Running containerized workloads in vehicles
Containers have become an integral part of any modern software stack. They are a de facto standard in cloud computing. Containers provide strong isolation, extra layers of security, increased portability, and consistent operation. All this contributes to better development approaches.
SUSE already collaborates with the automotive industry and SUSE Linux Enterprise is running in vehicles. Our goal is to produce a base operating system to run most, if not all, workloads needed by vehicles and their supporting infrastructure. We are also members of ELISA, Eclipse SDV, and SOAFEE. ELISA aims to enable Linux in Safety Applications. Eclipse SDV and SOAFEE intend to deliver an open cloud-native stack for automotive.
The transition to software-defined vehicles (SDVs) brings cloud computing and high-performance computing (HPC) close together and edge applications come into play. The automotive industry can apply the best practices and standards used in the cloud today to achieve high-quality real-world in-vehicle deployments tomorrow.
Kubernetes is the standard choice for cloud-related workloads. To develop the next generation of SDVs it is crucial that the industry retains knowledge and expertise in this field. Reusing existing open standards, concepts, workflows, and software will contribute to the varying priority, performance, safety, or other requirements of automotive applications.
We believe that K3s is a great choice for in-vehicle containers. When it comes to orchestration, K3s is optimized for edge environments. K3s is designed for production workloads in unattended, resource-constrained, and remote locations. The new fleet of vehicles produced today is already connected to the internet and matches K3s use case.
K3s works great on something as small as a Raspberry Pi or as big as an Ampere Altra server. A server cluster can have one or many nodes suiting most, if not all, automotive use cases. K3s share the same source code as Kubernetes. Compared to vanilla Kubernetes (K8s), K3s contains fewer dependencies and components that are not necessary for edge workloads.
K3s is an official Cloud Native Computing Foundation project that delivers a lightweight yet powerful certified Kubernetes distribution. When SUSE Linux Enterprise, SUSE BCI, and Rancher are used alongside K3s, organizations are equipped with a complete solution to run Kubernetes in vehicles to drive the future of automotive, pun intended.
We know that K3s and container orchestration might not be the solution for all workloads, e.g., Kubernetes, and K3s, adds an extra layer of complexity to the software stack. For this reason, we believe that Podman is a great contender for certain scenarios. Podman integrates well with systemd, the service manager used by SUSE. Podman can also create containers, pods, and volumes based on Kubernetes YAML, with limitations.
K3s and Podman are a great combination for in-vehicle deployments. K3s is a Kubernetes-compatible distribution without the overhead and complexity of K8s. Podman, while not a Kubernetes distribution, integrates well with it. Thank you for reading up to here. I hope you enjoyed the dive into the exciting new world of software-defined vehicles and stay tuned for more technical insights.