Service Mesh


Recently I’ve been working in some interesting OCP deployments with Service Mesh. I mean that is a very powerful and I’d say complicates subject – even for experts on the matter doesn’t seem trivial.

The context here is Istio, just to be clear. So I’m talking about the Cloud Native Computing Foundation project. Service Mesh is basically an extension of OCP where it provides customizable features. In this matter, Service mesh can add so much flexility and enables such a centralized control for microservices handling.

Features of Service mesh include load balancing, full/automatic authentication canary releases, access control and even end-to-end authentication (via Istio mtls). Everything in one place.

Objectively Service Mesh adds a transparent layer of transport – all without any application change. To do that Service Mesh
captures/intercepting traffic between services that will act to modify, redirect, or create new requests to other services.

To do this interception/capture of requests, Service Mesh relies on the envoy sidecar – which is a container together with the other application in the same pod – a sidecar.

For deployments such as JBoss EAP/Widlfly this can be very interesting for be able to control communication and establish a level of network control more than what the services (eap-app-ping for clustering) already provide.

On the other hand, some architectures are coming up to use Istio without the sidecar, called sidecarless. One example is Ambient Mesh. So sidecarless implementations can be useful for environments where instrumenting the pod increases its complexity (deployment and instrumentation) and where it can be just simpler to not instrument the pod.

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