Announcing Istio's graduation within the CNCF

Jul 12, 2023 | By Craig Box, for the Istio Steering Committee

We are delighted to announce that Istio is now a graduated Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) project.

We would like to thank our TOC sponsors Emily Fox and Nikhita Raghunath, and everyone who has collaborated over the past six years on Istio’s design, development, and deployment.

As before, project work continues uninterrupted. We were excited to bring ambient mesh to Alpha in Istio 1.18 and are continuing to drive it to production readiness. Sidecar deployments remain the recommended method of using Istio, and our 1.19 release will support a new sidecar container feature in Alpha in Kubernetes 1.28.

We have been delighted to welcome Microsoft to our community after their decision to archive the Open Service Mesh project and collaborate together on Istio. As the third most active CNCF project in terms of PRs, and with support from over 20 vendors and dozens of contributing companies, there is simply no better choice for a service mesh.

We would like to invite the Istio community to submit a talk to the upcoming virtual IstioCon 2023, the companion full day, in-person event co-located with KubeCon China in Shanghai, or Istio Day co-located with KubeCon NA in Chicago.

Watch a video

In this video for Techstrong TV, I talk about the history of the project, and what graduation means to us.

Words of support from our alumni

When we announced our incubation, we mentioned that the journey began with Istio’s inception in 2016. One of the great things about collaborative open source projects is that people come and go from employers, but their affiliation with a project can remain. Some of our original contributors founded companies based on Istio; some moved to other companies that support it; and some are still working on it at Google or IBM, six years later.

The announcement from the CNCF and blog posts from Intel, Red Hat,, Tetrate, VMware and DaoCloud summarize the thoughts and feelings of those working on the project today.

We also reached out to some contributors who have moved on from the project, to share their thoughts.