Istio is the last major component of organizations’ Kubernetes ecosystem to sit outside of the CNCF. — Chen Goldberg
The Istio project, says Chen Goldberg in the announcement, is a critical element of cloud-native infrastructure, along with Kubernetes and Knative, which are already part of CNCF. “Istio is the last major component of organizations’ Kubernetes ecosystem to sit outside of the CNCF, and its APIs are well-aligned to Kubernetes.”
“Istio works with both Kubernetes-based and traditional workloads, and brings standard, universal traffic management, telemetry, and security to complex deployments,” Goldberg says. It “extends Kubernetes to establish a programmable, application-aware network using the Envoy service proxy.”
As Frederic Lardinois explains, “service meshes may not seem like the most exciting of projects, but they are often a fundamental technology for managing large container deployments. The idea here is to have a tool that can manage all of the messaging between services, which can quickly become difficult in a system where (micro-)services—and the machines they run on—are ephemeral.”
Goldberg also notes that joining the CNCF “makes it easier for contributors and customers to demonstrate support and governance in line with the standards of other critical cloud-native projects.” If the project is accepted, Google will remain a key maintainer and provide continued investment in engineering for upstream contributions.