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Envoy: An End User Driven Open
Source Success Story
Matt Klein: @mattklein123
What is Envoy?
The network should be transparent to applications.
When network and application problems do occur,
it should be easy to determine the source of the problem.
Who am I?
● ~20 years of operating systems, virtualization, distributed
systems, and networking across many companies
● Primarily closed source software development - minimal
OSS experience prior to Envoy
● Envoy: winning the OSS lottery on the first
● Lots of learning about OSS along the way...
Let’s do some OSS!
We'll get together, have a few laughs, and do some OSS...
Why has Envoy become popular?
● Modern codebase
● Best-in-class operability
● Configuration API
Why are we doing OSS? Let’s be honest
● Everyone involved has different
motivations - let’s be honest about
them from the start to avoid heartache
● Doing OSS well is no different from
starting a company, and doing it poorly
can be a net negative on your org
● Assuming “winning” is the goal,
non-tech factors weigh very
● No really
● I mean it
● There is no single thing that
has a bigger impact on
● GitHub interactions, mailing
lists, encouraging new
contributors and maintainers,
Website and documentation
● This is the first thing
potential users will see
● Do not underestimate “first
regardless of underlying
● Logo, grammar, spelling,
comparison to similar
Do things in the open
● Seems obvious, yet is ignored time and
● Track issues/proposals in public
● Fix issues and build features in public
● Run all tests in public
● Do not “reverse merge” from private to
PR / marketing
● It’s easy to make fun of Twitter,
but it matters
● Same for blogs
● Same for meetups and
● These are methods that build
buzz, and the effects amplify
Envoy business model (or lack thereof)
● No premium version
● Technology first decisions
● Build an ecosystem that allows
differentiated success on top
● But: funding can be
● But: management can be
Managing burnout and expectations
● A very successful OSS project
Is no different from an early
stage startup that blows up
● Scaling contributors and
maintainers only way to survive
(see: being nice)
● Maintainer burnout is a real problem in modern OSS with
no easy answers (especially in the face of conflicting
expectations with employers)
Why Envoy + Q&A
● Quality + velocity + operability
● API driven
● No “open core” / paid premium version. It’s all there
● Community, community, community