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Presentation: Introduction to SMI the Service Mesh Interface)

Track: Software Defined Infrastructure: Kubernetes, Service Meshes, & Beyond

Location: Broadway Ballroom South, 6th fl.

Duration: 2:55pm - 3:45pm

Day of week: Wednesday

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Recently a consortium of companies released a generic interface for service mesh technology. The goal of this abstraction layer is to provide an easy to consume API that can be implemented by many different service mesh implementations (e.g. Istio, Linkerd, Consul Connect, etc). In providing an abstraction between users and implementation, users are free to adopt service mesh concepts without being bound to any particular implementation. Likewise, tooling and ecosystem products for Service Mesh can evolve without having to bet on any specific mesh technology. This talk will cover the SMI specification, implementations and a look at the forward evolution of this approach.


What is the focus of your work today?


I am running a number of large services for Microsoft Azure, including the Azure Kubernetes Service, Linux on Azure and the Azure Control Plane (gateway for all Azure APIs). Also leadership in the Kubernetes, CNCF and cloud native communities.


What’s the motivation for this talk?


What’s the motivation for this talk?


I am really excited about the new work we’re doing on the Service Mesh Interface (SMI) and wanted to share it with folks to encourage more collaboration.


How would you describe the persona and level of the target audience?


People who are already familiar with Kubernetes and possibly service mesh and want to learn more about how we’re moving it forward.


What do you want this persona to walk away from your talk with?


Learning about the Service Mesh Interface (SMI) and an interest in helping the SMI community move forward.


What do you feel is the most important trend in software right now?


Enhancing developer productivity and the ability for novice developers to build and deploy (and iterate) scalable cloud-based applications.

Speaker: Brendan Burns

Co-Founder of the Kubernetes Open Source Project & Distinguished Engineer @Microsoft

Brendan Burns is a Distinguished Engineer in Microsoft Azure and co-founder of the Kubernetes open source project. In Azure he leads teams that focus on containers, open source and devops, including the Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Resource Manager, Service Fabric and Azure Linux teams. He also has contributed many significant pieces of code to the Kubernetes project, including most recently work on client libraries for working with the Kubernetes API. He has been involved in open source for more than two decades, over that time he has acted as maintainer for projects as diverse as the JMeter load testing tool, the DroidDraw WYSiWYG designer for Android and the port of the Quake II to Linux. He has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a BA in Studio Art and Computer Science from Williams College.

Find Brendan Burns at


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