Today’s nimble and scalable applications are being written to be event-driven. With event-driven applications, processes do their work and then trigger events. Other processes listen for triggered events, then do their work and trigger more events. It is no longer acceptable to send a request and then wait for a sequence of several, synchronous processes to complete before getting a response.
But how do you build event-driven applications in the cloud? How does a data warehouse deployed to a public cloud provider listen for an event triggered by an on-premise IoT device? What would it take to stitch together all of the events from all of the pieces of your application scattered throughout the cloud?
In this episode of my Cloud Unfiltered podcast, Justin Barksdale, former Technical Marketing Engineer at Cisco, and I speak with Sebastien Goasguen, the co-founder and Head of Product at TriggerMesh. His company focuses on cloud-native integration, providing event-based integrations for enterprises that are building their applications in the cloud.
Serverless, Kubernetes, and VMs
To open our conversation, Sebastien shares how the background of serverless, Kubernetes, and VMs set the stage for TriggerMesh’s arrival on the scene. As developers focus less on the lower-level details of infrastructure provisioning, they are more concerned with building applications around containers and microservices. (Go to 2:57 in the podcast.)
Ultimately, TriggerMesh seeks to address this question: How do you build event-driven applications in the cloud? When specific events occur in different services—in a data center, or in an application deployed to the cloud, or in a workload running on-premises—how do you link those services together?
Stitching together events from disparate services
Following up on this, Sebastien talks about the role of eventing (at 11:55). Today, developers are composing cloud services together, picking and choosing the services they need from various cloud providers. What developers end up writing are small-footprint functions, but they still need a way to stitch together events from all of their disparate cloud services. TriggerMesh meets that need by providing developers an API for building cloud-native, event-driven applications.
The complexity of event-driven services and the hybrid cloud
Sebastien acknowledges that few enterprises run entirely on a public or a private cloud. Most enterprises—perhaps because they have to support legacy systems, or for compliance or security reasons—run their systems on a hybrid cloud, a mix of public cloud, private cloud, and on-premises systems.
Building a cloud-native, event-driven application can be even more complicated when you need to stitch together systems in a hybrid-cloud model. This highlights the need for a declarative API to connect events from services across all clouds (16:25).
A declarative API for event-driven applications
Finally, Sebastien explains the concept of the declarative API (27:53). Starting with Kubernetes, Sebastien explains that you describe (or declare) your application with all of its components, and you do so using a set of API objects. This declaration is your “desired state,” and you simply hand that declaration to Kubernetes, asking Kubernetes to apply it.
TriggerMesh took this approach of declarative APIs, providing a set of API objects that developers can use to declare how they want their event-based application to work. At its most basic, an event from one service triggers an action on another service. Composed together, however, a complex system of different services running on different clouds can leverage the TriggerMesh declarative API to form a streamlined event-driven application.
The conversation with Sebastien wrapped up with a teaser for a big announcement TriggerMesh made at the last KubeCon: the Cloud Native Integration Platform from TriggerMesh was soon to be open sourced. This will allow more developers to consume the TriggerMesh declarative API to build event flows in their applications (35:38).
Want more? Hear more Cloud Unfiltered episodes. And watch for my coverage from KubeCon 2022 in Valencia, Spain!
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