Announcing Istio 1.10

Istio 1.10 release announcement.

May 18, 2021

We’re excited to announce the release of Istio 1.10! We’d like to give a special thanks to our release managers Sam Naser and Zhihan Zhang in addition to the entire Test and Release Working Group for their work on 1.10.

This is our second release of 2021 and like our last few releases we’ve continued to improve Day 2 operations for Istio users.


Get a detailed list of what's changed.


Things to know and prepare before upgrading.


Download and install this release.


Visit the documentation for this release.

A few of this release’s highlights:

Discovery Selectors

In previous Istio versions, Istio’s control plane has watched and processed updates for all Kubernetes resources it cares about in a cluster. This can be a scalability bottleneck in large clusters or clusters with rapid configuration changes. Discovery Selectors limit the set of resources that Istiod watches for so you can easily ignore changes from namespaces that aren’t a concern for the mesh (e.g. a set of Spark Jobs).

You can think of them as a bit like Istio’s Sidecar API resources but for Istiod itself: a Sidecar resource limits the set of configuration that Istiod will send to Envoy. Discovery Selectors limit the set of configurations that Istio will receive and process from Kubernetes.

Check out the great write-up by Lin, Christian, and Harvey for an in-depth walk-through of this new feature!

Stable Revision Labels

Istio added support for deploying multiple control planes safely with revisions all the way back in 1.6 and we’ve been steadily improving support since. One of the major usability complaints about revisions has been that a lot of namespace relabeling was required to change revisions, because a label mapped directly to a specific Istio control plane deployment.

With revision tags, there’s now a layer of indirection: you can create tags like canary and prod, label namespaces using those tags as revisions (i.e., and associate a specific Istiod revision with that tag.

For example, imagine you have two revisions, 1-7-6 and 1-8-0. You create a revision tag prod pointed to revision 1-7-6 and create a revision tag canary pointed to the newer 1-8-0 revision.

Namespaces A and B pointed to 1-7-6, namespace C pointed to 1-8-0
Namespaces A and B pointed to 1-7-6, namespace C pointed to 1-8-0

Now, when you’re ready to promote the 1-8-0 revision from canary to prod, you can re-associate the prod tag with the 1-8-0 Istiod revision. Now all namespaces using will use the newer 1-8-0 revision for injection.

Namespaces A, B, and C pointed to 1-8-0
Namespaces A, B, and C pointed to 1-8-0

Check out the updated Canary Upgrade guide for a walk-through you can follow along with!

Sidecar Networking Changes

In previous Istio releases, Istio has rewritten pod networking to trap traffic from eth0 and send it to applications on lo. Most applications bind to both interfaces and don’t notice any difference; however some applications are specifically written to only expect specific traffic on either interface (e.g. it’s common to expose admin endpoints only on lo and never over eth0, or for stateful applications to bind only to eth0). These applications’ behavior can be impacted by how Istio directs traffic into the pod.

In 1.10, Istio is updating Envoy to send traffic to the application on eth0 rather than lo by default. For new users, this should only be an improvement. For existing users, istioctl experimental precheck will identify pods that listen on localhost, and may be impacted, as IST0143.

See the write-up by John Howard for a more in depth overview of the change, how and why it might impact you, and how to preserve today’s behavior to enable a seamless migration.

The changes in networking behavior solve a number of problems when using Istio with Kubernetes StatefulSets. Lin, Christian, John and Zhonghu discuss this in a blog post.

A Fresh Look for

We’ve revamped with a totally new look! This is the first major change to Istio’s site since the project launched nearly four years ago (we’ll celebrate that anniversary on May 24th!). We hope these changes help make the site more user-friendly, easier to navigate, and more readable overall.

This effort was sponsored by Google Cloud and we want to send a special thanks to Craig Box, Aizhamal Nurmamat kyzy and Srinath Padmanabhan for driving this effort, and to all the folks that helped review and provide feedback to early revisions.

Please give us any feedback you have by filing an issue on the repository.

Opening Up Our Design Docs

Beginning on May 20, 2021, Istio design and planning documents will be available without login to everyone on the internet. Previously, viewing them required a Google login and group membership. This change will make sharing technical documentation easier and more open. Files will remain at the same URLs as before, but the Community Drive and its folders will change location. All contributors and Drive members will be contacted this week with the new details.


Two features are being deprecated in 1.10:

See the 1.10 change notes for a more detailed overview of these deprecations.

Tell Us How We’re Doing

If you have upgraded your service mesh to Istio 1.10, we would like to hear from you! Please consider taking this brief (~2 minute) survey to help us understand what we’re doing well, and where we still need to improve.

See also