A service mesh for microarchitecture components



A great amount of intelligence is built into Mixer. On the basis of the incoming metric data of the various Envoy instances in the cluster, Mixer calculates the current load on the system and the resulting rules for the entire service mesh. Mixer then forwards the resulting set of rules to all running Envoy instances, which then convert it back into a concrete system configuration on the hosts.

Of course, this also means that Mixer enables Istio's platform independence. As a generic API, Istio can be connected to any conceivable fleet manager for containers. At the same time, Istio provides a multitude of functions for container applications that developers would otherwise have to integrate into their applications. For example, if you want to charge for the services provided by the current containers, you can connect Mixer to your own billing system through a service back end and achieve a stable, defined billing API in no time at all.


Mixer is not the only service in Istio that provides Envoys with rules. Pilot, which also belongs to Istio's control plane, plays an equally important role. Pilot is a generic API that initially takes care of service discovery. Like Mixer, Pilot is also an abstraction that connects to the APIs of various container orchestrators (e.g., Kubernetes, Mesos, or Cloud Foundry) and forwards the information obtained in this way to the individual Envoys.

The individual adapters (e.g., the platform adapters) take care of this conversion. In this way, all Envoy instances can always keep track of all container instances and are thus able to distribute the load ideally within the mesh.

The Pilot API performs another task: It is the interface that Istio provides for directly defining explicit rules. If you plumb the depths of the Istio documentation, you will quickly come to the conclusion that Istio takes care of everything itself, anyway, and automatically turns a jungle of connections into a huge orchestra. However, you have to tell Istio how you want it to be, which requires the rule API in Istio.


The control plane in Istio contains a third component: Istio Auth is a complete authentication solution for establishing granular access and security rules between the instances of a mesh and between the mesh and the outside world. Istio Auth ensures, out of the box, that the entire communication of the mesh, whether internal or external, is TLS-encrypted.

This function also is implemented by Envoys that receive the required details from Istio Auth and then implement the configuration accordingly. Istio Auth supports granular access models, leaving nothing to be desired.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy ADMIN Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs

Support Our Work

ADMIN content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you've found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More”>


		<div class=