eBPF Summit 2024

Announcing eBPF 2.0: excelBPF™

A bee in the sheets

Author: Bill Mulligan - Isovalent

Today the eBPF community is excited to announce the launch of the next version of eBPF, excelBPF™. Excel is the most widely used programming language in the world and underpins the functioning of many of the most critical institutions in the world. Bringing power of BPF to spreadsheets will enable millions of people to leverage this production proven technology, making bytecode only one cell away.

eBPF has been deployed at scale for over half a decade now, delivering you every cat picture on Facebook, processing and securing your Google queries, and enabling you to binge shows on Netflix without waiting for it to load. These initial adopters showed us the impact eBPF can have on performance and innovation in areas like networking, observability, security, tracing, and profiling. excelBPF™ will now bring these benefits to many new use cases like finance, inventory management, consulting, and planning your next vacation.

“When we got the first version of eBPF merged into the Linux kernel in 2014, we had ideas about how transformative the technology could be for the Linux kernel, but they were still to be proven out. Seeing the massive step change in innovation and flexibility eBPF has enabled for the kernel community, I’m excited to see what excelBPF™ holds in store for the world. I think we are really just scratching the surface of what is possible. It feels like Day 1 all over again.” said Daniel Borkmann, co-creator of eBPF.

See excelBPF™ in action in this short demo from Liz Rice

Looking at where eBPF 1.0 has transformed the world shows us some of the potential excelBPF has for the future. In the cloud native world, eBPF has unlocked innovation by shortening production feedback loops, extending functionality safely, providing new building blocks while still leveraging existing tooling, allowing for on the fly upgrades, making data processing faster with lower resource consumption, and creating better abstractions for observability and security. excelBPF™ is bringing these benefits outside the IT department. Spreadsheets no longer need to be held back by decades old macros.

“With eBPF 1.0, Cilium was able to transform the cloud native infrastructure landscape in areas as diverse as modernizing telecommunications networks, bringing retail stores online, and moving money through markets. Our end users are excited at what excelBPF™ will bring to the rest of the organization. Just as prompt engineering has taken off with the launch of large language models, I think we soon see job advertisements for excelBPF engineers who are able to change spreadsheets from individual cells to hives of activity.” said Thomas Graf, co-founder of the Cilium project.

Early versions of excelBPF™ were put in the hands of the community, and feedback has been impressive. “Forget about ChatGPT, FTX and SVB, excelBPF™ has completely stopped the press for me. As someone striving to be the living embodiment of "Operational Excellence", excelBPF™ is the only tool I need in my arsenal. Everything one needs spanning FinOps, HROps, SalesOps, RevOps, BizOps, CloudOps and even OpsOps is now just an excelBPF™ add-on model away. I finally have some time to pretend like I'm going surfing again!” said Christiaan Kuun, Head of Operations at Isovalent.

With money flowing this quickly through excelBPF™, you could easily guess that the funding for companies is just behind it and you wouldn’t be wrong. “After seeing how fast Isovalent changed the cloud native landscape with eBPF 1.0, we have an open checkbook for companies looking to build around excelBPF™. I'm literally just waiting for those excelBPF™ financial models to hit my inbox.” said Martanique Casandro, Partner at Redwood Tree Venturez (r17z).

The eBPF Landscape is rapidly evolving and we are excited to see the first excelBPF™ powered applications be added to the landscape. Be sure to check back regularly to see how the space is evolving. If you want to catch up on eBPF 1.0 before diving into excelBPF, check out what is eBPF, the getting started page, our interactive eBPF labs, and subscribe to eCHO News to keep up on all the updates from the eBPF community.

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