Upcoming networking changes in Istio 1.10
Understanding the upcoming changes to Istio networking, how they may impact your cluster, and what action to take.
While Kubernetes networking is customizable, a typical pod’s network will look like this:
An application may choose to bind to either the loopback interface
lo (typically binding to
127.0.0.1), or the pods network interface
eth0 (typically to the pod’s IP), or both (typically binding to
lo allows calls such as
curl localhost to work from within the pod.
eth0 allows calls to the pod from other pods.
Typically, an application will bind to both.
However, applications which have internal logic, such as an admin interface may choose to bind to only
lo to avoid access from other pods.
Additionally, some applications, typically stateful applications, choose to bind only to
In Istio prior to release 1.10, the Envoy proxy, running in the same pod as the application, binds to the
eth0 interface and redirects all inbound traffic to the
This has two important side effects that cause the behavior to differ from standard Kubernetes:
- Applications binding only to
lowill receive traffic from other pods, when otherwise this is not allowed.
- Applications binding only to
eth0will not receive traffic.
Applications that bind to both interfaces (which is typical) will not be impacted.
Starting with Istio 1.10, the networking behavior is changed to align with the standard behavior present in Kubernetes.
Here we can see that the proxy no longer redirects the traffic to the
lo interface, but instead forwards it to the application on
As a result, the standard behavior of Kubernetes is retained, but we still get all the benefits of Istio.
This change allows Istio to get closer to its goal of being a drop-in transparent proxy that works with existing workloads with zero configuration.
Additionally, it avoids unintended exposure of applications binding only to
Am I impacted?
For new users, this change should only be an improvement. However, if you are an existing user, you may have come to depend on the old behavior, intentionally or accidentally.
To help detect these situations, we have added a check to find pods that will be impacted.
You can run the
istioctl experimental precheck command to get a report of any pods binding to
lo on a port exposed in a
This command is available in Istio 1.10+.
Without action, these ports will no longer be accessible upon upgrade.
$ istioctl experimental precheck
Error [IST0143] (Pod echo-local-849647c5bd-g9wxf.default) Port 443 is exposed in a Service but listens on localhost. It will not be exposed to other pods.
Error [IST0143] (Pod echo-local-849647c5bd-g9wxf.default) Port 7070 is exposed in a Service but listens on localhost. It will not be exposed to other pods.
Error: Issues found when checking the cluster. Istio may not be safe to install or upgrade.
See https://istio.io/latest/docs/reference/config/analysis for more information about causes and resolutions.
If you are currently binding to
lo, you have a few options:
Switch your application to bind to all interfaces (
Explicitly configure the port using the
Sidecaringress configuration to send to
lo, preserving the old behavior.
For example, to configure request to be sent to
apiVersion: networking.istio.io/v1beta1 kind: Sidecar metadata: name: ratings spec: workloadSelector: labels: app: ratings ingress: - port: number: 8080 protocol: HTTP name: http defaultEndpoint: 127.0.0.1:8080
Disable the change entirely with the
PILOT_ENABLE_INBOUND_PASSTHROUGH=falseenvironment variable in Istiod, to enable the same behavior as prior to Istio 1.10. This option will be removed in the future.