Google, IBM, and Lyft Open Source Istio, Simplifying Microservices Management

If you’re working in DevOps today, you know about microservices. Discrete, de-coupled, and well-defined, these simple services can be combined to tackle complex problems. They’re the darling of developers who want to scale, deploy, and adapt with ease.

But there are challenges with microservices. Among them: service discovery (where the microservices have to find each other at runtime), and authentication / security between services.

Lucky for us, managing microservices just got easier, with last week’s announcement of Istio, an open source project from Google, IBM, and Lyft.

The project is a Kubernetes-based microservices framework meant to address service discovery and security, among other challenges. According to Google product manager Varun Talwar (as quoted in The New Stack), Istio is a kind of service mesh that sits as, “a layer of infrastructure between services and networks,” providing reporting, monitoring, governance, and, of course, service-to-service authentication and security.

What’s more, Istio allows you to “inject into your existing services, your legacy services, your cloud services, and get all of these capabilities,” adding much-needed capabilities without the need to re-code anything.

Apart from Google, IBM, and Lyft, the project is already seeing support from the likes of Red Hat, Pivotal, Weaveworks and Tigera, according to Forbes. And the open source community can contribute as well (check out the Istio GitHub repository).

Whatever outcomes users experience with Istio, it’s clear that microservice architecture is becoming more accessible for everyone. It’s time to embrace this emerging pattern in your own environment (if you haven’t already). New offerings like Istio make microservices easier than ever. That means it’s also easier than ever for slow moving monoliths to fall behind.


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