Unlock distributed systems behavioral performance analysis

Meshery is the easiest way to get started with Nighthawk on any cloud or platform.

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What is Nighthawk?

Nighthawk is a versatile HTTP load testing tool built out of a need to drill HTTP services with a constant request rate or with an adaptive request rate. Layer5 offers a custom distribution of Nighthawk with intelligent adaptive load controllers to automatically identify optimal configurations for your service mesh deployment. As a Layer 7 performance characterization tool supporting HTTP/HTTPS/HTTP2, Nighthawk is Meshery's (and Envoy's) load generator and is written in C++.


Nighthawk and Meshery

Meshery integrates Nighthawk as one of (currently) three choices of load generator for characterizing and managing the performance of service meshes and their workloads.


Easing Management of the Nighthawk Lifecycle

As with a lot of open source projects, there is a lack of consistent tooling. This makes it difficult to have easily repeatable tests in that the building, deploying, and maintaining of Nighthawk instances (potentially a fleet of Nighthawk instances) is a burden without additional tooling.

Distributed Performance Management

Distributed load testing offers insight into system behaviors that arguably more accurately represent real world behaviors of services under load as that load comes from any number of sources.

Engineers need multi-variate load generation and analysis techniques offered through distributed performance analysis. Nighthawk is being improved so that it can be horizontally scalable - such that multiple instances will be cognizant of one another and able to coordinate amongst each other. Nighthawk is growing in popularity with Layer5, Google, Red Hat, and AWS investing into it.


Enabling Standards-based, Distributed Performance Management - Nighthawk integrates Meshery and Nighthawk. Through this integration Meshery facilitates Service Mesh Performance (SMP) compatibility for Nighthawk.

cloud image

Nighthawk Distribution

Stable builds available for:

  • Debian
  • CentOS
  • Unbuntu
  • macOS
  • Docker

In these package managers:

  • Homebrew
  • Scoop
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Nighthawk integrates with Meshery and provides you with the ability to schedule performance tests or insert them into your CI pipeline.

Adaptive analysis in which you may run multi-stage performance tests and persist their results in a historical archive is also enabled through integration with Meshery.

Cloud Native Distributed Performance Management

Standards-based, distributed performance management

Nighthawk will provide generally-available distributions of Nighthawk under different architectures and platforms and easy-to-use tooling for installation and operation. This will include creating distributions of Nighthawk as well as augmenting existing tooling, Meshery, to retrieve these arch-specific packages and update their deployments.

Further the state of distributed
performance management.

Enable standards-based, distributed performance management through compatibility with the Service Mesh Performance (SMP) specification.

Facilitate Nighthawk adoption.

Deliver trusted, certified builds, distributed via the most popular package managers: apt, yum, Homebrew, and platforms: Docker and Meshery. Bridge Nighthawk’s C++ with the lingua franca of Cloud Native: Golang.

Deliver easy-to-use, repeatable

To leverage Nighthawk as the performance characterization tool as used in the 30 patterns in the Service Mesh Patterns book.

Educate the ecosystem

Educate the ecosystem through the CNCF Service Mesh Working Group.
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Participate in the state of the art.
Join us in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation's Service Mesh Working Group.

Join the Layer5 community. Subscribe.

Layer5, the cloud native management company

An empowerer of engineers, Layer5 helps you extract more value from your infrastructure. Creator and maintainer of cloud native standards. Maker of Meshery, the cloud native manager.