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SlapOS is one of the first edge computing software. Created in 2009, it is the result of joint work between Nexedi and the University of Paris 13. Its network architecture is based on the babel software from the University of Paris 7. It has been deployed at Mitsubishi, Stellantis, SANEF, City of Munich, etc. It is at the core of Teralab, a founding member of Gaia-X, and Rapid.Space, a hyper open cloud provider member of Gaia-X.
We present 12 years of experience and the perspectives that edge computing offers or does not offer for the years to come.
We describe in particular the challenges we faced in relation to networking and how we solved them with babel routing on an overlay IPv6 network. With massively distributed systems such as edge computing, minor network glitches can turn into major sources of instability due to the exponential growth of split horizon problems. Babel and re6st were key to the solution, Similar ideas could be applied to other edge computing stacks.
We discuss the situation of SlapOS in terms of portability, reproducibility, resiliency, hard real time, vRAN and how this compares to other open source edge computing software on the market. Today, SlapOS is for example used inside swarms of drones, 5G base stations and industrial automation.
We provide our insights on the evolution of edge and discuss in particular which new technologies (eg. HTML5 service workers) could surpass edge computing with better performance, lower cost or lower CO2 impact.
SlapOS: 12 years of edge computing and perspectives