Less than a month ago Google created the Open Usage Commons, which raised concerns over the company's continued control of Istio’s roadmapView in browser »
The New Stack Update

ISSUE 229: Yet Another Service Mesh?

Talk Talk Talk

“Simply defining observability by its individual components misses the bigger picture.”

___’s Danyel Fisher, on moving beyond the “Three Pillars of Observability.”
Add It Up
Focus on Hiring Open Source Developers Drops

Development speed and total cost of ownership continue to be the most cited benefits of open source, according to our latest “Open Source in the Enterprise” study. Both are quantifiable, but it can be difficult to draw a causal relationship to specific corporate initiatives promoting open source. This explains why “increased speed and agility in the development cycle” dropped from 58% in 2018 to 39% in 2020 as a top benefit of the respondent’s open source program office (OSPO). “Faster time to market with new products” experienced a similar drop. Both of these categories describe innovation, which is also hard to measure, but is the top benefit of OSPOs, partly because it is a broadly used way to gauge business performance.

Attracting talented human resources is another input into an MBA’s business performance calculations. Yet, “increased developer recruitment and retention” placed 13th out of 14 possible choices in the survey question about OSPO benefits.

There are several explanations of why developer recruitment is being de-emphasized. Most obvious is the economy. Many companies are not hiring and may even have had layoffs. In this environment, large technology companies are having fewer problems recruiting and retaining talent. In this scenario, companies don’t need to make as much effort to distinguish themselves as good citizens of the open source community, which is actually becoming harder to do. Our study indicates that more companies are regularly contributing to upstream projects, and adoption of a variety of formal policies governing the use and contribution to open source projects has increased.

What's Happening

It started simply enough, but soon the site needed more than a server to keep things managed. Today, EquityZen runs on Kubernetes and is considering its next moves, and, in particular, exploring how Containers as a Service may serve them.

In this edition of The New Stack Analysts podcast, Andy Snowden, DevOps engineering manager for EquityZen, discusses how he helped the company begin its cloud-native journey and the challenges associated with the move. Alex Williams, founder and publisher of The New Stack; Cheryl Hung, vice president of ecosystem at Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF); and Ken Owens, vice president of cloud native engineering at Mastercard, hosted the podcast.

From One Server to Kubernetes, A Startup’s Story

Yet Another Service Mesh?

Less than a month ago Google created the Open Usage Commons to manage the trademark of the Istio service mesh, in effect quashing any hopes that the open source service mesh would be bequeathed to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation — just as Google did with Kubernetes. This raised concerns over Google’s continued control of the technology’s roadmap — a red flag for any company wanting to avoid lock-in of a software stack.

One of those companies may have been Microsoft. This week, the company released the Open Service Mesh, a lightweight and extensible cloud native service mesh, based on the service mesh interface specification, created by and Microsoft in 2018, to standardize the interface of service meshes for Kubernetes. Was it a response to Google’s actions around Istio? Company flacks did not say, though they assert that it would be submitted to the CNCF shortly. 

Istio has a big head start in the service mesh space. A survey we conducted for our Kubernetes eBook showed that Istio (19.7%) was only behind HashiCorp’s Consul (19.9%) in terms of user adoption. But this early mover advantage must be weighed against larger concerns, notably ease-of-use (Istio is can be quite finicky to manage, we’ve heard) and the necessity to integrate easily with Kubernetes itself. "Looking forward, we expect that users of all service meshes will be challenged by how well they integrate with the rest of their Kubernetes stack,” TNS analyst Lawrence Hecht pointed out in our editorial chat channel. “Bigger picture, I don't know the extent early users of Istio will feel compelled to continue using it instead of wholesale looking at alternatives.”

Are Cloud Services the Future of Open Source?

It’s nice to think of open source software as projects supported exclusively by developers who contribute out of pure love, with no profit motives in sight. Those projects do exist, but many, perhaps even most, open source projects either start out as backed by a company or eventually look for ways to monetize the project as the founders start companies around the project. This post looks at the benefits of using a commercial service based on open source software, rather than using the software directly itself.

DeText: LinkedIn’s Open Source Deep Learning Framework for Natural Language Processing

U.S. social networking company LinkedIn has released DeText, an open source natural language processing framework that uses deep neural networks to facilitate tasks such as search and recommendation ranking, multiclass classification, query understanding, and sequence completion.

Harness Acquires for Open Source Containerized Continuous Integration

Rounding out its portfolio to offer a full software delivery platform, continuous delivery (CD) software provider Harness has acquired open source continuous integration (CI) software company, the two companies announced Wednesday.

On The Road
AUG. 17 // VIRTUAL KubeCon + CloudNativeCon


KubeCon + CloudNativeCon
Kubernetes is boring and that’s a good thing. It’s what’s on top of Kubernetes that counts. So join us for a short stack with The New Stack as we ask: “What’s on your stack?” We’ll pass the virtual syrup, and talk about all that goes with Kubernetes. It may be stateless, but that also means there’s plenty of room for sides!

If you’re one of the first 50 registrants, you’ll get 15% off when you register using code KCEU20TNS15. Tweet @TheNewStack your questions ahead of the event, and during our discussion for a chance to win a prize! Register now!
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