Hello, Varun, thank you for joining us today. Um Warren Wang, the creator of the famous open source project. Uh sto he’s also a co-founder of uh Silicon Valley. Start up the. So Warren to first, can you introduce yourself and give us a little bit uh your background?
Yeah, sure. Thank you, Robin. Thanks for having me. Um Yeah, I have uh my name is Von, as Hing said, uh co-founder for Tetra uh been running the trade for the last five years now. Um And prior to that, I was at uh Google for almost 12 years, a lot uh in different parts of Google uh started with maps and search and then uh and moved to youtube and then moved to cloud and infrastructure.
So you have been involved with so many important products of Google. Yeah, lots of different. Uh So the relevant one is the last stint which was in Google cloud. That’s where I got into this whole Microsoft space. Uh My first foray into microservices was actually through GR PC.
Oh, that’s very important part of the microservice ecosystem. Everybody just using GR PC uh for the service communication. Yeah, so I was project manager for the GR PC team. Uh And that’s how I got into the microservice and uh we got it to one do and donated that to C MC F. So that was a big milestone for that project.
And uh I think now, as you said, it’s widely used everywhere, right? So, uh after that, I think what I realized was that people who build new services, like with, they were happy with GR PC. OK. But uh all the existing services that people cannot rewrite. Uh Yeah.
Uh Yeah. So that’s when I started looking around for proxy based nonsense and that’s how we eventually got to his table. We’ll talk more about that. That makes sense. So you start from a new service, but you found a problem.
Are you with your education service? I know you want to relax it two hours together. So that’s why we need the. So, yeah. Yeah.
So, yeah, that’s the real problem because majority services that like people run are, you know, existing services that they are written. So, so how do you modernize them and make them part of uh the cloud data ecosystem? And uh that started, that’s how I started looking for proxies. And uh the story about how sto came about is um uh Lyft and Matt Klein. Matt Klein is one of the creators of envoy.
Uh they were actually GR PC users and uh that’s how I was in connection with Matt. Uh and then, you know, about 67 months before formally launching Voy, he told me about Voy that he’s working on that. Uh So before you launch the project, actually, you don’t think about, we didn’t think about it more. Yeah. So we were just thinking about if we needed to find a good proxy that uh you know, that was open, that was supporting GR PC and all these protocols from the start because I was having a really tough time getting uh engine X to support like HTTP.
But uh it took even after like 1, 1.5 years, like nothing happened there, right? Uh So I was looking for proxies and then uh open, powerful, you know, dynamic feature rich supports all these protocols. So although I fit the bill very well and so I just pressed so I brought my into Google and said like, hey, let’s not build another proxy. Let’s just take this one already there. And besides all the things I talked about it was it already started to have an ecosystem.
OK? So, and it’s very hard for Google to accept third party. So why? Because you know, Google always likes to build everything by himself. Yeah, that’s why Google is becoming one, do that.
So, but I think eventually I could convince everybody that, yeah, this is a better way to do it. Uh per persuasive I think then uh people, you know, that’s so that is one side the right, about the same time, like, or, you know, 2014 is when um I think C had just launched. Uh And we were sitting right next to the cert team, right, the early C team. And so they were the ones who were giving us like some of the feedback from users, early feedback of coon, right? So I used to hear three things all the time from co community and those people uh one um we want to know how our services are doing not or how our, you know CPU and memory of our nodes and uh ports is doing, right?
So first tell us how our services like that. So that was one problem that always used to come. So just care about the uh the computer, the worker, they don’t have the application, it was more infrastructure applications work. So that was one second thing was, hey, we cannot do any of these uh L seven features with cup proxy.
Sure. Right. Uh We can’t do like traffic routing request level losing all all of that stuff, right? So, and then the third one was uh around uh how can we encrypt traffic uh between services, right? It’s hard.
So almost for one year, I heard these consistently coming from them. So that’s why you uh got inspired to create a to, to solve all these problems. So I basically took what also I had and then added some pieces on top for control plane and uh Spiffy and some of those concepts and then address those three needs and then that’s how we took him. So, so just different pieces of reward and compare this project. Yeah.
But, you know, because it was solving like these key problems. I was, I, I knew it will be very, it will take off, it will be popular, right? Uh So the rest of it was just the marketing of Google, right? First of all, some people to accept this. Yeah, we got the whole ecosystem behind it like uh IBM Red Hat uh pivotal at that time, Cloud foundry at that time.
Uh uh like we got everybody involved to say like you get behind this effort. And uh you know, then after that, we launched it in Glucon in May of 2017. This was a to 0.1. OK. Uh And uh as soon as back in like uh 27 2018, May of 2017.
Yeah, I, I remember that 23rd May 2017. I remember when we published the blog post and I remember that uh we were all at Glucon and uh the introductory, like the launching talk of to was like, it was full, like people were waiting outside, like there was not enough room in the uh in that conference room. Uh Yeah. So that’s how it still came about. Uh That’s the start of it.
And then of course, you know, from there, it just took off. Yeah. So um it’s fascinating to have someone, you know, or how to important role. First, you are a star co founder of the start up uh based on his T and uh also you are very important role play very important role in the creation of STO project. So um what motivated you to create this?
Uh um you mean to create this uh start up? So what kind of challenges you want to address? Yeah. So continuing the story, right? So as I talked to lots of users after this day was launched, probably 50 to 100 companies, at least, right?
Uh And everyone gave us uh you know, feedback that one. This is great. It’s, it’s, it’s a great concept but we want this to run like we want these capabilities uh wherever we are running and we want them outside where it is as well. Yeah, yeah. So it’s uh like uh it’s an infrastructure but we, we also good to uh operation were to manage that kind of infrastructure, someone to add room.
And people were very clear that if uh like this is, if it’s just within where it is, it’s uh it’s useful, but that’s a very small part of our infrastructure. We also have wash machine, virtual machines or lab does or, you know, just traditional java apps of, you know, like grabbing on uh just bare metal and stuff, right? So, uh yeah, so that is one second, I think um I saw that Google cloud as a cloud provider was uh more inclined to tell people that come to Google and we’ll run into search, right? So, so, so uh in all those conversations, like uh people were like, Google would always respond with like, yeah, if you come to Google, we will. So a problem for you don’t worry about it.
We were running it as a service, you know, so our service we care about to, we care about what the problem for you now. So, but and you could, and then there’s a reason, right? Because dog providers make money out of uh computer storage networking and for them all these services on top are, are just, are just gravy for attracting people so they can make money then, right? So the economics work that way. Um And um this was something that customers needed uniformly across their different clouds and infrastructure, right?
So they wanted the same experience on Aws, on Azure or GCP on Red Hat on Rancher no matter what it is or VM War, right? So I, I want to have a similar experience of how my services talk to each other, how I monitor them, how I secure them, like how my developers access one service to the other. It should be a consistent way. I do it in a company. Why is it like, I have to teach like 10 different things on 10 different platforms, right?
Uh So I think that there was, it was clear from there that there is a need for some third party company to have a platform which is not tied to any of the cloud providers or a pass provider like Red Hat or a branch or IBM or something, right? So I think uh that was the kind after that, it was just, you know, finding the, the luck of finding all the right people in the community, you know, finding JJ who’s uh my co-founder and like aligning of the minds that, you know, those things take uh time. And uh but, you know, once that happens, uh and very rarely in your career you land on something where, like you did something in your job. It is new technology, very promising, you know, the market, you know, the people, you know, the community. So that’s a lot to just start, right.
Yeah, kind of start up. So you already knew, I understand you have a lot of people. So, so everything was not. So it was uh like if not now, then when it was a, it was a very perfectly set up situation, a large state for you too. And I was in Silicon Valley.
So like, you know, this investors started to knock at the door. So they urge you to quit this. So even before we started, like after launch of to, they started coming into Google, like you wanna leave and that’s an interesting story. So uh we have this amazing T three start up and I have some um promising products. Um So how are, how are the adoption of uh your salesy product in the market?
And uh do you have any sixties uh story or case study? Uh when uh you can share with us?
Yeah, I mean, it’s been five years, there’s lots of, lots of case studies now. Uh So people are, um lots of companies have found a lot of success in uh encryption of all the easiest and cheapest way to get encryption done. And so, so the security and encryption is the most significant case. It’s the most, the most widely used use case. And the biggest thing that people ask for and the biggest value they get because it’s really hard to do other like either, you know, using libraries or, you know, using other ways it’s a disaster.
You know, if you have sounds or like poets, you want to uh do the certificate, you want the rotation, certificate, certificate, rotation with like dynamic containers going up and down and all that. So it’s, it’s, and that is becoming very, very important. The more we are doing microservices, the more we are doing distributed uh applications, it’s becoming more important because uh you know, traffic is going out into different crossing the network bartering right. There is no way we can accomplish this manually. You can have some ex system used to you.
Yeah. So I think that’s so many companies have found like value uh there. That’s like probably the number one. Uh we uh I think re is another like just uh from our, you know, enterprise platforms. Like people have found uh this to be uh I mean, our enterprise platform is, is, is a lot more than just a deal.
It’s uh so how, what’s like your uh uh it just like, yeah, so we have uh our, our product portfolio is uh in like uh progression, right? So if you are just coming in for mesh Anteo, we have an te distribution with, you know, hip burs and arm bes and longer support and all that. So that’s the steroid distribution business. Uh Similarly, you’re involved in, we are doing the same approach in on gateway, right? So it’s, it’s getting there.
Uh So just today, uh yesterday we announced the, yeah, the trade enterprise on gateway, which is basically the same concept but applied to one by gateway. So you want just a front gateway then uh and you want to support and distribution of on by gateway, then you can do it. So that’s one side of the business. Uh the other side is the full enterprise platform, which is like, what if you have, you know, lots of clusters, lots of teams, lots of business units like large banks, large insurance companies and uh then you want to manage all this centrally like what the vision was, right? Like if it’s Aws, Azure VM, whatever it is, right, I can bring you all this infrastructure and get on board to some platform and every application team can do what they need to do.
Platform team can manage the all the fleet of OS and envoys and gateways and security gets visibility, operations can do the operations part. So it’s a big effort for a company to like bring, you know, get this in and get this operationalized. So we’ve had, you know, multiple large financial institutions and uh defense companies and SAS companies go through this. Um And uh one of the biggest things like one of the other biggest ones I I say ingress is uh because the, what I’m saying is that uh with co a lot people are developing with microservices, people are developing microservices faster with communities, they are deploying faster. The last step in agility is, can you give it access to people faster?
Right? People could be, your team could be end user, could be partners or whatever. And that is the place where the bottle like this, right? Because oh I it’s not secure to give it. How do I give it?
Because so English is, for example, I have to, the only way I expose is through opening the, you know, filing a ticket on the front F five load balancer and letting people come in and F five is not aware of any of your, you know, co community services or the new deployment, right? It doesn’t know anything about that. So, so you, you make these changes, but now you have to file a ticket to the F five team which is a networking team sitting somewhere. It’s like a bathroom for all this whole system. Yeah, so that starts to become a bottle link.
So I think we have seen a lot of companies introduce like a more like a better re for these container applications and then they can just expose, remove that last bottle neck because, you know, we have an aging gateway which is like aware of all the services and you can just like it’s automatic. So, so the most important part is the re comes over. That’s why TG that’s why, yeah, that’s why because we saw that with so many banks, we, we said, OK, this needs to be like done properly with the standardized gateway API in the open, which is why, you know, on my GMT G. Uh So I think those are some big ones. Um But of course, in our website, it has like so many of the, you can always go to our oversight to take a look at it our product by.
Uh so uh last question. Uh and so you are the uh co-founder of the uh the start up and you are also, you are in this amazing gene of the open source uh project. So, uh I mean, what’s the most challenging part for you, I mean, this and what’s the most rewarding aspect in this year for you? It’s a good question. Um So challenging part is just the daily up and out of running a company because Terry is a full distributed company.
So I guess, I guess that’s part of the challenge because if you were to coordinate so many people um give effort across the company. So that would take a lot of effort, I think. Uh but you know, there are benefits of uh the company, you know, somebody sitting in China, you can join and we have, we have so many other people in China as well. But uh yeah, I mean, it wasn’t like it was a choice by design, right? Like to get in today’s time, especially in open source world.
I think talent is everywhere. There’s so much talent in China, there’s so much talent in, you know, all parts of the world. So if you want to build, get the best dialect, you must be, you must be distributed, right? It has to be a distributed complex, right? That’s true.
So, but there is a management overhead of that. Yeah, but for the management is uh it’s like a difficulty. So, so everyone, so how do you handle this? Yeah, that’s a whole other podcast. So many tips and tricks there and you know, so many that we also need to learn.
But you know, like just how you do all the daily communications active use of slack, everything being written like there’s so much that happens there. I think that’s one big challenge of like just but I think that also I’ve, I’ve like gotten OK with, it’s just the one start up itself is dynamic. Like you go through a lot of up and down. The other part is you are a start up in cloud native which is very rapidly changing. So it’s a very fast changing.
It’s a very fast changing environment. So every day there is like new stuff happening here, news happening there, right? So there always something interesting and exciting. Yeah. Come, come in.
Yeah, so there’s no dull day. It’s so that’s like that’s good as well as what’s challenging. Uh The rewarding part is to uh see people uh come in and do like good work and be happy with like the work they have done, right? So I we, I would like, I would like Tetra to be the place where people remember as like they did their best work of the period here for all. I enjoyed this experience.
Uh I joined like six months ago. Uh To be honest before, I’m a little bit worried because it’s my first time working in motor, but everyone was so nice to me and uh I’m very happy I can contribute to my own part to this company to make it successful. Yeah. So that, that part is rewarding. Yeah.
Yeah. A part of that part is rewarding. So you know, seeing people come in and do their good work and be happy with it and grow. I think that’s, that’s very rewarding. OK.
Ok, Warren. Thank you for sharing all this valuable perspective. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you all.