Reworking our Addon Integrations

Starting with Istio 1.6, we are introducing a new method for integration with telemetry addons, such as Grafana, Prometheus, Zipkin, Jaeger, and Kiali.

In previous releases, these addons were bundled as part of the Istio installation. This allowed users to quickly get started with Istio without any complicated configurations to install and integrate these addons. However, it came with some issues:

  • The Istio addon installations were not as up to date or feature rich as upstream installation methods. Users were left missing out on some of the great features provided by these applications, such as:
    • Persistent storage
    • Features like Alertmanager for Prometheus
    • Advanced security settings
  • Integration with existing deployments that were using these features was more challenging than it should be.


In order to address these gaps, we have made a number of changes:

  • Added a new Integrations documentation section to explain which applications Istio can integrate with, how to use them, and best practices.

  • Reduced the amount of configuration required to set up telemetry addons

  • Removed the bundled addon installations from istioctl and the operator. Istio does not install components that are not delivered by the Istio project. As a result, Istio will stop shipping installation artifacts related to addons. However, Istio will guarantee version compatibility where necessary. It is the user’s responsibility to install these components by using the official Integrations documentation and artifacts provided by the respective projects. For demos, users can deploy simple YAML files from the samples/addons/ directory.

We hope these changes allow users to make the most of these addons so as to fully experience what Istio can offer.


  • Istio 1.6: The new demo deployments for telemetry addons are available under samples/addons/ directory.
  • Istio 1.7: Upstream installation methods or the new samples deployment are the recommended installation methods. Installation by istioctl is deprecated.
  • Istio 1.8: Installation of addons by istioctl is removed.
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