Tetrate Service Bridge to Bridge the Gap of Enterprise Application Networking via Service Mesh – The New Stack

At some point, you have to stop creating something that you think people need and start offering it to test in the market. You have to go find users. This is where the first engineers of the Istio service mesh met at Google about four years ago. But, like many things in the cloud-native space still emerging, the first answer was: Well, what is it? Who else uses it?

Zack Boucher, among the first engineers who worked with the service mesh and who is now part of Istio’s contributors and steering committee, said that three or more years ago anyone could have been the first user. We now know that Istio is a mechanism that allows you not only to connect services, but also to secure and observe each service and control how they communicate with each other.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? What if Istio only works with Kubernetes? What if your organization is still transitioning from a monolithic environment? With multicloud or hybrid cloud or on-premises — or a mix? How can a company secure all these disparate and distributed services of all sizes?

Butcher and a few co-founders of Tetrate built the Tetrate Service Bridge to act as an application connectivity platform or technical bridge to take you from those heritages to those modern environments, and to increase reliability and availability. . Also called TSB, it seeks to solve the networking problem for heterogeneous workloads.

Tetrate Service Bridge, built on Istio and available now, presents itself as the solution to enterprise-level challenges that cannot simply be eliminated with a Kubernetes layer. The Tetrate team developed the core feature set around controlling traffic across an entire fleet of services, from edge to mesh.

Butcher says the TSB bridges the gap between having service mesh capabilities and actually realizing those capabilities in a secure way.

He said, “This service mesh is great, but how can I use it in my business? How do I change my process to take advantage of the mesh? And in fact, changing processes is really expensive, so how can I not change my process too? »

And these business processes aren’t simple either. They seek to use the service mesh to enforce security and compliance requirements. Or to gain control and visibility over entire complex infrastructures. How to implement security controls in highly heterogeneous environments.

“Service mesh addresses a lot of issues I have, but you’re telling me I can only have it in Kubernetes? I want these things to help me transition from my legacy to a modern environment, not already in there,” Butcher said.

TSB helps you manage all the compute, connecting Kubernetes and legacy infrastructure. It gives examples that you can use to link up with Istio and Envoy and just start assembling your application network.

“Tetrate Service Bridge is a platform for applications to communicate securely and successfully without having to get into the weeds of what lives there.” – Zack Butcher, Founding Engineer, Tetrate

Butcher then says there’s the management side of the business, teams need to be able to prove they’re using the service mesh correctly and securely. He says TSB allows teams to split their physical infrastructure and cloud-based environments, with pooling and controls, so you can use the service mesh to “do cool things at runtime.” .

The connectivity tool works not only with Istio and the Envoy proxy, but also with Apache Skywalking, enabling observability across systems.

They are clear that while they are a tool to make these open source tools easier to use, and the entire Tetrate team contributes to the open source projects they depend on, they are intentionally not an open core company.

“In my opinion, there is a very big tension in open-core companies. If I, as a developer, have to decide on a project or product that people pay for – he doesn’t want to make the value decision,” Butcher explained.

He continued, “We build a layer on top of the open source stuff. We assemble these open source elements into a cohesive system. »

Another part of this decision is that since they are still mostly using open source tools, companies can do so relatively cheaply with Tetrate.

Butcher points out the fundamental difference between closed-source enterprise products such as TCB and the open-source projects it serves.

“The capabilities go into open source, and then how you manage those capabilities and how you use them within an organization is what you put into the product,” he said.

Although they only went fully public with TSB in April, they built it alongside adopters from the start.

Butcher, paraphrasing Socrates, said that after the “pain of adopting Istio – we were in a cave with no users”, they were determined to build hand in hand with the users.

One of those early adopters was FICO, the organization that creates the predominant credit risk score in the United States. DSS checks. This is especially crucial when financial institutions are still transitioning to microservices architecture.

FICO has been using Istio since 2019, but needed Tetrate to operationalize Istio for PCI compliance, which requires all data to be encrypted in transit and remain encrypted while “at rest” in databases.

Last March, Tetrate also announced that it had raised $40 million in Series B funding, led by Sapphire Ventures.

Feature Image by Полина Андреева from Pixabay.