Tetrate: This Company Offers Service Mesh Based On Open Source For Every Size Of User

By Amit Chowdhry ● Jun 28, 2023

Tetrate is a company that solves application networking and security, enabling rapid innovation in modern, cloud-native architectures. Pulse 2.0 interviewed Founding Engineer Zack Butcher to learn more about the company.

Zack Butcher’s Background

Zack Butcher

Zack Butcher is a Founding Engineer at Tetrate where he works with some of the largest enterprises in the world, helping them adopt open-source Envoy and Istio. And Zack was one of the earliest engineers on the Istio project at Google, sat multiple terms on the project’s Steering Committee, and co-authored Istio: Up and Running (O’Reilly Media, 2019). Butcher works actively with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on Next Generation Access Control and co-authors the series of NIST Special Publications defining the standards for microservice security and zero trust for the US Federal government, including NIST SP 800-204A, NIST SP 800-204B, and NIST SP 800-207A. Before Tetrate, Zack worked across the Google Cloud Platform on its central resource hierarchy, service management, identity & access management systems, and Google’s internal mesh that Istio draws from.

Formation Of Tetrate 

Varun Talwar, the CEO and co-founder of Tetrate, is the co-creator of Istio and gRPC and a former product manager at Google. He started Tetrate in 2018 with Jeyappragash (JJ) Jeyakeerthi, who previously led Twitter’s Cloud Infrastructure Management Platform.

“They joined forces to build a cloud-agnostic application networking platform based upon Istio, the open-source service mesh, and Envoy Proxy, the open-source edge and service proxy designed for cloud-native applications. (Tetrate’s contribution to the open-sourcing of Envoy Proxy is featured in the newly released documentary Inside Envoy: The Proxy for the Future.),” said Butcher. “Enterprises today are shifting away from legacy network architectures to cloud-native architectures that offer benefits such as agility, flexible scaling, continuous deployment, and high reliability. As part of this transition, ‘monolithic applications’ are becoming a thing of the past. Modern applications are instead built as collections of decentralized microservices that are easier to independently maintain, test and deploy. However, microservices can add increased complexity, because it can be difficult to monitor and manage networking communications and security among the vast, ever-growing network of microservices. Tetrate solves this problem by offering the world’s leading Application Networking and Security Platform—Tetrate Service Bridge (TSB). Built on top of open source Istio and Envoy, TSB is a modern management plane that brings centralized governance and decentralized enforcement of application networking – essential for implementing Zero Trust security across legacy and modern workloads.”

Core Products

What are Tetrate’s core products?

Butcher pointed out Tetrate is the only company to offer service mesh for every size of the user.

The Tetrate service mesh product family includes:

— Tetrate Istio Distribution (TID) – Offers Istio open source to users.

— Tetrate Istio Subscription (TIS) – Offers the support and services enterprises need for successful deployment.

— Tetrate Service Express (recently unveiled at Kubecon – Offers Istio service mesh for AWS, integrated into EKS.

— Tetrate Service Bridge (TSB) – Offers multi-cluster, multi-cloud, multi-team application connectivity and security.

Most Significant Milestones

What have been some of Tetrate’s most significant milestones? Tetrate launched with a $12.5 million Series A in March of 2019 and announced $40 million in a Series B funding round in March of 2021. Plus Tetrate was named a 2021 Cool Vendor in Cloud Computing by Gartner.

Tetrate’s products were adopted by customers including Fortune 200 financial services, telco, retail, media, and US federal government organizations. Notable clients include Age of Learning, Autodesk, Box, Delta Dental, FICO, Flexport, Freddie Mac, Gap, JUSPAY, KPMG, MicroStrategy, Sony, Square, the U.S. Air Force, VISA, and Wex.

Tetrate added a series of new enterprise customers in Q1 2023, signaling rapid maturation and a corresponding heat-up in the service mesh market. And the massive 50% boost in customer count is a trend the company expects to continue.

Tetrate and NIST co-hosted the Fourth Annual Conference on Zero Trust Architecture, on Thursday, May 25, in Washington, D.C. And Tetrate partners with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to define and promote the standards for Zero Trust security. Combining NIST’s experience with cybersecurity and Tetrate’s expertise on secure service mesh, Tetrate and NIST have collaborated to produce U.S. security standards for a distributed architecture:

(SP 800-204A) Building Secure Microservices-based Applications Using Service-Mesh Architecture

(SP 800-204B) Attribute-based Access Control for Microservices-based Applications using a Service Mesh

(SP 800-204C) Implementation of DevSecOps for a Microservices-based Application with Service Mesh

(SP 800-207A) A Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) Model for Access Control in Cloud-Native Applications in Multi-Location Environments

Differentiation From The Competition

What differentiates Tetrate from its competition? “Tetrate differentiates itself from other service mesh providers by providing the industry’s only comprehensive product line of products and services powered by open source Istio and Envoy. With Tetrate, users have choices, regardless of whether they simply need a supported distribution of Istio, a full-featured and managed enterprise offering, or something in between,” Butcher replied.

Future Company Goals

What are some of Tetrate’s future company goals? “Tetrate’s mission is to transform application networking and security for modern computing. We will do this by helping the world’s largest enterprises manage and deliver business-critical application traffic securely in any infrastructure environment. In the coming years, we believe enterprises of all kinds will shift to service mesh technologies like ours as they grapple with the challenges of microservice architectures in hybrid environments. We’ll be there to support and simplify that effort when they do,” Butcher concluded.

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