Why Do You Need a Service Mesh?

In the Service Mesh Architecture, the Control Plane manifests a user interface so users can customize the behavior of proxies within the Data plane using policies. This configuration is then made available to other brokers through another API. This needs to be possible for the data planes to connect to the Control Plane to get registered and receive the configuration information.

The service mesh infrastructure allows for the management of communication among your microservices. Service meshes were developed to help developers who work with microservices make their work more efficient. These are distributed systems that consolidate management and administrative tasks.

A microservices approach involves breaking down your application into loosely coupled services. It is a good approach because it allows teams to scale and change designs using different tools and languages quickly. Conversely, microservices present new challenges Service Mesh regarding operational complexity and data consistency.

The service meshes were designed to solve some problems by giving granular control of how services communicate particular; service meshes offer developers the ability to manage containers natively. At the same time, it’s still possible to accomplish these tasks with container orchestrators like Kubernetes. However, doing so requires more up-front decisions and administrative work than solutions such as Istio and Linkerd. As such, service meshes simplify and streamline working with microservice components. Sometimes they even enhance the functionality of those components.

These architectures were born out of the 3-tier application model—this divided applications into web tiers, application layers, and databases. The three-tier application model proved difficult for companies experiencing rapid expansion. This model can lead to unwieldy code bases that are “big balls” of mud, which pose challenges in development and deployment.

To address this issue, Google, Netflix, and Twitter have developed “fat client libraries” to standardize operations between services. The libraries offered load-balancing, routing, and telemetry, precursors of service mesh. These libraries imposed restrictions on what languages developers were allowed to use, and they required that changes be made across all services whenever they updated or changed.

The service meshes were designed to solve these problems by providing coordinated control and precise control over the communication between services. The sections below will examine how service meshes enable service-to-service communication. These include service discovery, load balancing within services, configuration of traffic, encryption, authentication, authorization, and metrics and monitoring. To demonstrate how service meshes function, we’ll use Istio Bookinfo as an example. It’s a sample application that consists of 4 microservices that display book information.

In a distributed framework, you need to be aware of how to access services and whether they are accessible. The network is dynamically allocated service instance locations, and the information they contain constantly changes as containers are created or destroyed by autoscaling upgrades and failures.

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