IBM, Google Cloud and the open community launch Istio 1.0 to bring microservices to the enterprise

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Just over a year ago, we launched the first release of Istio in collaboration with Google Cloud, Lyft and the open community. Since then, Istio has become a popular and active open service mesh project with hundreds of contributors and users from startups and global airlines to international data networks.

In collaboration with Google Cloud, Red Hat and the open community, today we’re announcing the release of Istio 1.0, the latest and most stable version yet of the project that is positioning itself to become the de facto way to connect, manage and secure microservices.

Despite the agility and speed that cloud-native architectures bring to the table, one of the pitfalls is complexity. Apps, especially monotholic apps being broken into many microservices, can consist of hundreds, if not thousands, of moving parts. Managing all of these elements at once can be difficult and wreak havoc on security. By connecting and routing these pieces together, Istio gives control back to developers over how their app is operating and where data is routed in the cloud.

Contribution to the Istio open source

What started as a spark from multiple community members working on this challenge has now grown into a stable solution that simplifies microservices and enables developers to add, change and route requests within apps without having to update code or rebuild containers.

We’ve played a tremendous role in Istio’s creation by contributing the knowledge we’ve learned from working with complex enterprises as they journey to the IBM Cloud. Regardless of their size or industry, their priorities are the same: they want to move to the cloud in a way that works for them, with high levels of security and data control.

This is why we’ve helped focus Istio’s improvements on scaling the volume and complexity of microservices it can manage, while keeping developers in control of how the data flowing between services is managed and secured. Our clients looking to modernize existing applications on the IBM Cloud can use Istio 1.0 to easily break them into agile, DevOps-ready cloud architectures without many of the security and control concerns that doing so may have brought in the past.

“Istio allows large enterprises to reliably deploy, secure and manage services across Kubernetes and VM environments, and we have received lots of great feedback from organizations who are using Istio in production,” said Dan Ciruli, Istio steering committee member and senior product manager, Google Cloud. “The Istio 1.0 launch is testament to innovation through collaboration across industry leaders, including Google Cloud and IBM.”

Istio integration with IBM Cloud

Istio 1.0 adds a strong layer of microservice management on top of Kubernetes and other environments. IBM supports Istio running on top of our IBM Cloud Kubernetes Services (IKS) and our IBM Cloud Private platform. We are providing support for one single Helm chart across IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service (IKS) and IBM Cloud Private (ICP). Our customers can use the Helm chart to incrementally adopt Istio at their pace. Every IKS cluster has provided customers a unique certification and subdomain used for Kubernetes’ ingress into the cluster. With Istio, customers can easily reconfigure the same certificate and subdomain with the Istio Ingress Gateway for secure communication into the service mesh. With IKS, we recently launched multizone support for Kubernetes, allowing customers to use Istio across multiple zones within our fully managed Kubernetes service.

We have a number of teams adopting Kubernetes to build their services. Now that Istio goes to production, they will be adopting Istio as well and using Istio to connect, secure, control and observe microservices.

What’s next?

For the Istio 1.0 announcement, we have been focused on ensuring that Istio is easy to set up and use with IBM Cloud. This is just the beginning. Istio is a key component of the IBM hybrid cloud strategy. We are focused on providing federated Istio service mesh capabilities across clusters spanning the public IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service and on-premises IBM Cloud Private environments to provide a unified microservices experience. API management is a critical part of any service mesh implementation, and we are working to integrate IBM API Connect with Istio.

We are continuing our active contribution and leadership within the Istio open source project, focused on key features such as networking improvements, incremental adoption, multiple environments, performance and scalability. Further, we are actively involved with the Knative project and look forward to bringing serverless capabilities with Kubernetes to our customers.

To learn more about Istio 1.0, read the open community’s take. Learn more about how Istio can work with the IBM Cloud.

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