Linkerd Market Strategy with William Morgan

The container orchestration wars ended in 2016 with Kubernetes being the most popular open source tool for deploying and managing infrastructure. Since that time, most large enterprises have been implementing a “platform strategy” based around Kubernetes.

A platform strategy is a plan for creating a consistent experience for software engineers working throughout an enterprise. At most companies, a software engineer should be thinking about business logic–whether that logic is related to banking, insurance, oil and gas, or e-commerce. 

Today, engineers at many enterprises need to think about continuous delivery, application deployment, security policy management, and other deeply technical problems that have nothing to do with the business that they are actually working at. Kubernetes is a foundational open source building block that allows enterprises to base the rest of their infrastructure decisions around. Kubernetes has made it much more viable for enterprises to pursue a platform strategy.

With widespread adoption of Kubernetes, there is a business opportunity for companies that can offer other platform solutions that build on top of Kubernetes. A service mesh is one such tool. A service mesh provides networking and security features for all the services in an organization.

The service mesh category is a large business opportunity because it sits on the critical path of every network request that goes through an enterprise. It is a potential insertion point for lots of other products including logging agents, distributed tracing, network packet scanning, security policy management, and A/B testing.

The potential for business expansion is why so many businesses are entering the service mesh category today, from cloud providers to API gateways. Buoyant was one of the first companies to work on a service mesh tool, with the Linkerd open source project. William Morgan is the CEO of Buoyant, and he returns to the show to discuss the competitive dynamics of the service mesh market.

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