Happy 6th Birthday, Istio!

Istio sixth birthday

On May 24, 2017, Google and IBM announced the launch of Istio, an open technology that enables developers to seamlessly connect, manage, and secure networks of different microservices—regardless of platform, source, or vendor. Time flies while we are having fun, and we can’t believe Istio turns six today! We’ve been working on Istio since its v0.1 release and wanted to celebrate Istio’s sixth birthday by highlighting three things about Istio and its future that excite us.

Amazing community growth

Istio was accepted as a CNCF incubation project in September 2022. For the past year, the community has observed tremendous growth in terms of number of contributing companies and contributors. Recall that Istio had 500+ contributors from 300+ companies when Istio turned three years old? Istio now has 1,200+ contributors from 390+ companies for the past year. Special welcome to all of the Open Service Mesh contributors and users to our community!

Istio - Contributors

Istio has applied to move from Incubation to Graduation, currently in the public comment phase. Fingers crossed that Istio will become a CNCF graduated project very soon, joining Kubernetes, Prometheus, Envoy, and many other graduated projects.

Technical innovation

We are firm believers that diversity drives innovation. What amazes us most is the continuous innovation from the Istio community. Istio ambient was launched in September 2022, introducing a new Istio data plane mode without sidecars that’s designed for simplified operations, broader application compatibility, and reduced infrastructure cost. Ambient splits Istio’s functionality into two distinct layers (the zero trust secure overlay layer and optional Layer 7 processing layer). Compared with sidecars, this innovative layered approach allows users to easily adopt Istio incrementally, from no mesh, to the secure overlay, to full L7 processing as needed.

Solo’s commitment to Istio

We’re continuing to be excited about Istio’s future and passionate about helping our users adopt Istio successfully. Here at Solo, we are committed to help solidify Istio’s position as the dominant service mesh. We have members serving various Istio leadership roles (Technical Oversight Committee, Steering Committee, Product Security, and Networking working group leads) in the Istio community. Through Gloo Platform, we help users to simplify Istio adoption and roll out a service mesh across multi-clusters and multi-versions of Istio among multi-clouds.

Join us in the Istio community!

Working with incredibly smart people in the community who are open to ideas, willing to collaborate, and take time to educate others is what we love most about the Istio community. If you are interested in working on cool cloud native open source projects like Istio, we would love for you to join us as a contributor to help make Istio better. You can also join our open Slack, attend the user community meetings, or join any working group meeting that is of your interest. Once you have a pull request merged, you can submit a membership request to become an Istio contributor and developer!