Tetrate Backs AWS Kubernetes Distro for On-Prem Environs

Tetrate, a provider of a management platform of the open source Istio service mesh, is extending its alliance with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to add support for Amazon EKS Distro, a distribution of Kubernetes that is at the core of the AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service.

AWS during its online AWS re:Invent 2020 conference announced it is making its distribution of Kubernetes available to organizations that want to standardize on the same curated instance of Kubernetes that AWS employs in the cloud in their on-premises IT environments.

In addition to providing Tetrate Service Bridge (TSB) to manage instances of Istio, Tetrate makes available a curated instance of Istio for enterprise IT organizations that can be integrated with Amazon EKS Distro. IT teams that have standardized on Amazon EKS now want to be able to extend that platform to hybrid cloud computing applications that reach into on-premises IT environments.

Company CEO Varun Talwar says TSB provides IT teams with a management plane that integrates with the control plane embedded within the Istio service mesh along with commercial support for Istio. TSB also enables multi-tenancy for Istio along with providing support for a multi-cluster mesh, traffic management, mesh and application-level observability, end-to-end mutual Transport Layer Security (mTLS) and fine-grained authorization.

Talwar says that while there’s a lot of interest in Istio among enterprise IT organizations that have adopted Kubernetes clusters, the capabilities they require go well beyond what’s currently provided in the core open source project.

In general, TSB makes it easier for IT teams to react and respond to events as they occur in a cloud-native computing environment that may eventually span hundreds, perhaps, thousands of microservices, he says.

It’s too early to say whether Istio will become the de facto service mesh for Kubernetes or only one of several options for those application environments. The most recent version of Istio added a single deployment model, available in beta, that unifies the provisioning of Istio across multiple clusters.

The technical oversight committee for Istio has also committed to making WebAssembly the preferred framework for extending Istio to enable options such as firewall capabilities to a service mesh.

These capabilities, along with an instance of Istio that has been considerably streamlined, will significantly expand the appeal of a feature-rich service mesh that already enjoys wide support from a large number of vendors, says Talwar.

Regardless of approach, it’s now only a matter of time before more IT teams managing hundreds of microservices discover they need something more robust than a proxy server or a Kubernetes ingress controller to manage them.

At the same time, IT teams are also discovering the advantages of an abstraction layer service meshes provide on top of network underlays. Developers no longer are required to master low-level application programming interfaces (APIs) to programmatically invoke networking services.

In fact, service meshes should accelerate a convergence of network operations (NetOps) and DevOps that is arguably long overdue. The only real question is how many service meshes might be required to achieve that goal.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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