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Last week, the team behind Istio, an open-source service mesh platform, announced Istio 1.3. This release makes using the service mesh platform easier for users.

What’s new in Istio 1.3?

Traffic management

In this release, automatic determination of HTTP or TCP has been added for outbound traffic when ports are not correctly named as per Istio’s conventions. The team has added a mode to the Gateway API that is used for mutual TLS operation. Envoy proxy has been improved,  it now checks Envoy’s readiness status. The team has improved the load balancing for directing the traffic to the same region and zone by default. And the Redis load balancer has now defaulted to MAGLEV while using the Redis proxy.

Improved security

This release comes with trust domain validation for services that use mutual TLS. By default, the server only authenticates the requests from the same trust domain. The team has added SDS (Software Defined Security) support for delivering the private key and certificates to each of the Istio control plane services. The team implemented major security policies including RBAC, directly into Envoy. 

Experimental telemetry 

In this release, the team has improved the Istio proxy to emit HTTP metrics directly to Prometheus, without the need of istio-telemetry service. 


Handles inbound traffic securely

Istio 1.3 secures and handles all inbound traffic on any port without the need of containerPort declarations. The team has eliminated the infinite loops that are caused in the IP tables rules when workload instances send traffic to themselves.

Enhanced EnvoyFilter API

The team has enhanced the EnvoyFilter API so that users can fully customize HTTP/TCP listeners, their filter chains returned by LDS (Listener discovery service ), Envoy HTTP route configuration that is returned by RDS (Route Discovery Service) and much more.

Improved control plane monitoring

The team has enhanced control plane monitoring by adding new metrics to monitor configuration state, metrics for sidecar injector and a new Grafana dashboard for Citadel.

Users all over seem to be excited about this release. 

To know more about this news, check out the release notes.

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