Microservices have grown tremendously in use—they enable decoupled, reusable components and support a rapid development approach. However, it’s challenging to manage a sea of disparate microservices. It’s specifically difficult to consistently apply standard features such as traffic management, security and observability mechanisms across all microservices. This issue grows as the number of microservices climbs into the hundreds and thousands.
This is where service mesh comes in. Service mesh helps to apply common observability and security features across applications. It’s typically split into a control plane, used to configure features, and a data plane, consisting of a sidecar proxy alongside each application. Nowadays, several service mesh options exist in the market, each with varying levels of complexity.
The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is home to much of today’s innovative cloud-native technology. The foundation now hosts a few service meshes and related projects. Below, we’ll outline the CNCF service mesh toolset to better understand how engineers can adopt these tools and their benefits.