Large enterprises often have infrastructure and application teams with the capacity to build platforms that meet the specific needs of their business. But for smaller organizations with leaner technical teams and tighter budgets, custom-built platforms are frequently unrealistic and hard to scale—it’s a luxury they can’t afford.
This reality gave rise to the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), which helps solve these and other related challenges. However, PaaS has some limitations, namely locking customers into one public cloud provider.
Johnny Dallas and his partner Zihao Zhang identified this problem while working for large companies and, in 2020, started Zeet to solve it. Zeet helps developers create reusable, self-serve cloud infrastructure that can be connected, deployed, and scaled on any cloud provider. Zeet is at the forefront of managed platform and developer platform engineering. It brings a novel blend to the market, with infrastructure built on the cloud.
Customers turn to Zeet to set up their infrastructure layer by using existing public cloud vendor relationships or starting from scratch. They can deploy to various cloud providers, leveraging different strengths based on their applications’ needs. It’s a broader way of looking at multicloud beyond more common backup, redundancy, or regionality of data centers’ use cases.
“Every cloud is a different shape. Each has its nuances and unique advantages,” explains Johnny. “You can find a better answer to your problems by combining the strengths of the cloud providers available to you. There are unique tech advantages to every cloud provider. A tech stack can span multiple clouds, and platform engineering helps make that happen.”
LiveKit, Seeks Scalable, Multiregional Cloud Solution
A use case for Zeet’s multicloud vision comes from one of its customers, LiveKit, an open source WebRTC platform that builds video conferencing, live streaming, metaverse, and robotics projects for apps. LiveKit’s goal is to be available on every cloud based on the specialization of its tech stack and matching it with cloud providers’ strengths.
LiveKit’s team of engineers is laser-focused on delivering low-latency live video. However, the team encountered a roadblock—it discovered that scaling bandwidth would be extremely costly with its application layer making Kubernetes API calls on AWS. The Zeet team helped LiveKit, with its architecture deeply defined in Zeet, separate application layers, infrastructure, and more. LiveKit moved cloud providers in one day and has done this four times in the first six months of working with Zeet.
Linode Kubernetes Engine (LKE) was the best choice for LiveKit because of the focus on latency, networking, and the need for large-footprint coverage. Deploying LKE through architecture defined within the Zeet platform was as simple as linking Linode and Zeet accounts. LiveKit now deploys across as many clouds and regions as they want with a separation of application model state and cloud infrastructure state.
“The goal is to enable a great developer experience on top of the infrastructure,” said Johnny. “We work with infrastructure teams to enable their application teams by adding the management level on top of the cloud.”
The Right Fit with Linode
Zeet doesn’t promote one public cloud provider over another but offers guidance to customers unsure of which to choose for different workloads. Customers can bring in the components they already have, like Terraform templates and Helm charts, and get a consistent experience.
“For network-intensive, low-latency needs and availability in a wide range of regions, LKE is our provider of choice,” said Johnny. “Integration is as simple as creating a Linode account and injecting an API key into Zeet, which provisions the LKE cluster, all associated resources, and then creates the application.”
Cloud competition is fierce, but large enterprises shouldn’t be the only ones with multicloud strategies that take advantage of the strengths of different cloud providers. Our focus on the developer experience continues as we strive to make cloud computing simple, affordable, and accessible for all. Partnerships are just one kind of innovation Linode enables, and we’re excited about working with Zeet.