Source Code: Your daily look at what matters in tech.

enterpriseenterpriseauthorTom KrazitNoneAre you keeping up with the latest cloud developments? Get Tom Krazit and Joe Williams' newsletter every Monday and Thursday.d3d5b92349
×

Get access to Protocol

Your information will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy

I’m already a subscriber
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.

Does Elon Musk make Tesla tech?

Between the massive valuation and the self-driving software, Tesla isn't hard to sell as a tech company. But does that mean that, in 10 years, every car will be tech?

You know what's not tech and is a car company? Volkswagen.

Image: Tesla/Protocol

From disagreements about what "Autopilot" should mean and SolarCity lawsuits to space colonization and Boring Company tunnels, extremely online Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his company stay firmly in the news, giving us all plenty of opportunities to consider whether the company that made electric cars cool counts as tech.

The massive valuation definitely screams tech, as does the company's investment in self-driving software and battery development. But at the end of the day, this might not be enough to convince skeptics that Tesla is anything other than a car company that uses tech. It also raises questions about the role that timeliness plays in calling something tech. In a potential future where EVs are the norm and many run on Tesla's own software — which is well within the realm of possibility — will Tesla lose its claim to a tech pedigree?

Keep Reading Show less
Becca Evans
Becca Evans is a copy editor and producer at Protocol. Previously she edited Carrie Ann Conversations, a wellness and lifestyle publication founded by Carrie Ann Inaba. She's also written for STYLECASTER. Becca lives in Los Angeles.

As President of Alibaba Group, I am often asked, "What is Alibaba doing in the U.S.?"

In fact, most people are not aware we have a business in the U.S. because we are not a U.S. consumer-facing service that people use every day – nor do we want to be. Our consumers – nearly 900 million of them – are located in China.

Keep Reading Show less
J. Michael Evans
Michael Evans leads and executes Alibaba Group's international strategy for globalizing the company and expanding its businesses outside of China.
Protocol | Workplace

Apple isn’t the only tech company spooked by the delta variant

Spooked by rising cases of COVID-19, many tech companies delay their office reopening.

Apple and at least two other Silicon Valley companies have decided to delay their reopenings in response to rising COVID-19 case counts.

Photo: Luis Alvarez via Getty

Apple grabbed headlines this week when it told employees it would delay its office reopening until October or later. But the iPhone maker wasn't alone: At least two other Silicon Valley companies decided to delay their reopenings last week in response to rising COVID-19 case counts.

Both ServiceNow and Pure Storage opted to push back their September return-to-office dates last week, telling employees they can work remotely until at least the end of the year. Other companies may decide to exercise more caution given the current trends.

Keep Reading Show less
Allison Levitsky
Allison Levitsky is a reporter at Protocol covering workplace issues in tech. She previously covered big tech companies and the tech workforce for the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Allison grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from UC Berkeley.
Protocol | Workplace

Half of working parents have felt discriminated against during COVID

A new survey found that working parents at the VP level are more likely to say they've faced discrimination at work than their lower-level counterparts.

A new survey looks at discrimination faced by working parents during the pandemic.

Photo: d3sign/Getty Images

The toll COVID-19 has taken on working parents — particularly working moms — is, by now, well-documented. The impact for parents in low-wage jobs has been particularly devastating.

But a new survey, shared exclusively with Protocol, finds that among parents who kept their jobs through the pandemic, people who hold more senior positions are actually more likely to say they faced discrimination at work than their lower-level colleagues.

Keep Reading Show less
Issie Lapowsky

Issie Lapowsky ( @issielapowsky) is Protocol's chief correspondent, covering the intersection of technology, politics, and national affairs. She also oversees Protocol's fellowship program. Previously, she was a senior writer at Wired, where she covered the 2016 election and the Facebook beat in its aftermath. Prior to that, Issie worked as a staff writer for Inc. magazine, writing about small business and entrepreneurship. She has also worked as an on-air contributor for CBS News and taught a graduate-level course at New York University's Center for Publishing on how tech giants have affected publishing.

Protocol | Enterprise

Alphabet goes deep into industrial robotic software with Intrinsic

If it succeeds, the gambit could help support Google Cloud's lofty ambitions in the manufacturing sector.

Alphabet is aiming to make advanced robotic technology affordable to customers.

Photo: Getty Images

Alphabet launched a new division Friday called Intrinsic, which will focus on building software for industrial robots, per a blog post. The move plunges the tech giant deeper into a sector that's in the midst of a major wave of digitization.

The goal of Intrinsic is to "give industrial robots the ability to sense, learn, and automatically make adjustments as they're completing tasks, so they work in a wider range of settings and applications," CEO Wendy Tan-White wrote in the post.

Keep Reading Show less
Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a senior reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software, including industry giants like Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. He previously covered emerging technology for Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.

Latest Stories