Simple MEC is a simple architecture that can be used to implement a commercial mobile edge cloud in a matter of weeks. It can also be used only for cloud, only for edge or only for vRAN network management.
It is ideal for a government, corporation or telecom operator looking for a fast track towards sovereignty and independence from convention public clouds.
A simple environment can be setup within a day.
A minimal development environment can be deployed on standalone Linux PC within a few minutes.
The OSS/BSS has two components: master (orange) and node (blue). It is based on POSIX standard and does not require any advanced features of the host operating system.
The networking component is based on an IPv6 hybrid mesh and latency optimising routing prorotocols such as RFC 6126.
Rapid.Space was founded in 2020 by Nexedi, Amarisoft and a few VIPs of the IT and telecom inudustries.
Nexedi brings its open source stack, in particular its billing platform, its edge-cloud platform and its big data platform, all open source.
Amarisoft brings its purely software defined 4G/5G stack which covers all aspects needed for commercial deployment, including SA, NSA, NBIoT, etc.
Rapid.Space is a new company with a cumulated commercial history of 28 years thanks to its founders: Nexedi and Amarisoft.
Nexedi and Amarisoft technologies have already been deployed by numerous governments and large corporations since 2010.
Rapid.Space is based on open source, open hardware and open service, as well as on licensed source.
This is how Rapid.Space helps government, corporation or telecom operator achieving sovereignty and independence.
Its technology portfolio includes software, hardware and service which cover the needs of 4G/5G vRAN, mobile edge cloud, industrial edge and AI big data.
We will focus in this presentation on the mobile edge cloud technologies which consist of a layer-3 SDN, an OSS/BSS for cloud and an edge cloud stack.
Those three components form an integrated solution at the core of Simple MEC.
The key difference between Simple MEC and other approaches is that Simple MEC starts from the business operation commons rather than from the specific technical details.
In Simple MEC, every feature is considered as an operation management problem.
Afterall, telecommunications are about selling mobile network subscriptions, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is about selling virtual machine subscriptions and edge can consist of selling IoT buffering subscriptions. Once those subscriptions are sold, they should be provisionned, monitored, accounted and billed.
This is why we write:
MEC = OM(x)
It means that any mobile edge cloud (MEC) problem can be analysed as a problem of operation management (OM) of a given feature. Each feature (vRAN, VM, CDN, CDN, PaaS, etc.) is defined by source code. Each feature's automated operation management is defined by a devops script.
A IaaS can be built by applying operation management (OM) to a virtual machine software (kvm) to automate provisionning, configuration, monitoring, accounting, billing of virtual private servers.
A SaaS can be built by applying operation management (OM) to an application software (ex. moodle) to automate provisionning, configuration, monitoring, disaster recovery, accounting, billing of application instances.
A radio access network (RAN) can be built by applying operation management (OM) to a software defined radio stack (ex. Amarisoft) to automate provisionning, configuration, monitoring, disaster recovery, accounting, billing of virtual eNodeB, gNodeB, epc, etc.
An industrial edge can be built by applying operation management (OM) to a virtual PLC software (ProviewR) to automate provisionning, configuration, monitoring, accounting, billing of virtual PLCs.
If we compare Nexedi stack to other solutions, the key differences are that Nexedi stack covers as much as the most sophisticated public cloud but brings reversibility, absence of US export control, source code access and more deployment options (standalone, multicloud).
If we compare Nexedi stack to open source solutinos, the key differences are that Nexedi is much simpler to deploy (ex. standalone operation), includes a CDN and other shared services and comes with a built-in OSS/BSS. Also, it has two reference implementations which is the first step towards standardisation.
Starting a new cloud service based on Nexedi stack is a matter of weeks for a team of less than 3.
With other solutions, it can take years, requires large teams often fails.
In terms of networking, Nexedi stack uses IPv6 global adressing and routing to simplify all problems through Layer-3 and a latency optimising routing protocol. The use of IPv6 everywhere is similar with Facebook's approach.
Other solutions often focus on Layer-2 and are still incompatible with IPv6.
Nexedi's networking is completely automated and circumvents congestions automatically. It is also flexible enough to be extended. As part of a European research project, experimental support of RINA was added (RINA is a new protocol invented by Louis Pouzin, the inventor of the datagram).
Any mobile edge cloud needs a kind of templating model to describe classes of services (ex. VM, CDN, DBaaS) that can be instantiated in thousands or milllions.
Nexedi stack uses a concept of "nano-container". System host requirements are minimal. Any POSIX operating system should suffice. No specific features such as jails on namespaces are required. It is even possible to deploy services on web browsers thanks to web workers or on IoT OS.
The typical minial size of a template is 50 KB and can grow to 2 GB for very big services such as AI big data. The typical minimal size of a template instance is 10 KB and can grow with user data.
Other solutions usually impose Linux host. Their container or VM technologies consumes much more disk space and resources.
In terms of orchestration, Nexedi stack surpasses other solutions in multiple aspects.
It is a self-hosted system, which means that the system can deploy the system. This is usually a sign of good design. It is also a convenient way to let developers improve and contribute to the system using the system.
It encapsulates what other solutions tend to implement in external software: monitoring, accounting, DR. This reduces the need for multiple or large teams since all aspects of service operation (build, configure, run, orchestrate, monitor, account, etc.) are defined in a single script, possibly by a single developer.
Its design is self-converging, which means that every node of a distributed system acts autonomously and tries to converge towards a target state define by the OSS/BSS master. This approach was inspired by Mark Brugess' theory of promises which also inspired CFEngine, a devops tool used at Facebook. It explains why Nexedi's stack is much more stable and resilient than open source alternatives which are not based on a self-converging model.
Nexedi's stack supports some advanced features such as shared services, hard real-time services and delegated services. Shared services are mandatory to implement edge services such as CDN or reduce the cost of certain cloud services such as database. Real-time services are mandatory for industrial edge applications.
Delegated services are necessary to support business models such as cloud federation or to optimise resource allocation for recursive deployments.
In terms of convergence, Nexedi stack can cover about any device part of a mobile edge cloud.
Compared to most sophisticated conventional public clouds (Huawei in this case), Nexedi stack supports real-time edge nodes used for industrial automation and HTML5 web worker services.
Compared to open source solutions, Nexedi supports IoT OS, real-time edge nodes used for industrial automation and HTML5 web worker services.
Having an OSS/BSS and approach MEC as a problem of operation management automation is what makes Nexedi stack so unique and competitive. Many cloud projects initiated by governments, corporations and telecom operators actually failed by not addressing from day 1 the design of operation management automation and focusing instead of technical details.
Nexedi stack integrates a complete OSS/BSS with advanced features such as federation or clearing which are not found in conventional public clouds.
Open source solutions do not integrate OSS/BSS.
Nexedi stack is based on a PKI which attributes a certificate to every user, template, node and service.
Its design is based on a "trust nothing" approach which is mandatory for a multitenant distributed architecture.
It also supports "zero-knowledg" to block the extra-territorial application of surveillance laws of certain countries and thus protect privacy and trade secrets.
We compared the performance of Nexedi stack on Rapid.Space and the performance of OpenStack at OVH on a business application which produces about a million invoices in a couple of hours for a large utility company.
Rapid.Space servers were older and slower than those of OVH.
OVH performance with OpenStack was significantly slower than the performance of Rapid.Space despite running on faster servers.
This difference can be explained mainly by the type of storage: virtualised (OpenStack) vs. directly attached (Nexedi stack).
In other tests, we oberved that network performance with Layer-3 routing was same as with Layer-2 switching. We could copy files between servers on a cluster with a speed of nearly 10 Gbps on a 10 Gbps LAN, without noticeable load on the server.
The business model to deploy Simple MEC depends on what you want to achieve.
If you need vRAN, you will have to purchase licenses (binary or source) from Amarisoft.
If you need MEC, Nexedi can provide integration and support services.
If you need managed service, Rapid.Space can help you deploy your own cloud in less than a week and start operating it. Starting with Rapid.Space managed service is probably the most efficient way since it gives access to all Rapid.Space points of presence in the world since day 1 and at the same time does not prevent from deploying infrastructure on-premise.
And if you need to develop custom devops scripts, you can rely on a local integration partner.
All aspects of Simple MEC are documented in the Rapid.Space handbook. Rapid.Space is a "Hyper Open" cloud provider which means that everything is open: open source, open hardware, open service. The handbook describes how we operate our service and is ever evolving.
Hardware used by Rapid.Space is described on Rapid.Space shop.
There are a couple of presentations of Rapid.Space for different profiles: CIOs, developers, SaaS provider, Industry 4.0 factory, RAN operator, etc.
Nexedi's OSS/BSS is called SlapOS and has its project page.
Nexedi's RFC6126 agent is called re6st and has its project page.
Simple MEC provides everything that is need to implement a commercial mobile edge cloud in a matter of weeks.
With the exception of vRAN, it is entire "open": open source, open hardware, open service.
It is available now.
It can help any government, corporation or telecom operator achieve sovereignty or independence without taking the risk of a long project or of a project failure.
For more information, please contact Jean-Paul, CEO of Rapid.Space (+33 629 02 44 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org).