Microsoft’s Istio – an open source service mesh based on Envoy

Microsoft announced a new open source project called "Open Service Mesh (OSM)". It is a lightweight and scalable service mesh running on Kubernetes; it is intended as a reference implementation of the Service Mesh Interface (SMI) specification.

Microsoft software engineer Michelle Noorali said that OSM enables users to manage, protect and observe service-to-service communication in a highly dynamic microservice environment. And expressed that it hopes that this project can become a community-led project with an open governance mechanism. The company plans to implement an open governance model and has submitted a proposal to donate the project to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

We hope that OSM is a community-led project that will promote collaboration on SMI's new API and existing APIs. We want OSM to have an open governance mechanism and we want to be in a place where we can easily collaborate with the community, so we have submitted a proposal and started the process of donating OSM to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

We hope that OSM will allow Kubernetes operators to easily install, maintain, and run. At the same time, we are determined to make OSM simple and understandable for the entire community and contribute to it.

The project has a control plane compatible with service mesh interface specifications, Envoy for the data plane, and flexible design, so it can be used in simple or complex scenarios. In addition, OSM is designed to simplify tasks such as configuring traffic transfers, protecting inter-service communications, fine-grained access control policies, indicators for debugging and monitoring, integration with certificate management solutions, and built-in applications.

In fact, there are many other service mesh technologies on the market today; including Istio , Kuma, and Linkerd . Currently, Linkerd is managed by CNCF; Kuma is also donated to CNCF as a Sandbox project. As for Istio, Google announced the establishment of a new open-use sharing organization Open Usage Commons last month. Regardless of its commitment with CNCF, it transferred Istio's trademark ownership to the organization.

As we all know, Istio has complex deployment and management. The difference between OSM and Istio is that it is easier to use than Istio in addition to its donation to CNCF. Gabe Monroy, product director of Microsoft Azure Application Platform and CNCF board member , said in an interview that Open Service Mesh was designed to be a lightweight version of Istio.

"What customers tell us is that today's solutions are very complex, and Istio is a good example. This is not what I said alone. We saw customer data in the AKS support queue, and they are trying to use this thing - They are struggling here. This is the technology that is difficult to use, technology that is difficult to build on a large scale. So there are some unsatisfactory aspects of the external solutions. We really think that some things are lighter and more focused on SMI. It is the best choice for customers who are involved in this technology today."

In addition, regarding the much-watched dispute between Istio and CNCF, Monroy said, “This is very interesting. Many people pay attention to governance issues. But I think that when people pay too much attention to this issue, you Will ignore the customer’s use of this technology. The fact is that nowadays, customers using Istio do not have a good life. I think even those who go deep into the community will admit this, which is why we are currently not interested in this The real reason the ecosystem contributes."

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