UPDATED 15:30 EDT / JUNE 09 2020


What separates multiple clouds from multicloud? Maybe event-driven apps

How does a company know it has made it from multiple clouds to true multicloud — some end goal where unique value is realized? The North Star to follow isn’t the infrastructure or services so much as what the end user actually sees and interacts with: the application. And one of the most important questions to ask is: Is it event-driven?

Ninety-three percent of companies now operate in a multicloud environment, and integrating events from disparate sources poses a big challenge, according to Sebastien Goasguen (pictured, right), co-founder and chief product officer of cloud-native integration platform provider TriggerMesh Inc.

“What we are trying to do is to help people build … cloud-native applications that fundamentally are event-driven and are linking cloud services in the public cloud providers and also on-premises workloads,” Goasguen said.

The mixing of legacy workloads with cutting-edge cloud-native tech like serverless computing is a no-no to some purists. But to TriggerMesh, it’s the pragmatic way for companies to hold on to high-investment, on-prem property without missing out on the advantages of integrated event-driven apps.

Goasguen, along with Mark Hinkle (left), co-founder and chief executive officer of TriggerMesh, spoke with Stu Miniman, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, for a CUBE Conversation. They discussed TriggerMesh’s EveryBridge announcement and how to fold serverless into hybrid IT for event-based applications.

This week, theCUBE spotlights TriggerMesh in its Startup of the Week feature.

Right on time in data-driven business

Event-driven applications have been around for years in some form. The idea is that a single event — from internal or external inputs, like a keystroke, click, or system program loading — triggers a reaction. This is different than the command model that requires the writing of logic to put events into a sequence.

The information-technology landscape in which teams build and run event-driven apps has changed quite a bit over the years. Multicloud, real-time data-streaming engines, and artificial intelligence present new challenges and possibilities for event-driven apps. Data-driven IT and business, in particular, are bringing the event-based model increasingly to the fore.

“It took the era of big data for us to realize that while having lots of data is useful, things get slower as you have more of it,” Neil Avery, technologist in the Office of the Chief Technology Officer at Confluent.io, wrote in a recent blog post. “Over the last several years, there has been a revolution; organizations must become real time; to become real time, they must be event driven. This need is fueled by the increasingly digital world that we live in where everything is connected. Events are a fundamental aspect that drives this ecosystem; an organization is but a cog that when viewed at any level needs to act and react to internal and external events.”

There are a number of rich event-driven use cases that speak to the needs of digitally transforming companies.

When an application can react to each and every user action, or new data point it receives, big gains in user or customer experience are possible. Eighty-one percent of companies that excel in customer experience outperform their competition, according to research from Peppers & Rogers Group. One way to do this in the increasingly digital business landscape is through customer journey mapping. Tracking website activity and responding to visitors’ actions with event-driven responses like highly personalized recommendations, discount offers, advice and the like can take CX to a new level.

Event-driven apps and architectures also address the problem of real-time data integration. They can make use of event-streaming data engines, like Apache Spark and Kafka, for more accurate insights and decision-making. One example of this is internet of things devices for maintenance and monitoring that require the most up-to-the-minute data possible. Another is AI for all types of applications where a large set of older data and an influx of new data must combine to make decisions, offer options, customize experiences and more.

On-prem and cloud play nice with serverless integration

TriggerMesh believes companies can experience the benefits of event-based applications even when some event sources are older and on-prem. The two-year-old North-Carolina-based startup claims to achieve this through serverless computing as a means to integrate events, or build bridges between them. Early on, the company was inspired by Knative, a Kubernetes-based platform for deploying and managing serverless workloads. However, the deeper it delved into serverless, the more it came to see that users needed more in the way of integration capabilities than management, according to Hinkle.

“The whole idea of serverless is to abstract away all of the severs and architecture so that all you’re really dealing with is the run time,” Hinkle said. “So the problem that we saw early on was not managing, but actually integrating applications across serverless framework. The name TriggerMesh came from the idea that you trigger serverless functions and you mesh architectures whether they be legacy applications or they be file services or other serverless clouds across the fabric of the internet.”

This type of integration is what TriggerMesh is offering with its just-announced EveryBridge platform upgrade. EveryBridge leverages Knative and Kubernetes and now has a cloud-native event bus for enabling event flows from sources to targets, or services to apps across cloud and on-premises environments. TriggerMesh says it is the only solution able to ingest events from any data source and trigger functions on any cloud or serverless cluster running on Kubernetes. It can shuttle events from legacy sources like Oracle Corp. apps or on-prem databases to AWS Lambda serverless platform, for instance.

“I think a lot of people still believe serverless is just functions,” Goasguen said. “For us, serverless is much more than this. Serverless is about building event-driven applications. You have all those big companies that have those slow-moving pieces — Oracle DB, IBM MQ … and so on — and they need to make those pieces relevant in a fast-moving internalized world and in a cloud-native world. How do you bridge that gap?”

TriggerMesh is betting the solution is serverless integration for event-driven apps.

Here’s the complete video interview, one of many CUBE Conversations from SiliconANGLE and theCUBE:

 Photo: SiliconANGLE

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