A service mesh for microarchitecture components



For container applications, automatic traffic rerouting offers massive advantages in many respects. First, Istio offers open and well-documented APIs that make Istio completely independent of a particular platform (Figures 2 and 3). By relying on Istio, you can use the same interface – as part of a development or DevOps team – whether the setup runs on Mesos, Kubernetes, AWS, or something else.

Figure 2: Beside Kubernetes, as shown here in the form of Red Hat OpenShift, Istio supports …
Figure 3: … other environments, like Mesos, as the Istio APIs reveal here.

The same principle applies in the opposite direction. Initially, it does not matter where an Istio instance sources its information. Within the environment, all data can always be accessed via the same APIs. If you connect an Istio cluster with Prometheus to improve your statistical base for the network health state, access to this data follows the same procedures as for any other data.

At the same time, Istio offers functions for routing traffic within the mesh that would be difficult to implement otherwise – not as a generic solution, but always specific to a setup. Anyone planning and implementing an application based on the microarchitecture approach will therefore want to take a closer look at Istio and include the product in their own planning. It is virtually impossible to achieve greater flexibility in network matters.

By the way, Red Hat has once again proved that Istio is not a flash in the pan: It has a keen sense of trends and is now offering Kiali for Istio [2]. Kiali visualizes Istio's mesh rules, thus enabling virtualization with graphical appeal (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Red Hat's Kiali visualizes the service mesh in Istio, making it easier to understand.


  1. Istio website: https://istio.io
  2. Kiali for Istio: https://istio.io/docs/tasks/telemetry/kiali/

The Author

Martin Gerhard Loschwitz has been working intensively with Cloud Computing and topics like OpenStack or Kubernetes and Ceph for many years.

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