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Yesterday, the team at Microsoft launched Service Mesh Interface (SMI) that defines a set of common and portable APIs. It is an open project that started in partnership with Microsoft, HashiCorp, Linkerd, Solo.io, Kinvolk, and Weaveworks and with support coming from Aspen Mesh, Docker, Canonical, Pivotal, Rancher, Red Hat, and VMware.

SMI provides developers with interoperability across different service mesh technologies including Linkerd, Istio, and Consul Connect.

The need for service mesh technology

Previously, not much attention was given to the network architecture and organizations believed in making applications smarter instead. But now while dealing with micro-services, containers, and orchestration systems like Kubernetes, the engineering teams face issues with securing, managing and monitoring a number of network endpoints.

The service mesh technology has a solution to this problem as it makes the network smarter. It pushes service this logic into the network, controlled by a separate set of management APIs, and frees the engineers from teaching all the services to encrypt sessions, authorize clients, emit reasonable telemetry.

Key features of Service Mesh Interface(SMI)

  • It provides a standard interface for meshes on Kubernetes.
  • It also comes with a basic feature set for common mesh use cases.
  • It provides lexibility to support new mesh capabilities.
  • It applies policies like identity and transport encryption across services.
  • It also captures key metrics like error rate and latency between services.
  • Service Mesh Interface shifts and weighs traffic between different services.

William Morgan, Linkerd maintainer, said, “SMI is a big step forward for Linkerd’s goal of democratizing the service mesh, and we’re excited to make Linkerd’s simplicity and performance available to even more Kubernetes users.”

Idit Levine, Founder and CEO of Solo.io, said, “The standardization of interfaces are crucial to ensuring a great end user experience across technologies and for ecosystem collaboration. With that spirit, we are excited to work with Microsoft and others on the SMI specification and have already delivered the first reference implementations with the Service Mesh Hub and SuperGloo project.”

To know more about this news, check out Microsoft’s blog post.

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