Announcing Istio 0.2: Improved mesh and support for multiple environments

We launched Istio; an open platform to connect, manage, monitor, and secure microservices, on May 24, 2017. We have been humbled by the incredible interest, and rapid community growth of developers, operators, and partners. Our 0.1 release was focused on showing all the concepts of Istio in Kubernetes.

Today we are happy to announce the 0.2 release which improves stability and performance, allows for cluster wide deployment and automated injection of sidecars in Kubernetes, adds policy and authentication for TCP services, and enables expansion of the mesh to include services deployed in virtual machines. In addition, Istio can now run outside Kubernetes, leveraging Consul/Nomad or Eureka. Beyond core features, Istio is now ready for extensions to be written by third party companies and developers.

Highlights for the 0.2 release

Usability improvements:

  • Multiple namespace support: Istio now works cluster-wide, across multiple namespaces and this was one of the top requests from community from 0.1 release.

  • Policy and security for TCP services: In addition to HTTP, we have added transparent mutual TLS authentication and policy enforcement for TCP services as well. This will allow you to secure more of your kubernetes deployment, and get Istio features like telemetry, policy and security.

  • Automated sidecar injection: By leveraging the alpha initializer feature provided by Kubernetes 1.7, envoy sidecars can now be automatically injected into application deployments when your cluster has the initializer enabled. This enables you to deploy microservices using kubectl, the exact same command that you normally use for deploying the microservices without Istio.

  • Extending Istio: An improved mixer design that lets vendors write Mixer adapters to implement support for their own systems, such as application management or policy enforcement. The Mixer adapter guide can help you easily integrate your solution with Istio.

  • Bring your own CA certificates: Allows users to provide their own key and certificate for Istio CA and persistent CA key/certificate Storage. Enables storing signing key/certificates in persistent storage to facilitate CA restarts.

  • Improved routing & metrics: Support for WebSocket, MongoDB and Redis protocols. You can apply resilience features like circuit breakers on traffic to third party services. In addition to Mixer’s metrics, hundreds of metrics from Envoy are now visible inside Prometheus for all traffic entering, leaving and within Istio mesh.

Cross environment support:

  • Mesh expansion: Istio mesh can now span services running outside of Kubernetes - like those running in virtual machines while enjoying benefits such as automatic mutual TLS authentication, traffic management, telemetry, and policy enforcement across the mesh.

  • Running outside Kubernetes: We know many customers use other service registry and orchestration solutions like Consul/Nomad and Eureka. Istio Pilot can now run standalone outside Kubernetes, consuming information from these systems, and manage the Envoy fleet in VMs or containers.

Get involved in shaping the future of Istio

We have a growing roadmap ahead of us, full of great features to implement. Our focus next release is going to be on stability, reliability, integration with third party tools and multi-cluster use cases.

The simplest way to get involved with Istio is by joining one of the many working groups that align with your interests. Working groups will start meeting regularly, triaging issues in their area and help define roadmap of that area, etc,. Have something you’d like to broadcast to the Istio community? Share your voice at our weekly community meeting, and through the mailing lists.

We want to thank our fantastic community for field testing new versions, filing bug reports, contributing code, helping out other community members, and shaping Istio by participating in countless productive discussions. This has enabled the project to accrue 3000 stars on GitHub since launch and hundreds of active community members on Istio mailing lists.

Thank you

The Istio Team