Power

With Open Service Mesh, Microsoft takes direct aim at Google’s Istio

Microsoft's latest open-source project will be transferred to a foundation at the earliest opportunity — a developer-pleasing move Google avoided to retain control of its similar software.

Microsoft building

Microsoft's Open Service Mesh is a new open-source project designed to help companies manage the ever-increasing complexity of building applications in a modular way.

Photo: Courtesy of Microsoft

More than a year after declaring itself a neutral party in the emerging service-mesh arena, Microsoft will release its own open-source take on the technology Wednesday — while not-so-subtly tweaking its cloud rival Google in the process.

Microsoft's Open Service Mesh is a new open-source project designed to help companies manage the ever-increasing complexity of building applications in a modular way — a modern architectural concept known as microservices. It was designed as a "lighter-weight" version of Istio, the Google-backed project that addresses the same need, said Gabe Monroy, director of product management for Microsoft Azure.

That's not the only thing about Open Service Mesh that's different from Istio: Microsoft plans to transfer the project to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation as soon as possible, Monroy said. Google's back-and-forth regarding its governance plans for Istio has been a hot topic over the last year, as the company has sought to retain control of that project.

Modern software development moves fast. Developers are under immense pressure to ship code early and often, which not only allows companies to introduce new features at a steady clip, but also makes it possible to fix bugs and solve problems much faster than older cadences allowed.

Microservices are one method used to achieve that velocity while ensuring reliability. In contrast to a so-called "monolith," microservices allow developers to break applications down into lots of smaller parts that can be tweaked and updated without causing problems to unrelated parts of the application.

But the benefits of microservices are balanced by the complexity of managing all those separate parts and making sure traffic flows smoothly between them. Service meshes have emerged as a solution to that problem, and there are now several companies, including Google, HashiCorp, Buoyant and Solo.io, all jockeying for position to take advantage of the increasing popularity of microservices.

Last year Microsoft said it intended to be the Switzerland of service meshes, introducing a concept called the Service Mesh Interface that helped its customers use the service mesh of their choice on Azure. Yet Monroy said customers wanted a less-complex version of Istio — one that still worked with the container project Kubernetes and Envoy, another open-source project developed by Lyft that addresses a piece of the microservices puzzle, but was easier to use. So, Microsoft built one.

Assuming the Open Service Mesh is accepted by the CNCF, the subset of the Linux Foundation formed around Kubernetes in 2015, the organization would control the governance and trademark policies of several projects in this space, including Envoy and Linkerd (built by Buoyant).

At one point, Google told its Istio partners that it would transfer control of that project to the CNCF at some point, but surprised and angered those partners late last year when it reneged on that vow. Google has since pledged to transfer Istio's trademarks to a neutral holding company, but open-source and trademark experts are not exactly sure what to make of Google's new Open Usage Commons.

Fintech

Judge Zia Faruqui is trying to teach you crypto, one ‘SNL’ reference at a time

His decisions on major cryptocurrency cases have quoted "The Big Lebowski," "SNL," and "Dr. Strangelove." That’s because he wants you — yes, you — to read them.

The ways Zia Faruqui (right) has weighed on cases that have come before him can give lawyers clues as to what legal frameworks will pass muster.

Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Cryptocurrency and related software analytics tools are ‘The wave of the future, Dude. One hundred percent electronic.’”

That’s not a quote from "The Big Lebowski" — at least, not directly. It’s a quote from a Washington, D.C., district court memorandum opinion on the role cryptocurrency analytics tools can play in government investigations. The author is Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui.

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Veronica Irwin

Veronica Irwin (@vronirwin) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol covering fintech. Previously she was at the San Francisco Examiner, covering tech from a hyper-local angle. Before that, her byline was featured in SF Weekly, The Nation, Techworker, Ms. Magazine and The Frisc.

The financial technology transformation is driving competition, creating consumer choice, and shaping the future of finance. Hear from seven fintech leaders who are reshaping the future of finance, and join the inaugural Financial Technology Association Fintech Summit to learn more.

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FTA
The Financial Technology Association (FTA) represents industry leaders shaping the future of finance. We champion the power of technology-centered financial services and advocate for the modernization of financial regulation to support inclusion and responsible innovation.
Enterprise

AWS CEO: The cloud isn’t just about technology

As AWS preps for its annual re:Invent conference, Adam Selipsky talks product strategy, support for hybrid environments, and the value of the cloud in uncertain economic times.

Photo: Noah Berger/Getty Images for Amazon Web Services

AWS is gearing up for re:Invent, its annual cloud computing conference where announcements this year are expected to focus on its end-to-end data strategy and delivering new industry-specific services.

It will be the second re:Invent with CEO Adam Selipsky as leader of the industry’s largest cloud provider after his return last year to AWS from data visualization company Tableau Software.

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Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

Image: Protocol

We launched Protocol in February 2020 to cover the evolving power center of tech. It is with deep sadness that just under three years later, we are winding down the publication.

As of today, we will not publish any more stories. All of our newsletters, apart from our flagship, Source Code, will no longer be sent. Source Code will be published and sent for the next few weeks, but it will also close down in December.

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Bennett Richardson

Bennett Richardson ( @bennettrich) is the president of Protocol. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, Bennett was executive director of global strategic partnerships at POLITICO, where he led strategic growth efforts including POLITICO's European expansion in Brussels and POLITICO's creative agency POLITICO Focus during his six years with the company. Prior to POLITICO, Bennett was co-founder and CMO of Hinge, the mobile dating company recently acquired by Match Group. Bennett began his career in digital and social brand marketing working with major brands across tech, energy, and health care at leading marketing and communications agencies including Edelman and GMMB. Bennett is originally from Portland, Maine, and received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University.

Enterprise

Why large enterprises struggle to find suitable platforms for MLops

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

Photo: artpartner-images via Getty Images

On any given day, Lily AI runs hundreds of machine learning models using computer vision and natural language processing that are customized for its retail and ecommerce clients to make website product recommendations, forecast demand, and plan merchandising. But this spring when the company was in the market for a machine learning operations platform to manage its expanding model roster, it wasn’t easy to find a suitable off-the-shelf system that could handle such a large number of models in deployment while also meeting other criteria.

Some MLops platforms are not well-suited for maintaining even more than 10 machine learning models when it comes to keeping track of data, navigating their user interfaces, or reporting capabilities, Matthew Nokleby, machine learning manager for Lily AI’s product intelligence team, told Protocol earlier this year. “The duct tape starts to show,” he said.

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Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR. Kate is the creator of RedTailMedia.org and is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the 2008 presidential campaigns used digital media and data.

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