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InfoQ Homepage News CNCF Accepts Istio as an Incubating Project

CNCF Accepts Istio as an Incubating Project

The CNCF recently announced that it has voted to accept Istio as an incubating project. Initially developed by Google and IBM alongside the Lyft team, Istio is the most widely adopted service mesh.

The Istio steering committee shared the announcement in a blog post, reflecting on Istio’s journey from 2016. Istio is a configurable, open-source service-mesh layer that connects, monitors, and secures containers in a Kubernetes cluster. Leveraging the Envoy service proxy, Istio works with both Kubernetes and traditional workloads.

There are two components in Istio - 1) the data plane and 2) the control plane. The data plane comprises a set of Envoy proxies, commonly deployed as sidecars. The control plane manages and configures the proxies to route the traffic. By adding a proxy "sidecar" along with every application deployed, Istio allows for programming application-aware traffic management, observability, and robust security capabilities into the user’s network.

Source: Istio / The Istio service mesh

Istio reached 1.0 in 2018, and by 2019 it was the fourth fastest-growing open-source project on GitHub. Significant contribution has come from technology companies like Red Hat, Cisco, VMware, Intel, Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba, and DaoCloud. Also, Istio is supported by several CNCF projects, such as Kubernetes, Envoy, gRPC, Prometheus, and SPIFFE. Facilitating installation with Helm, Istio has existing integrations for projects including Knative, Flagger, Jaeger, Open Policy Agent, and OpenTelemetry.

Speaking about the announcement, Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of CNCF said,

Welcoming Istio into CNCF is an exciting move as the number of service mesh options expands in the cloud native ecosystem. Istio brings service mesh innovation to the forefront in the CNCF project family with its new ambient mesh architecture. We are seeing increasing end user adoption of service meshes and anticipate broad impact on the industry as projects like Istio continue to mature. We look forward to working with the Istio community to help it graduate to the next level.

As the fourth release of 2022, Istio recently published version 1.16. Additionally, Istio announced Ambient Mesh - which gives the user an option to replace the traditional service mesh model with a newer data plane architecture, based on shared infrastructure resources., the creator of the Gloo Platform, also recognized the announcement, congratulating the Istio community. The engineers at Solo are the part of Istio Technical Oversight CommitteeSteering Committee, and the Product Security Workgroup.

Istio has supported US Government’s zero-trust architecture mandate for federal infrastructure with governmental agencies. Also, Istio was the chosen service mesh for the DoD Enterprise DevSecOps initiative, deployed on an F/16 jet.

For further reading, readers can refer to the Istio project site and GitHub repository.

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