Introducing Istio – The Application Service Mesh Moves to the Platform

istio.ioAt this year’s Red Hat Summit, Red Hat president and CEO Jim Whitehurst stated that “planning is dead”. The context of his statement was that the pace and complexity of business, in an age of digital transformation, is making formal planning an ancient process analogous to waterfall software development. In order to keep up with the pace of change in business, application development teams are being forced to revisit their approach to planning and building applications, especially in environments where the distributed approach of microservices is helping businesses become more agile.

To maintain order in an environment that is moving faster and with a greater rate of change, it becomes necessary to provide new frameworks where teams can develop and coordinate new applications. It’s against this backdrop that Red Hat is announcing our participation in the just announced Istio project.

Why?

It is no mystery that as organizations are constantly challenged to make smarter and more informed decisions, they rethink their application architecture to take advantage of the agility and pay per use nature of cloud technologies. This has led to many organizations adopting microservices architectures that can enable companies to grow where needed, and when needed. By adding more intelligence and reliability to applications on the platform, Istio reinforces the vision of Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift, who are at the center of digital transformation for many companies.

Productivity and pervasiveness

Red Hat believes that Istio is a natural next step for building microservices by moving language-specific, low-level infrastructure concerns out of applications into a common service mesh within Kubernetes, enabling developers to focus on business logic. Istio creates a platform-level service mesh to address common microservices architecture concerns like secure communication, load balancing, traffic routing, metrics, quotas, authentication, rate limiting, circuit breakers, timeouts, automatic retries, and others.

Combined with our recent decision to contribute to Uber’s Jaeger, which supports OpenTracing, also available on Istio, our expectation is that the increased level of control and visibility of distributed calls across a complex network of microservices will be a key differentiator for those who decided to make microservices their main architectural paradigm. Red Hat believes customers will achieve higher levels of confidence in their microservices deployments without sacrificing Dev/Sec/Net/Ops practices, such as release early-and-often.

Conclusion

Red Hat’s involvement in Istio extends our current microservices investments in OpenShift, Kubernetes, Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes, Red Hat JBoss Middleware, and MicroProfile. We believe that Red Hat customers, and the expanded OpenShift and Kubernetes communities will benefit from a platform level support for microservice architectures. We are committed to Istio and happy to contribute with Google, IBM, Lyft, and others, the open source way, on yet another project. It’s part of what makes us Red Hat.

Diógenes Rettori and John Clingan – Red Hat OpenShift and OpenShift Application Runtimes.

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  • Uemit Seren

    Interesting but I am wondering how exactly Istio is related to Openshift ?
    Will Istio be integrated into Openshift or run on top of it ?

    • In the same way as it applies to K8s. It will run in sidecar mode on the host. From your point of view it will be integrated (optionally) in openshift. It runs on Kubernetes 1.5+ so should be able to try it out on openshift.

      • Uemit Seren

        Thanks for the information.
        Are there any plans to integrate the various configuration options and policies regarding traffic shaping, resilience, etc in the openshift UI ?