Reference architecture for cross-cluster routing using API gateways & service mesh

Organizations might start their Kubernetes journey with a single cluster, but grow quickly to need to add additional clusters. Each cluster can be located in different regions, data centers, or cloud providers. This allows organizations to distribute their workloads and application teams across multiple clusters, which can improve resiliency, increase performance, and reduce single points of failure. Kubernetes solves the management of containers in a single cluster, but managing multiple Kubernetes clusters can be challenging, especially across several teams and environments. Gloo Platform is an API gateway and service mesh platform that helps simplify the management of multi-cluster Kubernetes environments by providing a unified API to configure the network and provide an abstraction over Istio, Envoy, and Cilium.

As an API gateway and service mesh platform, Gloo Platform provides several benefits for managing multi-cluster Kubernetes environments, including:

  1. Centralized management: Gloo Platform provides a centralized management platform for multi-cluster Kubernetes environments. This allows organizations to manage multiple clusters from a single location, simplifying the management of complex environments.
  2. Consistent configuration: Gloo Platform provides a consistent configuration for all clusters, ensuring that all clusters have the same configuration. This reduces the risk of configuration errors and simplifies troubleshooting.
  3. Secure communication: Gloo Platform provides secure communication between services running in different clusters. This allows organizations to secure their multi-cluster environments and ensure that data is transmitted securely.
  4. Global routing & failover: Gloo Platform provides intelligent multi-cluster routing for active-active and active-passive workloads in your environment. Set up locality-aware failover by specifying regions, zones to reroute traffic.

Gloo Platform consists of three main components:

  1. API gateway: Gloo Gateway is responsible for being the security barrier and routing traffic from your clients to your microservices running in different clusters or workloads outside the clusters such as VM’s or Lambdas.
  2. Service mesh: Powered by Istio, Gloo Mesh provides secure communication and policy enforcement between services running across both intra-cluster and inter-clusters.
  3. Management server: The Gloo Platform Management Server provides a centralized management layer for multi-cluster Kubernetes environments. The management server provides a consistent configuration to all clusters, providing global service discovery, and observability capabilities for your apps across clusters, clouds, and environments.

These components are designed to be used independently and the architecture can scale to your needs. We helped many customers adopt a multi-region environment designed for resiliency, performance, flexibility, and reducing risk.

In this video, I will discuss how to use the API gateway and service mesh components of the Gloo Platform to incrementally and securely adopt multiple clusters by leveraging a gateway-first approach and then distributing workloads across regions.

Try out Gloo Platform

If you liked what you learned here, you’re welcome to test drive Gloo Platform 2.3 today by requesting a free trial. If you would like to learn more about Gloo Platform or any of the component products in the Gloo Platform, our documentation page has all the details. If you still have questions (or just want to reach out with feedback), we have a public Slack community available for anyone to join and chat with us. We’d love to hear from you!

You can also find us to talk with in-person at a city near you at Application Networking Day. We’d love to see you there!

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