What is Istio?

Google presents Istio as an open platform to connect, monitor, and secure microservices.

Istio is a service mesh implementation that provides many cloud-native capabilities like:

  • Traffic management: Service Discovery, Load balancing, Failure recovery, A/B testing, Canary releases, etc…
  • Observability: Request Tracing, Metrics, Monitoring, Auditing, Logging, etc…
  • Security: ACLs, Access control, Rate limiting, End-to-end authentication, etc…

Istio delivers all these great features without any changes to the code of the microservices running with it on the same Kubernetes cluster.

In our case, we already implemented many of these features and capabilities when we were writing our microservices. If we had Istio at the beginning, we could save so much effort and time, by delegating all of these capabilities to Istio.

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