This week, SoloCon discusses all things service mesh-yView in browser »
The New Stack Update

ISSUE 259: Week of the Service Mesh

Talk Talk Talk

“Open source is about inclusion, equality, growth and empowerment. It’s no longer a secret or a movement based on purist’s ideology.”

Add It Up
Developer Experience with Spreadsheets

Developers regularly build internal applications with spreadsheets but aren’t happy about it. Low code development platforms may be an upgrade, but should be viewed in a broader context that considers integration with other systems and data.

According to the low code vendor Retool‘s “The State of Internal Tools in 2021,” 40% of people building internal applications use spreadsheets to do so — putting the approach behind custom-built solutions (63%) and ahead of low/ no-code platforms (33%), business intelligence/visualization tools (21%) and backend admin libraries (17%). Alas, 63% of the time developers do not enjoy the experience of using spreadsheets. Since 57% believe building with spreadsheets actually meets their needs, what is going on here? Trained software engineers are surely aware of the many well-documented problems that spreadsheets have — security, version control, susceptibility to human error, scalability, the list is long. A desire for new investments is probably highlighting every negative in their current system.

Custom-built solutions and backend libraries meet current needs over 80% of the time but appear less often on future roadmaps compared to low code platforms. Almost nine out of ten developers using low code to build internal tools like it and plan to use it again. Over 70% of the low code developers were using Retool, so this finding is obviously more about Retool customers rather than the overall market.

What's Happening

Web security is the theme of the latest episode in our new series “Security @ Scale” on The New Stack Makers podcast with Okta. The series explores security in modern environments, with stories from the trenches.

In this episode, co-hosts Alex Williams, founder and publisher of The New Stack, and Randall Degges, head of developer advocacy at security services provider Okta, speak with Ev Kontsevoy, co-founder and CEO of Teleport, which offers organizations instant access to computing resources.

OKTA Series - The Road to As-Needed Infrastructure Security

Week of the Service Mesh

This week, held a virtual user conference, SoloCon, to discuss all things service mesh-y.  Beyond the company’s own launches, including a cloud offering and an interface update for its tool for managing service meshes, the conference celebrated the emergence of the service mesh as a full-fledged component in the cloud native computing stack. In particular, the company touted the success of its own preferred service mesh, Google’s Istio.

Docker won the container wars, Kubernetes won the orchestration wars, and it is looking like the Envoy proxy is winning the proxy service space, and Istio is becoming the dominant service mesh, argued Global Field Chief Technology Officer Christian Posta in one talk.

While the Docker/Kubernetes/Envoy/Istio stack certainly seems appealing, if only for the sake of simplicity, others have questioned if it is a done deal that Envoy and Istio are locked in. “Not sure about Envoy,” TNS Analyst Lawrence Hecht piped up on Twitter after Posta’s announcement. He referenced a Cloud Native Computing Foundation survey that found 55% of service mesh users were deploying Envoy, a growing, but hardly dominant, number. Even shakier, is that this survey showed that Envoy is “losing mindshare” among CNCF users.

Others on Twitter had also questioned Istio’s prominence. On Twitter, Posta had referenced a CNCF study, which he admitted: “painted a very confusing picture.” This study had shown Istio with a 42% percent market share, again a solid, but hardly dominant, market share. Others had noted that Buoyant’s Linkerd, which the company touts as an easier alternative to Istio, is growing in market share, which CNCF captured at 22%. And HashiCorp’s Consul logged in a surprising 16% market share. Or maybe it is not so surprising, given that HashiCorp has cornered the enterprise market with its Vault secrets management software, CNCF found earlier this year. HashiCorp knows how to serve the enterprise, and is a viable dark horse in this race.

So while there is a lot of enthusiasm for service meshes, and even for Istio, it may be too early to declare which technology has dominated the stack.

Applications Matter More in AI Than Algorithms

Even with the proliferation of “AI startups” that we are seeing today, very few are actually differentiated on their algorithms. AI is now really no more than table stakes for software — it’s ubiquitous and expected. What’s more important is to what ends, and applications, it’s being applied. In this contributed post, James Wang, general partner at VC firm Creative Ventures, explains the shifting development space for machine learning.

What Is MLOps?

Machine Learning (ML) is becoming an increasingly important part of any tech-centered company. While the growth of the ML field is relatively recent, the challenges it is facing are not. How does a company assemble an ML “pipeline” to produce repeatable usable results? MLOps is a set of practices, processes, and tools designed to improve collaborations between the teams who manage the ML life cycle. Sylvain Kalache from the Holberton School explains all in this contributed post.

What the Hybrid Model Looks Like for the Tech Industry

This piece is part of a trilogy that explores the post-pandemic pushback to the office. First, we reflected on the last year and how to tech industry got to its highest level of burnout. In this second installment we look at the emerging “hybrid model” that the IT industry is embracing, in which working at home is mixed with a gradual return to the office.

Party On's Harvey Xia during SoloCon 2021: "A user with Datadog or Grafana could treat Gloo Mesh as a source of truth for aggregated metrics and plug that right into their UI.”  

Gigi Jackson, an SRE at Zymergen, spoke during SoloCon 2021: The Istio service mesh design allows you to build an application networking layer to "make service-to-service communication, secure, reliable and observable," so DevOps can focus on business logic.

Idit Levine, founder and CEO of, kicks off SoloCon 2021 with a virtual tour of's headquarters.

Could anyone be more perfect for the job? As director of open source for, Lin Sun has contributed to #Istio “since the beginning of the project," has over 200 patents, and is the author of “Istio Explained.”

Welcome the newest member of the TNS family, Leo — Ben Ball's rescue puppy.

On The Road
APRIL 1, 2021 // VIRTUAL @ 11AM -12PM PDT Pancake Breakfast & Podcast


Pancake Breakfast & Podcast

eBay baby! Join us for Dutch "e-Baby" pancakes and a technical deep dive into how this iconic e-commerce company has remained competitive through innovation and cutting-edge tech. Register now!

MARCH 30, 2021 // VIRTUAL @ 10AM - 4:40PM EDT Open Source 101

MARCH 30 // VIRTUAL @ 10AM - 4:40PM EDT

Open Source 101

A one-day conference covering the basics of open source. For developers, technologists, students and decision-makers. Register now!

The New Stack Makers podcast is available on: — Pocket CastsStitcher — Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotifyTuneIn

Technologists building and managing new stack architectures join us for short conversations at conferences out on the tech conference circuit. These are the people defining how applications are developed and managed at scale.
Best of DevSecOps: Trends in Cloud Native Security Practices

This is the first in a new series of anthologies that assemble some of our best articles on a trending subject, paired with our editors’ insightful analysis to frame the bigger picture. These exclusive ebooks help developers, architects, operators and management go in-depth, quickly, on hot topics in at-scale development and management.

In this ebook, we explore how security practices are now being integrated into the development process, as well as the build pipeline and runtime operations of cloud native applications. You’ll learn more about:

  • How DevSecOps enables faster deployment cycles.
  • Why DevSecOps is necessary for cloud native architectures.
  • The challenges and benefits of DevSecOps practices.
  • The new role of developers and operators in security.
  • How to measure DevSecOps success.
  • Tools and best practices for adoption.
  • Emerging trends to pay attention to.
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