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Open-source communities fight over telco market – TechCrunch

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When you think of MWC Barcelona, chances are you’re thinking about the newest smartphones and other mobile gadgets, but that’s only half the story. Actually, it’s probably far less than half the story because the majority of the business that’s done at MWC is enterprise telco business. Not too long ago, that business was all about selling expensive proprietary hardware. Today, it’s about moving all of that into software — and a lot of that software is open source.

It’s maybe no surprise then that this year, the Linux Foundation (LF) has its own booth at MWC. It’s not massive, but it’s big enough to have its own meeting space. The booth is shared by the three LF projects: the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), Hyperleger and Linux Foundation Networking, the home of many of the foundational projects like ONAP and the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) that power many a modern network. And with the advent of 5G, there’s a lot of new market share to grab here.

To discuss the CNCF’s role at the event, I sat down with Dan Kohn, the executive director of the CNCF.

At MWC, the CNCF launched its testbed for comparing the performance of virtual network functions on OpenStack and what the CNCF calls cloud-native network functions, using Kubernetes (with the help of bare-metal host Packet). The project’s results — at least so far — show that the cloud-native container-based stack can handle far more network functions per second than the competing OpenStack code.

“The message that we are sending is that Kubernetes as a universal platform that runs on top of bare metal or any cloud, most of your virtual network functions can be ported over to cloud-native network functions,” Kohn said. “All of your operating support system, all of your business support system software can also run on Kubernetes on the same cluster.”

OpenStack, in case you are not familiar with it, is another massive open-source project that helps enterprises manage their own data center software infrastructure. One of OpenStack’s biggest markets has long been the telco industry. There has always been a bit of friction between the two foundations, especially now that the OpenStack Foundation has opened up its organizations to projects that aren’t directly related to the core OpenStack projects.

I asked Kohn if he is explicitly positioning the CNCF/Kubernetes stack as an OpenStack competitor. “Yes, our view is that people should be running Kubernetes on bare metal and that there’s no need for a middle layer,” he said — and that’s something the CNCF has never stated quite as explicitly before but that was always playing in the background. He also acknowledged that some of this friction stems from the fact that the CNCF and the OpenStack foundation now compete for projects.

OpenStack Foundation, unsurprisingly, doesn’t agree. “Pitting Kubernetes against OpenStack is extremely counterproductive and ignores the fact that OpenStack is already powering 5G networks, in many cases in combination with Kubernetes,” OpenStack COO Mark Collier told me. “It also reflects a lack of understanding about what OpenStack actually does, by suggesting that it’s simply a virtual machine orchestrator. That description is several years out of date. Moving away from VMs, which makes sense for many workloads, does not mean moving away from OpenStack, which manages bare metal, networking and authentication in these environments through the Ironic, Neutron and Keystone services.”

Similarly, ex-OpenStack Foundation board member (and Mirantis co-founder) Boris Renski told me that “just because containers can replace VMs, this doesn’t mean that Kubernetes replaces OpenStack. Kubernetes’ fundamental design assumes that something else is there that abstracts away low-level infrastructure, and is meant to be an application-aware container scheduler. OpenStack, on the other hand, is specifically designed to abstract away low-level infrastructure constructs like bare metal, storage, etc.”

This overall theme continued with Kohn and the CNCF taking a swipe at Kata Containers, the first project the OpenStack Foundation took on after it opened itself up to other projects. Kata Containers promises to offer a combination of the flexibility of containers with the additional security of traditional virtual machines.

“We’ve got this FUD out there around Kata and saying: telco’s will need to use Kata, a) because of the noisy neighbor problem and b) because of the security,” said Kohn. “First of all, that’s FUD and second, micro-VMs are a really interesting space.”

He believes it’s an interesting space for situations where you are running third-party code (think AWS Lambda running Firecracker) — but telcos don’t typically run that kind of code. He also argues that Kubernetes handles noisy neighbors just fine because you can constrain how many resources each container gets.

It seems both organizations have a fair argument here. On the one hand, Kubernetes may be able to handle some use cases better and provide higher throughput than OpenStack. On the other hand, OpenStack handles plenty of other use cases, too, and this is a very specific use case. What’s clear, though, is that there’s quite a bit of friction here, which is a shame.

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iPhone, iPad, Mac, Services net sales all rocket up in Apple Q1 2021

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Today’s earnings call for apple showed blockbuster success in basically every respect. If we’re looking at net sales by category, Apple’s shown growth in iPhone net sales, net sales of iPad, Mac, “Wearables, Home, and Accessories,” and Services, both year-over-year and compared to the three months ending just before this quarter, ending in December of 2020.

This quarter’s financial results showed iPhone bringing in $65,597 million USD. The same quarter had Mac net sales at $8,675 million and iPad had net sales of $8,435. Net sales for the quarter for Wearables, Home, and Accessories were $12,971 million, while Services rang up to $15,761 million.

This same quarter last year showed Apple with $55,957 million in net sales for iPhone, $7,160 million for Mac, and $5,977 million for iPad. Wearables, Home, and Accessories had a net sales of $10,101 million for the quarter, and Services racked up $12,715 million.

While Apple brought in a $91,819 million in net sales for this quarter last year, this year’s net sales ramped up to $111,439 million. Almost impossibly, Apple had the same net sales in this quarter last year as it did for their quarter that ended in September of 2020. Both net sales came in at $91,819 million USD.

The rise VS this quarter last year might’ve been expected, given the rise of COVID-19, but remember: This quarter’s results end in December of 2020. As such, this same quarter last year is Apple’s three months that end in December of 2019. That’s right up to but not including the point at which COVID-19 forced the world into quarantine. Once we see Apple’s next earnings report (in another three months), we’ll REALLY start to see some bang-up growth year-over-year.

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Instagram’s updated Stories design for desktop finally arrives

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Following a test that first revealed the change a few weeks ago, Instagram has officially rolled out its updated Stories design on desktop. The new interface is a relatively small change from the previous iteration, making it easier for users to browse Stories from their laptop or desktop.

As we first saw earlier this month, the updated Stories for desktop feature provides Instagram users with a carousel-type design that shows both upcoming videos and the ones you recently watched. This makes it easier for users to control the media they watch while on their desktop.

Users can click on the videos that are visible in the carousel to skip to the ones they’re interested in. The update is fairly minor but improves the experience for those who often watch Stories using a web browser rather than their mobile device (which still offers the best experience).

Many people browse Instagram on desktop while at work where pulling out a phone may be prohibited or too conspicuous. Instagram has slowly expanded its features for desktop users, including making it possible to access DMs on the web.

Stories are, of course, the ephemeral videos and images that users can share in a space other than their news feed. This content disappears after a relatively short period of time and is great for those posts you want others to see, but that you don’t want to drop into your followers’ feeds.

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NASA Hot Wheels Mars Perseverance Rover released in time for landing

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Hot Wheels revealed a new model in their NASA-associated lineup this week. This is the Hot Wheels Mars Perseverance Rover die-cast vehicle. This piece of hardware likely has more authentically modeled detail than any other product you can purchase for any price anywhere near a single US dollar. You’ll likely find this vehicle in stores for around $1.09 USD.

NASA and Hot Wheels revealed the Hot Wheels Mars Perseverance Rover die-cast vehicle today, modeled directly after the official NASA Perseverance Rover. This 1:64 scale replica is slightly larger in scale than your average Hot Wheels vehicle – but right on-point with the actual space-faring vehicle.

This vehicle “pays homage to the cutting-edge instruments and technologies that will help pave the way for human missions to Mars, studying critical data about Mars’ geology and climate and eventually sending Martian samples back to Earth. The designers of this toy worked with drawings and photos of the actual vehicle courtesy of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Hot Wheels worked with NASA on several similar vehicles and ships over the past several decades, including 5 “Action Packs” from the years 1997-1999 with JPL or NASA themes. Included in that mix were the JPL Sojurner Mars Rover, Apollo Mission, Galileo Mission, John Glenn, and JPL Returns to Mars. Now the Perseverance Rover continues this NASA and space exploration tradition on into the future!

The real-deal Perseverance Rover is expected to land in the Jazero Crater on Mars on February 18, 2021. If you’re looking to find the Hot Wheels model before the big landing on the red planet, you’re in luck. You’ll find this model in stores in the weeks leading up to said landing, starting today. Take a peek at the timeline below for more Hot Wheels action and stay tuned as we get up close and personal!

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