Flannels, Canals and Tigers, Oh My! — Big News in the Land of Project Calico

Flannels, Canals and Tigers, Oh My! — Big News in the Land of Project Calico

Change alone is eternal. Even though written in the 1800’s, this famous maxim from the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer is the perfect description of the organic chaos caused by today’s data traffic in large cloud networks. It’s also apt for Project Calico and the exciting news we announced today: we are moving into a new company focused on cloud networking, Tigera.

Literally millions of virtual network connections, applications and container workloads are born and die every day. And increasingly these workloads only last a few seconds – the moral equivalent of mayflies if you will. Traditional security infrastructure models using techniques like static firewall rules hardly know where to start, which is why the whole issue of security in the world of cloud networking has taken center stage. Clearly something has to be done.

Today’s cloud data traffic, as ephemeral as it may be, still has to be connected and vetted as a possible security risk in real time without appliance or other bottlenecks. As you know, this is one of the great features of Project Calico.

Until now, if you wanted to use Project Calico’s network policy capabilities, you also had to use Calico for network connectivity. We have been hearing from users that they would love the ability to use Calico policy with other connectivity solutions, such as CoreOS’ Flannel.

Turns out they’ve been telling our friends over at CoreOS the same thing.

So we had our BGO – Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious – moment to combine the connectivity elements of Flannel with the fine-grained policy elements of Calico into a new integrated open source initiative we are calling Canal.

Formally launched at CoreOS Fest today in Berlin and San Francisco, the community-driven Canal initiative is a direct result of Project Calico and CoreOS collectively saying “yes” to our customers. We’ve already completed an initial integration, which you are welcome to check out at http://github.com/tigera/canal – but have big plans for even closer integration and continued feature development as we take Canal forward.

Of course, this will all be done in an open, collaborative initiative, shepherded by the Project Calico team now homed in Tigera, with the ongoing participation of CoreOS – as well (we hope) as many other developers and partners in the cloud native community.

Having cycled through various roles from software engineering to marketing ("fear leads to the dark side" - Yoda), I ended up in management, and am affectionately known by my teammates as the "PHB of Project Calico" (I must look up that acronym sometime). I am grateful to be able to live in beautiful Berkeley, California, where I enjoy the proximity to world-class sailing, skiing and wine - and spending time with my family (wife, 2 kids, 2 cats - neither of them calicos, and 2 turtles).