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What's in StarlingX for you and how to get started

By Jeff Gowan on 2019-4-15.

You’ve heard about StarlingX but not sure it is for you yet? Learn more about opportunities and the first steps of starting to contribute.

Maybe you already know that StarlingX is a fully-featured open source cloud for the distributed edge. Perhaps you are aware it has features like ultra-low deterministic latency, high availability, strong security, and lowers the cost of deploying and managing a distributed system through simplified installation, maintenance, and operations. You might also understand that it is ideal for telco use cases such as virtualized RAN, universal CPE, MEC and beyond into other use cases in transportation, health care, and industry 4.0.

Now you probably think, “OK, fine. But what about ME? Why should I care about this open source project?” The answer: It depends.

In this blog we’ll discuss four types of engineers who should consider getting involved in StarlingX and what they can do to get started.

  1. The Learner: The Learner is interested in personal development and for someone who wants to learn more about some of the unique requirements for the network edge and wants to pick up some of the cool technology that’s being deployed there, StarlingX is a great training ground. Operational Technology (OT) is different than IT. For example, each has different latencies, bandwidth and scale requirements - among other things. StarlingX helps to bridge the gap through a Kubernetes container environment. If learning by doing is your thing, and you want to learn how to implement cutting edge technology in some of the world’s most demanding environments, there is a place in the StarlingX “classroom” for you.

  2. The Self-Delegator: This is a person whose company has evaluated StarlingX and determined it could be a good fit for their needs…but there is a critical feature that doesn’t exist yet. By getting involved in StarlingX the Self-Delegator can have a voice in the discussion on how to shape the 5G edge, and has the opportunity to advocate for the features that they think will be required to effectively move the industry forward. But they not only advocate, they take a pro-active role in getting it done – supported by a team of developers motivated to produce the edge infrastructure for the future. This person isn't satisfied with a "seat at the table," this person wants an apron and a spot in the kitchen to determine what’s served.

  3. The Hero: The Hero is somebody who sees a way to leverage StarlingX to help advance their company’s projects in a meaningful way. For example, let’s say your company is looking to build a next-generation vRAN infrastructure that will take their network from 4G to 5G and beyond. 5G is coming fast and it is no small challenge building a cloud infrastructure that can meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs and be able to scale, and be easy to manage, and so forth. The Hero is the person who gets intimately involved with StarlingX through evaluating, testing, and contributing to the project in meaningful ways so they can go back to their company leadership and make a solid proposal to leverage open-source rather than DIY. They can potentially be responsible for billions of dollars in upside through speed to market, cost of development, and cost of operations compared to an in-house solution or buying an enterprise stack. The Hero is going to need a new cape…

  4. The Advocate: This is the person who has been working on a separate, but potentially related technology and wants to spread the word. For example, let’s say you were involved in developing a super-cool new Kubernetes plug-in and you want to increase adoption of that technology. If you think your project could potentially play a role in StarlingX, come onboard and try it out! StarlingX is designed to be the best of the best solutions for the network edge and if your technology helps to advance that goal, we don’t just want you, we NEED you.

Does one of these sound familiar or perhaps some combination fits you?

Here is what to do next:

First stop is right here, at www.starlingx.io. Take a look at the website, spend some time reading through the use cases, if you see a link that says, “learn more” click there. Review the overview document and the onboarding deck, peruse some of the documents on docs.starlingx.io. Do you like what you see? Do you think there’s something there for you?

From there if you want to jump in the deep end you can certainly download the code, but perhaps these steps might help you ease in a bit.

  • Join the mailing list (be warned there’s lots of activity, but you might find it interesting)
  • Join one of the weekly calls
  • Check out the StarlingX Wiki page where you can
  • Download the code
  • Read the storyboard to see what’s being worked on
  • Roll up your sleeves and contribute bug fixes
  • Attend relevant industry events to meet with the community

The next occasion to meet the team is the Open Infrastructure Summit and PTG in Denver, April 29 – May 3. Look for demos at the OpenStack Foundation Lounge and at the marketplace, attend one of the 15 sessions that will touch on StarlingX in some way or register for the StarlingX Hands-on Workshop designed for people new to the project which will cover installation, how OpenStack works on top of Kubernetes, StarlingX services and components and other topics.

Don't hesitate, get started and take the first step now!