The Istio platform was designed to provide developers with visibility into microservices without the need to change application code. The platform sits at the network level and uses a substrate for microservices development and maintenance. This allows for the decoupling of management from application development.
“Imagine if we could transparently inject a layer of infrastructure between a service and the network that gives operators the control they need while freeing developers from having to bake solutions to distributed system problems into their code,” Istio said. “Just as microservices help to decouple feature teams from each other, a service mesh helps to decouple operators from application feature development and release processes. Istio turns disparate microservices into an integrated service mesh by systemically injecting a proxy into the network paths among them.”
Istio’s features include automatic traffic load balancing, control of traffic behavior, traffic encryption, policy enforcement, telemetry, and reporting. The platform also supports enterprises in enforcing security and compliance requirements.
The platform is built on Lyft’s Envoy proxy, with the other firms bringing large-scale microservices experience in working with enterprise customers.
Istio will initially only support the Kubernetes container orchestration service, though there are plans to add support for virtual machines and Cloud Foundry. Updates are scheduled to be released every three months.
The next version is scheduled to include support across multiple Kubernetes clusters and basic hybrid deployments. Istio 0.3 is currently targeted at improving performance, scale, and stability.
“This will provide common visibility and management for both APIs and microservices for organizations of any size,” Google said. “As we work with the community to harden Istio for production-readiness, we plan to provide deeper integration with the rest of Google Cloud.”