Happy Birthday Istio!

Lin Sun
| May 24, 2021

Istio turns 4 today! This month, I’ve also reached 20 years working in the software industry, time flies!  Out of these years, I have seldom worked on a project for over 3 years. The Istio project is one of the exceptions that I worked on for over 3 years.

I still remember in the very early days of the Istio project only Googlers and IBMers participated, from the roadmap discussion to scrums. It was certainly not an open community as it is today. I am super excited that the project has opened up tremendously with contributors from 350+ companies and 500+ individual contributors in the past year. We now have members from Google, Solo.io and Aspen Mesh on the Istio Technical Oversight Committee along with members from Google, IBM, RedHat, Solo.io, Aspen Mesh, Salesforce, Huawei and Tetrate holding leadership positions in the community. Check out Istio’s case studies to view a list of companies using Istio and hear some of their stories!

I am a firm believer that diversity drives innovation. What amazes me most is the continuous innovation from the Istio community. We heard from our users that Istio is hard to operate; we drastically simplified the control plane to one single component.  We heard from our users that Istio is hard to upgrade and cause downtimes; we introduced revision based upgrade, further simplified the upgrade experience in Istio 1.10 with control plane revision tags, and introduced gateway injection to provide the exact same gateway upgrade experience as upgrading users’ workloads. We heard that Kubernetes StatefulSets don’t work with Istio out of the box; we provided zero-configuration experience to our users for StatefulSets in Istio 1.10.

Working with incredible smart people in the community who are open to ideas and willing to take time to educate others is what I love most about the Istio community. As someone living and breathing in the community, I often found myself learning new things from others whether it is interesting perspectives or exciting or surprising behaviors of Istio!

Last year, when Istio turned 3 years old, I wrote 5 reasons to be excited about Istio’s future. I’m continuing to be excited about its future and I am 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. Through Gloo Mesh, we help users to simplify Istio adoption and roll out a service mesh across multi-clusters and multi-versions of Istio among multi-clouds. Furthermore, we are rebuilding the next generation of Gloo Edge natively on top of Istio.

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