Unfurling StarlingX: OpenStack’s distributed cloud for the edge
Thu 6 Dec 2018A starling mumeration captured in Gretna. Copyright PA
Inspired by mumuration – the majestic self-organising, self-directed movement of flocks of starling birds – StarlingX backs itself as the open source software solution for the edge. The Stack spoke to two key pillars of the project – Wind River and Intel – to understand why they are pushing the edge open source
The stage was set for StarlingX when Intel announced it was selling off Wind River in May this year. Not long after the pair announced they would be contributing code from Wind River’s Titanium cloud product to the OpenStack Foundation. StarlingX v1 arrived a few months later: a fully integrated software stack that provides edge cloud infrastructure using OpenStack, with Kubernetes support expected in time for the next update in March 2019.
Several services from Wind River’s proprietary Titanium Cloud product form the backbone of StarlingX. In line the with the avian theme, these services are named “flock” services. They include host, software, service, fault and configuration management – services vital for industrial and telco edge use cases that demand easy deployment, low touch manageability, low-latency response and fast recovery.
Glenn Seiler, Wind River’s VP of marketing and product management, says that the ultimate goal is to provide a single pane of glass for management of distributed edge nodes and device workloads.
“Think control at the edge, control between IoT and Cloud, control over the virtual machines that deliver workloads to the IoT devices.”
Seiler says that while Wind River had good success with Titanium Cloud (it almost always won in competitive bake-offs), it found that a key stakeholder in the transition to the edge – the Telcos – wanted an open source solution.
“There was a big inflexion point …