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The KubeCon+CloudNativeCon happening at Seattle this week has excited developers with its plethora of new announcements and releases. This conference dedicated to Kubernetes and other cloud native technologies, brings together adopters and technologists from leading open source and cloud native communities to discuss new advancements at the cloud front.

At this year’s conference, Google Cloud announced the beta availability of ‘Istio’ for its Google Kubernetes Engine. Istio was launched in the middle of 2017, as a result of a collaboration between Google, IBM and Lyft. According to Google, this open-source “service mesh” that is used to connect, manage and secure microservices on a variety of platforms- like Kubernetes- will play a vital role in helping developers make the most of their microservices.

Yesterday, Google Cloud Director of Engineering Chen Goldberg and Director of Product Management Jennifer Lin said in a blog post that the availability of Istio on Google Kubernetes Engine will provide “more granular visibility, security and resilience for Kubernetes-based apps”. This service will be made available through Google’s Cloud Services Platform that bundles together all the tools and services needed by developers to get their container apps up and running on the company’s cloud or in on-premises data centres.

In an interview with SiliconANGLE, Holger Mueller, principal analyst and vice president of Constellation Research Inc., compared software containers to “cars.” He says that  “Kubernetes has built the road but the cars have no idea where they are, how fast they are driving, how they interact with each other or what their final destination is. Enter Istio and enterprises get all of the above. Istio is a logical step for Google and a sign that the next level of deployments is about manageability, visibility and awareness of what enterprises are running.”

Additional features of Istio

  1. Istio allows developers and operators to manage applications as services and not as lots of different infrastructure components.
  2. Istio allows users to encrypt all their network traffic, layering transparently onto any existing distributed application. Users need not embed any client libraries in their code to avail this functionality.
  3. Istio on GKE also comes with an integration into Stackdriver, Google Cloud’s monitoring and logging service.
  4. Istio securely authenticates and connects a developer’s services to one another. It transparently adds mTLS to a service communication, thus encrypting all information in transit. It provides a service identity for each service, allowing developers to create service-level policies enforced for each individual application transaction, while providing non-replayable identity protection.

Istio is yet another step for GKE that will make it easier to secure and efficiently manage containerized applications. Head over to TechCrunch for more insights on this news.

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