maker is in talks with ministers in the UK to build a factory there.

If the talks work out, it would be the first Rivian factory outside of the US. The report also indicates that the site of the factory in the UK would be near Bristol. According to the report, Rivian and ministers in the UK government have been in secret negotiations for weeks for the construction of the new plant.

Reports indicate that the talks aren’t in an advanced state at this time. Building the factory in the UK isn’t guaranteed at this time. Other European nations are also in consideration, including Germany and the Netherlands. Whichever country is ultimately chosen, likely depending on tax breaks, among other items. The investment in the new plant would be worth more than £1 billion.

Rivian has been busy raising money, recently raising another $2.5 billion from investors earlier in the month. The total the company has raised since 2019 is $10.5 billion. Rivian currently plans to begin deliveries of its R1T electric truck this fall. The electric truck is expected to begin selling for $67,500.

It’s worth noting that Rivian has experienced unexpected delays in the past, and it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for the vehicles to be delayed again. The current talks with ministers in the UK are focused on a manufacturing facility for the vehicles themselves rather than batteries. However, sources claiming to be familiar with negotiations have said they are fluid and could shift towards a battery manufacturing facility.

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