Cilium is open source software for transparently securing the network connectivity between application services deployed using Linux container management platforms like Docker and Kubernetes.
At the foundation of Cilium is a new Linux kernel technology called BPF, which enables the dynamic insertion of powerful security visibility and control logic within Linux itself. Because BPF runs inside the Linux kernel, Cilium security policies can be applied and updated without any changes to the application code or container configuration.
The development of modern datacenter applications has shifted to a service-oriented architecture often referred to as microservices, wherein a large application is split into small independent services that communicate with each other via APIs using lightweight protocols like HTTP. Microservices applications tend to be highly dynamic, with individual containers getting started or destroyed as the application scales out / in to adapt to load changes and during rolling updates that are deployed as part of continuous delivery.
By leveraging Linux BPF, Cilium retains the ability to transparently insert security visibility + enforcement, but does so in a way that is based on service / pod / container identity (in contrast to IP address identification in traditional systems) and can filter on application-layer (e.g. HTTP). As a result, Cilium not only makes it simple to apply security policies in a highly dynamic environment by decoupling security from addressing, but can also provide stronger security isolation by operating at the HTTP-layer in addition to providing traditional Layer 3 and Layer 4 segmentation.
|Documentation||Cilium Documentation Roadmap|
|FAQ||Cilium FAQ Page|
|Categories||Networking > Virtual Network Functions|
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