Very early in his career as a student, Andrew Jenkins was studying space dust and other payloads for the U.S. Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics as part of a NASA contract. It was there while working on communication protocols “almost from the physical layer” that he began to shift his attention to the software side.
Monitoring, observability, logging and other capabilities that are increasingly essential for software production pipelines today could have already been put to use over 15 years ago when Jenkins was working for NASA. However, at that time, service meshes had yet to be developed — while Kubernetes, microservices and even DevOps were yet to come as well.
After working as a graduate research assistant developing software for the International Space Station at the University of Colorado Boulder, Jenkins continued to shift “further and further up into the software side of things.” He began to see, after joining F5 Networks in 2013, how platforms could be used for application deliveries of load balancing, security and other tasks for cloud applications.
By the time Aspen Mesh was formed in 2017 as a spinoff from F5, Jenkins had begun to develop true service mesh platforms to manage data traffic as part of a shift to Kubernetes clusters and the service-to-service communications in microservices. In other words, it is possible to say service meshes found Jenkins.
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