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Mirantis signs huge networking deal with AT&T

Mirantis is partnering with AT&T on an OpenStack project, AirShip, to integrate Kubernetes into Telecom's Software Defined Networks.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is what will make 5G possible. So, it only makes sense that Kubernetes and OpenStack expert Mirantis will help AT&T build its next generation SDN-based infrastructure for its 5G network.

Also: What is 5G? All you need to know

This is an eight-figure, three-year deal to build out AT&T 5G's infrastructure using Airship. Airship is a project originally founded by AT&T, SKT, and Intel. It was launched as a pilot Open Infrastructure Project under the OpenStack Foundation in May 2018. Airship is designed to enable telcos to take advantage of on-premises Kubernetes infrastructure to support their SDN infrastructure builds.

Mirantis will collaborate with AT&T and other core contributors to develop Airship's critical features. This work will then be rapidly deployed in production at scale via AT&T's Airship, Kubernetes, and OpenStack-based Network Cloud infrastructure.

Airship takes advantage of Kubernetes to define a unified, declarative, and cloud-native way for telecoms to manage containerized cloud infrastructure services. At the OpenStack Summit in Berlin, AT&T shared its plans to roll Kubernetes on-premise based on Airship to underpin its 5G network.

Mirantis main jobs are:

  • Integrate Drydock, an OpenStack declarative host-provisioning system for bare-metal host deployment and Ironic, a bare-metal hypervisor, to provision bare-metal Kubernetes clusters.
  • Streamlining initial configuration experience of deploying Kubernetes-native services on premise, making it simpler for telcos to adopt.
  • Support for multiple operating systems, to broaden the choice of Virtual network functions (VNFs) and minimize lock-in.

AT&T is calling on Mirantis for this work, Ryan van Wyk, AT&T's assistant VP, explained because, "As we roll out Network Cloud for 5G, our goal at AT&T is to run infrastructure based on open standards like Kubernetes and OpenStack. Mirantis has a long track record of contributing to open source and we are glad to have them collaborate with us on the Airship project."

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Besides income, Mirantis will also be integrating much of the resulting code into Mirantis Cloud Platform (MCP). This is Mirantis' core product for telcos and enterprises running on-premise Kubernetes.

Built entirely on open-source projects, AT&T and Mirantis are paving the road for SDN 5G rollouts for all telecoms that wish to avoid proprietary lock-in approaches.

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