Istio Project Graduates from Cloud Native Computing Foundation Incubator

Milestone Underscores Istio’s Commitment to Becoming the Industry-Standard in Service Mesh

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 12, 2023 – The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) announced today that Istio, the leading open-source service mesh project, has received Graduation status. This milestone represents a significant achievement for Istio, validating its maturity, stability, and wide-scale adoption within the cloud-native community.

Since its introduction in 2017, Istio has emerged as a game-changer in managing microservices architectures, addressing challenges related to security, reliability, and observability. Initially developed collaboratively by Google, IBM, and Lyft, Istio’s success is attributed to its innovative features and a dedicated community of contributors, developers, and users. has been contributing to the Istio project for over five years, and is now the second largest contributor. In addition, several members of Solo’s leadership team hold prominent roles within Istio – Louis Ryan, CTO; Neeraj Poddar, head of engineering; and Lin Sun, director of open-source have all served as members of the Istio Technical Oversight Committee, and Christian Posta, global field CTO, serves on the Istio Steering Committee

“I am immensely proud of the project reaching the Graduated level within the CNCF,” said Louis Ryan, CTO of and co-founder of Istio. “It is a clear testament to the dedication and collaborative spirit of our vibrant community, as well as the value the project provides to our users. Istio has evolved from an ambitious idea into a mature and stable service mesh solving large real-world problems. Today’s milestone reinforces Istio’s position as the leading service mesh, and we are excited to continue driving innovation to support the needs of our users and contributors.” 

Graduation signifies Istio’s evolution into a robust and reliable service mesh solution that has garnered widespread adoption across many industries. Organizations ranging from startups to large enterprises to government entities to telcos have adopted Istio in order to enhance their microservices-based applications and improve operational efficiency, security, and observability within their systems. Istio’s graduation from incubation reflects its maturity and stability, thanks to continuous testing, refinement, and optimization. Through a series of major releases, Istio has addressed critical features, improved performance, and refined its capabilities to handle the complexities of managing service-to-service communication at scale.

By incubating the project within the CNCF over the last year, the project has seen rapid growth in the contributor community. During the CNCF’s incubation phase, numerous developers, experts, and users actively participated in its development, providing valuable feedback, code contributions, and bug fixes. Additionally, users have had the unique and impactful opportunity to develop further options within the technology designed to meet and exceed users’ needs such as Istio Ambient Mesh, launched by Google and Solo, which allows users to opt for sidecarless architecture, reducing costs by up to 90%. It has been this type of collaborative effort that has solidified Istio’s sustainability beyond its initial creators and ensured its continued innovation.

“Istio has redefined the way we architect, secure, and manage our distributed applications,” said Idit Levine, CEO and founder of “Istio’s graduation symbolizes the project’s exceptional journey of growth and innovation as well as the collective efforts of an incredible community. Congratulations to the Istio team, contributors, and users worldwide for this monumental achievement. Together, we are shaping the future of microservices and empowering organizations to embrace a new era of cloud-native excellence.” 

Industry support and adoption has also played a pivotal role in Istio’s graduation. Many individuals and organizations have recognized Istio’s value and contributed to its advancement, underscoring its relevance in the cloud-native landscape. Collaboration with industry leaders has enabled Istio to tackle real-world challenges and adapt to evolving requirements.

As Istio graduates, it bolsters its position as the leading service mesh, empowering organizations to efficiently manage and secure their microservices architectures in a cloud-native environment. With this achievement, Istio is poised to continue its journey of innovation and address the evolving needs of the cloud-native community.


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