Cable Labs gives OpenStack, and itself, some help on the edge

Serverless functions running on a set-top box could be a thing before long

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CableLabs, the organisation that figures out to help pay TV operators sweat their networks, has launched OpenStack installers for its software-defined networking and network function virtualization efforts.

The organisation has had its eye on this for a while with an effort called “SNAPS” the “SDN & NFV Application Platform and Stack. SNAPS exists to help cable network operators implement SDN and NFV on their HFC networks.

SNAPS is designed to allow interoperability across cable networks, a more-than-useful quality given that those who provide virtualized network services will want them to work regardless of network operator. With many millions of homes around the world already using cable networks for broadband connections, and network operators hoping they can recruit many million more, there’s a big target market for network services. Throw in the potential to run network services on set-top boxen that cable TV companies provide and there’s a clear need for an interoperable SDN and NFV on cable tool.

While CableLabs has worked on SNAPs, OpenStack has become the de facto standard for carriers’ SDN and NFV efforts or plans.

Which is why CableLabs on Thursday announced “SNAPS OpenStack”, to brings its efforts to the open source infrastructure project.

Doing so means many cable network operators can now play with SNAPs without having to create a silo. That’s good for OpenStack and for CableLabs operator/members.

CableLabs has also hinted at some future directions for SNAPS, suggesting it wants to adopt containers and serverless technologies, presumably to give it more options to have code run on all those set-top boxes, or whatever they become as streaming video outfits erode cable companies once-dominant position. ®

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