Kaloom and Red Hat partner on unified platform for 5G use cases at the edge

networking
Red Hat and Kaloom partner on a new platform for service providers at the compute edge. (Pixabay)

Kaloom and Red Hat have teamed up on a new unified solution for distributed edge computing that targets emerging 5G use cases. After working with Red Hat over the past six or seven months, the two companies have blended Kaloom's Cloud Edge Fabric (CEF) with Red Hat's Kubernetes-based OpenShift.

With the key requirements of 5G use cases including low latency and high throughput, Kaloom CTO Suresh Krishnan said even cloud solutions from the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS). Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud could exceed the 5 milliseconds in transport time that's needed from the edge to the users.

"A lot of the applications that people are thinking about putting at the edge have very stringent requirements either in throughput or latency," Krishnan said. "The idea is to do things very quickly. Also, a lot of the transport likes to take things back to a central location, which makes scaling a little more difficult.

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"Everyone say 'Lets try this with the public cloud,' but even for the big public clouds like AWS, Azure and Google their nearest point of presence might be pretty far away."

Kaloom's 5G User Plane function (UPF) is a scalable, high performance and low latency cloud-native solution while its Cloud Edge Fabric supports service chaining to improve network efficiency.

RELATED: Kaloom bows programmable data center fabric to increase automation

With Kubernetes being the de facto standard for the orchestration of containers on compute, Kaloom brought Red Hat's OpenShift into its Cloud Edge Fabric to enable edge computing in a smaller form factor for central offices. By using the same orchestration layer for the components, resources at the edge have been streamlined and optimized. Kaloom's Cloud Edge Fabric includes Tofino-based switches.

Compared to virtual machines (VMs), Krishnan said lightweight containers have emerged as the ideal way to spin up or spin down virtualized workloads.

"People are seeing containers as a better solution for this," he said. "I think the container platforms, such as OpenShift, are going to win this edge platform battle. That's become more and more clear when we start to look at all of the engagements we are going through. A lot of the operators are planning to deploy a bunch of network functions very close to the edge."

The combined solution run on Edgecore's open network x86 switches and also includes Lenova's Open Cloud Automation. Krisnan said all of the components fit inside of a Pelican box.

"We have full slicing on the fabric as well as the networking functions so you could have multiple tenants each having a different set of obligations," Krishnan said. They can run the same OpenShift or they can run their own OpenShift or OpenStack. Any kind of loads are possible. We are really trying to optimize for OpenShift here but if they have Red Hat OpenStack, or something else like Redfish, they will be able to run that inside of the virtual fabric as well.

"We opened it up for customer workloads like 5G core on x86 (devices) that are connected directly to the fabric and the unified edge. They can run the entire core network straight out of the system by spinning up one server. If you have RAN virtualization, you can do the entire 5G slicing across this unified edge."

Red Hat and Kaloom anticipate the new platform will be in customer trials by July with commercial deployments to follow later this year.

Red Hat and Kaloom planned to demonstrate their combined solution at the Red Hat Summit, which is now a virtual conference that's taking place this week.

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