Airship, a New Open Infrastructure Project for OpenStack, is Delivering a Unified, Declarative and Cloud-Native Way for Operators to Manage Containerized Software Delivery of Cloud Infrastructure Services

May 21, 2018

By Ryan van Wyk, Alan Meadows and Rodolfo Pacheco

Last week, AT&T in collaboration with SKT, Intel and the OpenStack Foundation announced a new Open Infrastructure Project, Airship, intended to build on the foundation laid by the OpenStack-Helm project launched in 2017.

Airship allows cloud operators to manage sites from their creation, to minor updates, through configuration changes, and finally major uplifts such as OpenStack upgrades, via a unified, declarative, fully containerized, cloud native platform.

The initial focus of this project is the implementation of a declarative platform to introduce OpenStack on Kubernetes (OOK), and the lifecycle management of the resulting cloud, with the scale, speed, resiliency, flexibility and operational predictability demanded of Network Clouds.

To learn more about Airship, read an introductory whitepaper by our Cloud Platform Development Team.

Why Airship?

To evolve how we deliver our cloud platform as well as manage the lifecycle of the software running there – including OpenStack -- we collaborated to create Airship.

  1. Declarative - Sites are declared using YAML. This includes both hard assets such as network configuration and bare metal hosts as well as soft assets like helm charts, their overrides, and container images. You manage the document and Airship implements it.
  2. One workflow for lifecycle management - We needed a system that was predictable with life cycle management at its core. This meant ensuring we had one workflow that handled both initial deployments as well as future site updates. In other words, there should be virtually nothing different when interacting with a new deployment or providing an update to an existing site.
  3.  Containers are the new and only unit of software delivery - Containers are the unit of software delivery for Airship. Everything is a container. This allows us to progress environments from development, to testing, and finally to production with confidence.
  4. Flexible for different architectures and software - Airship is delivering environments both very small and large with a wide range of configurations. We use Airship to manage our entire cloud platform, not just OpenStack.

To get involved in this new Open Infrastructure Project, please attend one of the OpenStack Vancouver Summit talks, or go to airshipit.org.

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