AT&T's Project Airship lifts off

AT&T has launched the somewhat retro-named open infrastructure project Airship, in collaboration with SK Telecom and Intel. The project will provide a collection of open source tools to allow operators, IT service providers and enterprise organizations to easily and predictably build and manage cloud infrastructure.
There are 8 airship-themed parts to the project:

  • Armada – an orchestrator for deploying and upgrading a collection of Helm charts. This is the area that SK Telecom is mainly collaborating with AT&T
  • Berth – a mechanism for managing VMs on top of Kubernetes via Helm
  • Deckhand – a configuration management service that supports the management of large cluster configurations
  • Diving Bell – a lightweight solution for bare metal configuration management
  • Drydock – a declarative host provisioning system
  • Pegleg – a tool to organize configuration of multiple Airship deployments
  • Promenade – a deployment system for resilient, self-hosted Kubernetes
  • Shipyard – a cluster lifecycle orchestrator for Airship.

AT&T says Airship will act as the foundation of its network cloud, which will power the 5G core supporting the launch of 5G services in 12 cities. Airship will also be used to support AT&T’s AI project.
The announcement also highlighted what is set to be a new buzz word for marketing – ‘declarative’. For those not familiar with the term, SKT helpfully explains that in this sense it means that every aspect of the cloud is defined in standardized documents that provide flexible and fine-grained control of cloud infrastructure. The declarative platform enables the realisation of what is defined in these documents, including identifying what has changed since the last submission and the orchestration of any changes.