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Istio awarded CNCF Graduate Status

Service Mesh heavyweight Istio continue their onward march with industry recognition in the form of being granted the status of Graduation project by the CNCF.

The Istio project was started by teams from Google and IBM in partnership with the Envoy team from Lyft. It quickly gained traction as a solution for managing networking, observability and security concerns at the infrastructure level - thereby addressing a number of concerns faced by developers building out distributed systems and microservices. It is now the most widely adopted service mesh solution on the market and is used by companies such as Airbnb, Salesforce, Splunk and Ebay.

this helps to bring Istio to the broader Kubernetes ecosystem

Craig Box, Istio Steering Committee member.

Inexorable Rise

The project is fully open source and the list of corporate contributors reads like a Who's Who of the tech industry. Google, Cisco, Red Hat, Huawei, Intel and many others are active participants in the project. In May of this year, Microsoft announced that they were archiving their own Open Service Mesh offering (which is also a CNCF project) and would be folding their engineering team into the Istio initiative.

The project was already mature when it was incubated in September 2022, so it's rapid accession to Graduate status is not entirely unexpected. Given the pedigree of its backers and the almost unstoppable momentum that Istio has built up in the wider community, the Graduation announcement is in effect, a seal of approval rather than a springboard for an aspiring newcomer. As Istio Steering Committee member Craig Box noted in an interview with Techstrong TV, whilst the software is already well established, "this helps to bring Istio to the broader Kubernetes ecosystem".

Istio is one of the most active projects under the CNCF umbrella. The team behind it are not taking their foot of the gas and are busing pushing ahead with the rollout of version 1.19 of the product as well as the new Ambient Mesh feature - a dataplane without sidecars.

Note! In keeping with the maritime nomenclature around the Kubernetes ecosystem, Istio is the Greek word for 'sail'.

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