Envoy Gateway, Open Source

Envoy Gateway’s Latest v0.3 Release Extends the Kubernetes Gateway API

Four months after the first public release of Envoy Gateway (EG), we’re very pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 0.3. This latest release is the culmination of hard work by several Tetrands, along with others from across the community. Envoy Gateway now supports the entire Kubernetes Gateway API, including the experimental parts—adding some powerful new features and moving this free open-source software ever-closer to being a fully-featured API Gateway.

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Istio, Open Source, Service Mesh

Performance Optimization for Istio

This article is part of a three-part series on Istio’s development, how to optimize Istio performance (this article), and Istio’s open source ecosystem and its future.

After Istio’s architecture stabilized in version 1.5 (March 2020), as mentioned in the previous article, the community’s main focus turned to optimizing performance. In the following sections, we’ll look at the different optimization methods that were considered by Istio and describe which approaches were adopted.

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Istio, Open Source, Service Mesh

How the Istio Service Mesh Became Critical Infrastructure for Cloud Native Applications

This is the first in a series of three articles that reviews the development of the Istio open-source project (this article), shows how to optimize Istio performance, and describes Istio’s open-source ecosystem and future. I also share my view on the most appropriate use of eBPF with Istio, mostly in the second article.

Service mesh technology is on the rise due to the popularity of Kubernetes container management software, the use of microservices and the DevOps approach in application development and delivery, and the growing use of cloud native architectures. Istio is the leading service mesh software, nearly always implemented with Envoy as a sidecar proxy. 

The rise of Kubernetes and programmable data proxies such as Envoy proxy create the foundation for Istio. The future of Istio is to further serve as the foundation for a secure, zero-trust network.

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Istio, Security, Service Mesh

Optimize Traffic Management and Security with These Service Mesh Best Practices

This is the third in a series of service mesh best practices articles excerpted from Tetrate’s forthcoming book, Istio in Production, by Tetrate founding engineer Zack Butcher.

Istio is like a set of Legos: it has many capabilities that can be assembled just about any way you want. The structure that emerges is based on how you assemble the parts. In the previous installment of this blog series, we described an opinionated runtime topology to build a robust, resilient, and reliable infrastructure. In this article, we’ll describe an opinionated set of mesh configurations to help achieve robustness, resiliency, reliability, and security at runtime.

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Istio, Security, Service Mesh

Service Mesh Deployment Best Practices for Security and High Availability

This is the second in a series of service mesh best practices articles excerpted from Tetrate’s forthcoming book, Istio in Production, by Tetrate founding engineer Zack Butcher.

There are a few moving pieces when it comes to a service mesh deployment in a real infrastructure across many clusters. The primary pieces we want to highlight here are how control planes should be deployed near applications, how ingresses should be deployed to facilitate safety and agility, how to facilitate cross-cluster load balancing using Envoy, and what certificates should look like inside the mesh.

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FIPS Certification, Istio, Tetrate, Zero Trust

How Tetrate Istio Distro Became the First FIPS-Compliant Istio Distribution

Federal information systems need FedRAMP approval for authority to operate.  To get that approval, they must comply with the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS). For cryptography, this means that if you’re a U.S. government agency or a vendor or contractor supplying the government, you must use FIPS 140-2 compliant modules wherever encryption is required. If you want to use Istio or Envoy in those systems, you can’t use the stock community builds of Istio and Envoy, since they don’t use FIPS-compliant cryptography modules and are thus not suitable for a FedRAMP environment.

Tetrate enables government organizations to meet this requirement by supplying Istio users with the first FIPS-verified open source distribution of Istio and Envoy as part of Tetrate’s hardened and performant Tetrate Istio Distro

In this article we will lay out the basics of FIPS compliance, what it means for Istio and Envoy, and the surest way to get to production with Istio in a FIPS-regulated environment.


  • Software used by federal information systems must be FIPS compliant.
  • Stock builds of Istio and Envoy are not FIPS compliant.
  • Tetrate offers the first FIPS-certified builds of Istio and Envoy with its open source Istio distribution, Tetrate Istio Distro, plus enterprise support with Tetrate Istio Subscription.

To find out more about FIPS and Istio, download our free Primer on Zero Trust and FIPS for Cloud Native Applications.

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Top 10 Blog Post
API Gateway, Envoy Proxy & GetEnvoy, Istio, Kubernetes, Service Mesh, Tetrate, Wasm

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2022

The Tetrate blog highlights best practices and educational content on service mesh, open source, and related technologies. Our team is dedicated to providing quality how-tos, thought leadership pieces, and market developments with our commentary to help our readers stay informed and up-to-date on the latest developments in the industry. It is great to see that our readers appreciate these posts. Without further ado, here are the top 10 blog posts our readers scoured this year. 

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ABAC, Istio, Security, Service Mesh, Tetrate, Zero Trust

Top 5 Kubernetes Security Best Practices for Authentication and Authorization


As we’ve written here before, there’s increasing urgency for organizations—especially those operating in a regulatory environment—to adopt a zero trust network architecture. Just what that means and how to do it may not be immediately clear. When it comes to microservices applications, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers guidance for microservices security in the SP 800-204 series, co-written by Tetrate co-founder Zack Butcher (which we’ve also covered on this blog).

NIST’s reference architecture for microservices security is Kubernetes and the Istio service mesh. In this article, we’ll look at NIST’s recommendations for using a service mesh for authentication and authorization in microservices applications.

At the heart of a zero trust posture is the assumption that an attacker is already in your network. All of these policy recommendations will help prevent potential attackers from pivoting to other resources should they breach your network perimeter. If you use a service mesh as described in the NIST reference platform, all of these capabilities are built into a dedicated infrastructure layer that acts as a security kernel for microservices applications. This means security policy can be applied consistently (and provably) across all your apps—and so your product development teams don’t have to be security experts for your apps to run safely.Service mesh allows fine-grained access control to be layered on top of traditional security measures as part of a defense-in-depth strategy. The mesh sits as a powerful middle layer in the infrastructure: above the physical network and L3/L4 controls you implement, but under the application. This allows more brittle and slower-to-change lower layers to be configured more loosely—allowing more agility up the stack—because controls are accounted for at higher layers.

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mTLS Traffic Encryption
Istio, mTLS, Service Mesh, Zero Trust

How Istio’s mTLS Traffic Encryption Works as Part of a Zero Trust Security Posture

The Istio service mesh offers cloud native deployments a standard way to implement automatic mutual transport layer security (mTLS). This reduces the attack surface of network communication by using strong identities to establish encrypted channels between workloads within the mesh that are both confidential and tamper-resistant. mTLS is a key component for building zero-trust application networks. To understand mTLS traffic encryption in Istio, this article will cover the following:

  • An overview of TLS, mTLS, and TLS termination
  • An introduction to howTLS encryption works in Istio
  • How to use Istio to implement mTLS in Kubernetes
  • A discussion of when you do and don’t need mTLS
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L7 Traffic
Istio, Service Mesh

L7 Traffic Path in Ambient Mesh

In my last blog, I introduced transparent traffic intercepting and L4 routing in Ambient mode. In this blog, I will show you how L7 traffic is routed.

The figure below shows the L7 network traffic path in ambient mode.

Figure 1: L7 network traffic in ambient mesh
Note: The Waypoint proxy can be located on the same node as the application, and even all of the service and the Waypoint proxy can be on the same node. I draw them on three nodes for display purposes, but it has no significant impact on the actual traffic path, except that it is no longer sent to another node via eth0.

In the following section, we will explore the process in Figure 1 from a hands-on perspective.

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