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Buoyant: Driving Development of linkerd, the Open Source ‘Service Mesh’ for Cloud-Native Apps

An Intellyx Brain Candy Brief

Linkerd (pronounced ‘linker dee’) is an open source proxy that provides a uniform layer of instrumentation and control across services, especially microservices running in containers. Linkerd takes care of several of the knottier challenges with scaling containerized environments, including latency-aware load balancing, connection pooling, transport layer security (TLS), instrumentation, and request-level routing.

As a proxy, linkerd is a lightweight intermediary appropriate for scalable containerized environments – what its creators call a ‘service mesh.’

One way to think of linkerd is that it serves the same role for cloud-native, container-based microservices that Enterprise Service Buses (ESBs) served for on-premises Service-Oriented Architecture deployments, only without the message transport at the core of most ESBs.

As such, it fills an essential missing piece necessary for scaling Kubernetes, Docker, and other container environments to the level suitable for enterprise-class applications.

Buoyant is the vendor that is currently driving the development of linkerd, while also providing support for linkerd users. Over time, Buoyant is likely to develop an enterprise version of linkerd, but for now, it is focused on maturing the software and building its user base.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. To be considered for a Brain Candy article, email us at pr@intellyx.com.

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Jason Bloomberg is a leading IT industry analyst, Forbes contributor, keynote speaker, and globally recognized expert on multiple disruptive trends in enterprise technology and digital transformation. He is ranked #5 on Onalytica’s list of top Digital Transformation influencers for 2018 and #15 on Jax’s list of top DevOps influencers for 2017, the only person to appear on both lists.

As founder and president of Agile Digital Transformation analyst firm Intellyx, he advises, writes, and speaks on a diverse set of topics, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, devops, big data/analytics, cybersecurity, blockchain/bitcoin/cryptocurrency, no-code/low-code platforms and tools, organizational transformation, internet of things, enterprise architecture, SD-WAN/SDX, mainframes, hybrid IT, and legacy transformation, among other topics.

Mr. Bloomberg’s articles in Forbes are often viewed by more than 100,000 readers. During his career, he has published over 1,200 articles (over 200 for Forbes alone), spoken at over 400 conferences and webinars, and he has been quoted in the press and blogosphere over 2,000 times.

Mr. Bloomberg is the author or coauthor of four books: The Agile Architecture Revolution (Wiley, 2013), Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (Wiley, 2006), XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996). His next book, Agile Digital Transformation, is due within the next year.

At SOA-focused industry analyst firm ZapThink from 2001 to 2013, Mr. Bloomberg created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011.

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting), and several software and web development positions.