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InfoQ Homepage Guides The InfoQ eMag - Service Mesh Ultimate Guide 2021

The InfoQ eMag - Service Mesh Ultimate Guide 2021


In the last few years, service mesh technologies have come a long way. Service mesh plays a vital role in cloud native adoption by various organizations. By providing the four main types of capabilities—Connectivity, Reliability, Observability, and Security—service mesh has become a core component of IT organizations’ technology and infrastructure modernization efforts. Service mesh enables Dev and Ops teams to implement these capabilities at infrastructure level, so application teams don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the cross-cutting nonfunctional requirements.

Since the publication of the first edition of this article back in February of 2020, service mesh technologies have gone through significant innovations and several new architecture trends, technology capabilities, and service mesh projects have emerged in the ever evolving service mesh space.

The previous year has seen the service mesh products evolve to be much more than Kubernetes-only solutions where apps that are not hosted on Kubernetes platform couldn’t take advantage of the service mesh.

Not all organizations have transitioned all their business and IT apps to the Kubernetes cloud platform. So, since the inception of service mesh there has been a need for this technology to work in diverse IT infrastructure environments.

With the growing adoption of microservice architectures, application systems have become decoupled and distributed in terms of cloud providers, infrastructure (Kubernetes, VM’s, Bare Metal Servers), geographies, and even types of workloads to be managed in service mesh integrated environments.

Let’s start off with some history of how service mesh came about.

Around 2016, the term “service mesh” appeared in the arenas of microservices, cloud computing, and DevOps. Buoyant team used the term in 2016 to explain their product Linkerd. As with many concepts within computing, there is actually a long history of the associated pattern and technology.

The arrival of the service mesh has largely been due to a perfect storm within the IT landscape. Developers began building distributed systems using a multi-language (polyglot) approach and needed dynamic service discovery. Operations began using ephemeral infrastructure, and wanted to gracefully handle the inevitable communication failures and enforce network policies. Platform teams began embracing container orchestration systems like Kubernetes and wanted to dynamically route traffic in and around the system using modern API-driven network proxies, such as Envoy.

This guide aims to answer pertinent questions for software architects and technical leaders, such as: What is a service mesh? Do I need a service mesh? How do I evaluate the different service mesh offerings?

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The InfoQ eMag - Service Mesh Ultimate Guide includes:

  • The Service Mesh Pattern
  • Service Mesh Features
  • Service Mesh Architecture: Looking Under the Hood
  • Use Cases
  • Antipatterns
  • Service Mesh Implementations and Products
  • Service Mesh Comparisons: Which Service Mesh?
  • Service Mesh Tutorials
  • History of the Service Mesh
  • Service Mesh Standards
  • Exploring the (Possible) Future of Service Meshes
  • FAQ
  • Additional Resources
  • Glossary

InfoQ eMags are professionally designed, downloadable collections of popular InfoQ content - articles, interviews, presentations, and research - covering the latest software development technologies, trends, and topics.