SOURCE: Buoyant

March 07, 2017 07:30 ET

Open Source Linkerd Project Celebrates First Anniversary in Quest to Become the TCP/IP of Microservices

Linkerd adoption accelerates -- serving over 100 billion production requests in companies around the world with "service mesh" that automates uptime at scale

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 7, 2017) - Buoyant, the commercial entity behind the open source Linkerd project, today announced the one year anniversary of the project. Since launching in February 2016 with the mission to make microservices reliable at scale, Linkerd has rapidly gained adoption in the cloud-native community and has served over 100 billion production requests in companies around the world.

Similar to TCP/IP's transformation of network communication in the 1990s, which enabled an industry-wide shift from mainframes to client/server architectures, Linkerd's growing adoption as a fundamental network layer for next-generation cloud applications is enabling enterprises to shift their computing architectures from monolithic applications to microservices without sacrificing reliability

"We think microservices represent the biggest disruption in enterprise technology in a decade," said William Morgan, founder and CEO at Buoyant. "They're vital for scalability and efficiency, but the operational burden they impose is dramatic. Runtime behavior becomes significantly more difficult to manage. The big web-scale players like Netflix, Facebook and Twitter all ran into massive challenges with microservices communication at scale, and overcame them only by deploying armies of in-house engineers. Linkerd brings a new open standard that everyone can leverage without reinventing the wheel or relying on expensive and hard-to-hire infrastructure experts."

Created by William Morgan and Oliver Gould, both early engineers at Twitter, Linkerd 0.1.0 was released in February 2016 to bring "Twitter-style operability for microservices" to mainstream enterprises moving to cloud-native architectures. Built on top of Finagle -- one of Twitter's essential home-grown platforms widely credited for the demise of the infamous Fail Whale -- Linkerd has become a critical component for companies adopting cloud-native architectures. In January 2017 it was accepted as the fifth hosted project in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, alongside Kubernetes, Prometheus, OpenTracing and Fluentd.

"The simplistic approaches to service communication that worked for three-tier apps rapidly break down in the microservices world, and that's why Linkerd is such a powerful abstraction," said Jonathan Bennett, VP of Engineering at Zooz. "For payments processing, reliability is paramount, especially at Zooz's scale. Linkerd allows us to have a uniform, application-wide layer for handling transient failures, latency spikes, and other vagaries of the cloud environment, so that we can deliver what our customers want -- safe, reliable, fast financial transactions, every single time."

Linkerd's breakthrough "service mesh" approach to uptime at massive web scale operations allows it to transparently manage communication between microservices, without imposing a burden on application developers. In traditional apps, communication logic is built directly into the application itself: retries and timeouts, monitoring/visibility, tracing, service discovery are all hard-coded into each application. As application architectures become increasingly segmented into services, moving communications logic into the underlying infrastructure becomes increasingly important. Linkerd's philosophy is that, just as applications shouldn't be writing their own TCP stack, they also shouldn't be managing their own load balancing logic, service discovery management, or retry and timeout logic.

"Our banking infrastructure relies on Linkerd for uptime and reliability," said Oliver Beattie, Head of Engineering at Monzo. "Not only does Linkerd's extensive feature set free us from having to reimplement complex communications logic in each of our services, it provides a uniform, global layer at which we can monitor and control application behavior. This means our engineers can sleep easier at night -- and so can our customers."

Linkerd solves the significant operational problems of running microservices at scale, making it easy for operators to run microservices with automated load balancing, service discovery, and run-time resilience. Linkerd's visualization interface provides a live view of application health.

"The real goal of Linkerd was to let platform engineers sleep through the night," said Oliver Gould, CTO at Buoyant. "The standard techniques for ensuring application reliability and stability that worked for monolithic or three-tier applications really don't solve the new class of problems that occur with highly-scaled microservices. Linkerd is the open source standard that brings reliability to the modern application architecture."
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