Q: What is Istio?

Istio is an open platform-independent service mesh that provides traffic management, policy enforcement, and telemetry collection.

Open: Istio is being developed and maintained as open-source software. We encourage contributions and feedback from the community at-large.

Platform-independent: Istio is not targeted at any specific deployment environment. During the initial stages of development, Istio will support Kubernetes-based deployments. However, Istio is being built to enable rapid and easy adaptation to other environments.

Service mesh: Istio is designed to manage communications between microservices and applications. Without requiring changes to the underlying services, Istio provides automated baseline traffic resilience, service metrics collection, distributed tracing, traffic encryption, protocol upgrades, and advanced routing functionality for all service-to-service communication.

For more detail, please see: What is Istio?

Q: Why would I want to use Istio?

Traditionally, much of the logic handled by Istio has been built directly into applications. Across a fleet of services, managing updates to this communications logic can be a large burden. Istio provides an infrastructure-level solution to managing service communications.

Application developers: With Istio managing how traffic flows across their services, developers can focus exclusively on business logic and iterate quickly on new features.

Service operators: Istio enables policy enforcement and mesh monitoring from a single centralized control point, independent of application evolution. As a result, operators can ensure continuous policy compliance through a simplified management plane.

Q: How do I get started using Istio?

We recommend starting with the Guides, which walks through different core Istio concepts in a tutorial style. The guides show case intelligent routing, policy enforcement, security, telemetry, etc.

To start using Istio on your existing Kubernetes or Consul deployment, please refer to our Installation task guide.

Q: What is the license?

Istio uses the Apache License 2.0.

Q: How was Istio started?

The Istio project was started by teams from Google and IBM in partnership with the Envoy team from Lyft. It’s been developed fully in the open on GitHub.

Q: What deployment environments are supported?

Istio is designed and built to be platform-independent. For our 0.6 release, Istio supports environments running container orchestration platforms such as Kubernetes (v1.7.4 or greater) and Nomad (with Consul).

Q: How can I contribute?

Contributions are highly welcome. We look forward to community feedback, additions, and bug reports.

The code repositories are hosted on GitHub. Please see ourContribution Guidelines to learn how to contribute.

In addition to the code, there are other ways to contribute to the Istio community, including on Stack Overflow, and the mailing list.

Q: How can I discover more about Partner and Vendor opportunities?

If you’d like to speak to the Istio team about a potential integration and/or a partnership opportunity, please complete this form.

Q: Where is the documentation?

Check out the documentation right here on The docs include concept overviews, task guides, guides, and the complete reference documentation.

Detailed developer-level documentation is maintained for each component in GitHub, alongside the code. Please visit each repository for those docs:

Q: Istio doesn't work - what do I do?

Check out the troubleshooting guide for finding solutions and our bug reporting page for filing bugs.

Q: What is Istio's roadmap?

See our feature stages page and release notes for more details.

Q: What does the word 'Istio' mean?

It’s the Greek word for ‘sail’.