The latest version of the open-source service mesh platform Istio is now available. Version 1.3 works to improve developer usability, adds a number of debugging features, and provides better support.

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According to Lin Sun, senior technical staff member for IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software, while Istio is developed for control and visibility into microservices, this functionality can actually come with its own complexities. As a result, developers have been slow to adopt the service mesh.

“Because Istio has so many features, it was more complex than other open service mesh projects I’ve tried. If we were going to accomplish our goal of making Istio the preferred service mesh implementation, we had to make it easier for other developers to use,” she wrote in a blog post.

To achieve better usability, the new version includes the following changes:

  • All inbound traffic will be captured by default with no need to declare containerPort in the Kubernetes deployment
  • A single ‘add-to-mesh’ command in the CLI that adds existing services to Istio mesh no matter where the service is running
  • A ‘describe’ command that allows developers to to describe the pod and service needed to meet Istio’s requirements in any configuration
  • A automatic protocol detection is implemented and enabled by default for outbound traffic, but disabled for inbound traffic to allow us to stabilize this feature.

“We know that our clients need to modernize their apps and app infrastructures, and we believe that Istio is a critical technology to help them do this safely, securely, and — with the new changes in the 1.3 release — easily,” Sun wrote. “Istio’s open architecture and ecosystem combine to make the technology effective. There is no vendor lock-in limiting the types of services you can use with it. Plus, Istio can run in any cloud model — public, private, on-premises, or a hybrid cloud model.”

Other updates include: locality aware load balancing now the default, enhanced control plan monitoring, support for headless services, Istio Deployment Models concept, and organized Operations Guide.

More information is available here.