Fresh off raising $10 million in funding, Subtree has emerged from stealth to launch a service based on the dotmesh open source utility for microservices to enable DevOps teams to capture the entire state of applications.
Dotmesh captures application state as a series of units known as datadots, and captures and tracks all versions of all the databases, files and other data in any application based on a microservices architecture, said Subtree CEO Luke Marsden. That utility exposes a command line interface (CLI) through which data about the application captured by dotmesh can be collected, and a dotmesh server component stores all the datadots.
Marsden said the dotmesh utility can be applied to any microservice regardless of what runtime or class of containers is being employed.
Once captured, that information can be shared via a dothub repository managed as a service by Subtree. Marsden said there’s no requirement to use dothub as the repository because the dotmesh utility is available as open source code. But dothub is designed to be the most efficient way to share data about the state of microservices applications distributed across the enterprise, said Marsden.
The goal, he said, is to provide the equivalent of the service for source code that Github makes available and designed specifically for sharing information about the state of microservices applications deployed in production environments.
In effect, the combination of dotmesh and dothub creates a new type of service mesh for tracking and managing data, Marsden said.
He noted that microservices create a significant data management challenge because best practices call for each one to have access to its own database. Managing applications made up of microservices that are tethered to larger numbers of databases makes it difficult to ascertain the state of an application built on top of multiple microservices, Marsden said. If one microservice should fail, for example, the DevOps team often has to stop the application because of all the dependencies between them. However, dotmesh utilities tethered to the dothub service via application programming interfaces (APIs) make it easier to determine the relationship between all those microservices and their data sources, he said.
Subtree envisions DevOps teams employing both dotmesh and dothub together to create workflows that specifically address data management in a microservice environment. The degree to which IT organizations are currently challenged by data management varies according to the number of microservices they are attempting to manage. At some point, however, just about every IT organization that embraces microservices will need to address how the data attached to each microservice gets managed, especially within the context of a larger stateful application.
The impact of a lack of data management that is designed for microservices is already being felt. Many organizations are unable to effectively test a microservices-based application because the tests don’t accurately reflect the true size and scope of the application.
Pricing for the dothub service is $10 per month for 5GB of storage. There’s also a free tier of storage provided for up to 1GB of storage.
It’s still not quite clear who inside IT organizations will manage the data being accessed by what inevitably will become thousands of microservices. But it is clear that currently, the tools for managing all that data are, for the most part, nonexistent.