Istio the Easy Way (Again!)

A while back I wrote a blog post about how to get Istio up and running the easy way with SuperGloo, our mesh-agnostic, open-source project to orchestrate service meshes. That blog post walked through a series of commands you can run to install Istio or Linkerd and also try out different features in Istio.

Since then, we’ve been busy at on how to make the installation and experience of service mesh (any mesh) even easier. In May, we announced the Service Mesh Hub, a dashboard for all your service-mesh operations that builds on top of and extends the SuperGloo project. In particular, Service Mesh Hub provides the ability to interact with the mesh through a graphical user interface.

The read-only version of the Service Mesh Hub can be viewed at

Installing The Service Mesh Hub

Run the command to install the Hub to the `sm-marketplace` namespace of your Kubernetes cluster

$ kubectl apply -f

Once the pods are running, you can open the hub by port forwarding:

$ kubectl port-forward -n sm-marketplace deploy/smm-apiserver 8080

And then navigate to localhost:8080 in your browser.

Discover or Install a Service Mesh

Once the Service Mesh Hub is installed, it will automatically discover any existing meshes on your cluster, register them to the dashboard and display them in the “Installed Meshes” section of the dashboard.

To install a new service mesh to the cluster, click the green plus sign next to “Install a new Mesh” and that section will expand to walk you through the install process.

Click to select the mesh framework (Hashicorp Consul support coming — you can use Consul with SuperGloo), type in a name for the mesh then select the namespace you want to install the mesh and the version of the mesh you want and click “Install Mesh” — that’s it.

Install an Extension

What is an “Extension” exactly? An extension is an application written by a software vendor or by you that adds features to the service mesh environment. For example, Flagger is a Kubernetes operator that automates canary deployments, Gloo Gateway functions as an ingress to the mesh cluster and more. Your team can write a custom tool for security, observability or anything and host it in the Extensions catalog so that your team can browse, install and manage them.

The Service Mesh Hub is focused on how to make this process easier to operate and also make it easy to build new functionality to extend service mesh environments. The Extensions catalog shows all the available extensions as cards and filter by the mesh they are compatible with and what is already installed.

You can install directly from the Extensions catalog by clicking to select an extension or you can install from the target mesh environment by clicking the “Install an Extension” link. Once the process is done, you’ll see the icon in the “Installed Extensions” section.

Whether you’re just starting to evaluate and experiment with service mesh or looking to improve the manageability of your existing meshes, the Service Mesh Hub provides a unified dashboard for service mesh.

Check out this short demo