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By offering connectivity, reliability, observability and security, the service mesh has evolved into a fundamental component of an organization’s application and infrastructure modernization initiatives. In general, your organization can reap substantial benefits from implementing a service mesh, especially when dealing with distributed applications composed of many microservices. As application traffic grows, requests between these services can increase exponentially, requiring sophisticated routing capabilities to optimize the flow of data between the services and ensure the application continues to perform at a high level. From a secure communications standpoint, service meshes are essential for enabling the secure TLS (mTLS) connections between services.
Because service meshes manage the communication layer, they liberate developers from the complexities of managing how each service interacts with all the others. This allows developers to dedicate more time to adding business value with each service they create. For DevOps teams that have an established production CI/CD pipeline, a service mesh can be essential for programmatically deploying apps and application infrastructure (Kubernetes) to manage source code and test automation tools. Additionally, a service mesh enables DevOps teams to manage their networking and security policies through configuration, enhancing overall operational efficiency and ensuring consistent policy enforcement. Depending on the structure of your organization, one or more teams or roles may be responsible for installing and configuring a mesh. Based on our experience with customers, we’ve developed best practice guidelines for deploying the service mesh successfully. (Tetrate’s service mesh is based on the open source Istio service mesh.) This checklist, outlining the essential steps for a successful service mesh adoption journey, will ease the transition as you modernize applications with a microservices architecture and help you achieve ROI today. Addressing each one will not only smooth your adoption of Istio but will help transform your organizational culture and simplify workflows across the enterprise.