Oldtimers Dell and Intel show service mesh newbie Tetrate round the enterprise

Service mesh

Since some of the founders are known for their work on central open source projects such as gRPC and Istio, and the company has some of the core Envoy maintainers on board, Dell Technologies Capital, 8VC, Intel Capital, Rain Capital, and Samsung NEXT had no compunction in throwing in $12.5M in funding in to get Tetrate off the ground.

Reading those names may feel a bit weird in this context, but Dell for example owns VMware who bought – yes – Heptio last year and therefore has some interest in the container world. Also Heptio products such as Contour depend on Envoy.

But those aren’t the only big names interested in Tetrate: right off the bat the company is collaborating with Google on operating hybrid cloud environments with Istio, and working with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Both are also essential to the Service Mesh Day, a conference focused on all things service mesh, Tetrate’s team is hosting at the end of March 2019 in San Francisco.

Product-wise Tetrate starts off with GetEnvoy and the Tetrate Istio Cloud Map Operator, both available on a signup basis with not much additional information to go with yet. While getEnvoy is a certified build of the Envoy proxy which should facilitate the adoption of the project, the Istio Cloud Map Operator is meant to let services running on Kubernetes clusters communicate with those registered in AWS Cloud Map.

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This all plays well to the company’s aim of getting Istio working on a variety of platforms, so that the service mesh can be used on virtual machines, containers, and bare metal offerings and give businesses a leg-up with security, availability and reliability matters.

According to Tetrate founders Varun Talwar and Jeyappragash Jeyakeerthi (who previously worked at…Google! and Twitter respectively), the latter should be “built in to the networking layer”, which is why “Tetrate uses the best in class, battle tested Envoy as dataplane and Istio, which bakes in a lot of learnings from Google’s internal infrastructure to provide a highly reliable and highly available control plane.” The approach they take is a service centric one, since IP based networking might not always do the trick anymore, especially when it comes to securing individual containers.

On top of that the company is “working with the standard Istio model of config distribution that will allow enterprises to reliably scale out as their workload increases”. And since tools can’t be all if you’re looking for an enterprise grade offering, “slack support from trusted maintainers of the project” will also be included in Tetrate’s support portfolio.

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