The four years that William Morgan spent as an engineer at Twitter battling the Fail Whale gave him a painful view into what happens when a company’s rickety web infrastructure gets spread too thin. But while Twitter’s instability was highly publicized, Morgan realized that the phenomenon existed to some degree across the web, as companies were building applications in ways that were never intended to handle such scale.
The result: Applications and software were becoming too expensive, too hard to manage, and too slow to deploy, and they required too many developers and caused too much downtime.
After leaving Twitter in 2014, Morgan wanted to use some of the lessons he had learned to help other companies reimagine the way they build applications for the web. That led to the founding in 2015 of Buoyant, whose application development tools have become part of an insurgent movement to fundamentally transform the way software and services are designed for the web.
Referring to what is in some cases dubbed “microservices” or “cloud native computing,” the development philosophy holds that breaking applications into smaller, self-contained units can significantly reduce costs and time needed to write, deploy, and manage each one. The result should be a web that is faster yet more stable. And just as compelling to proponents, it should deliver a more open web that makes it easier for users to change cloud platforms.
While such shifts in development philosophy typically take many years, cloud native computing has caught fire and is having a big moment. Even though it remains small overall, the…