DevOps

The Top 10 Service Mesh Solutions

Discover the best 10 service mesh solutions with features such as load balancing, traffic management, and secure service-to-service communication.

The Top 10 Service Mesh Tools Include:
  • 1. Anthos Service Mesh by Google
  • 2. AWS App Mesh
  • 3. HashiCorp Consul Service Mesh
  • 4. Envoy
  • 5. Gloo Mesh
  • 6. Istio
  • 7. Kong Mesh
  • 8. Linkerd
  • 9. NGINX Service Mesh
  • 10. Red Hat OpenShift Service Mesh

Service Mesh act as a dedicated infrastructure layer that can handle service-to-service communication with reliability, security, and efficiency. Service Mesh solutions include a range of features such as load balancing, service discovery, encryption, failure recovery, and traffic management. Together, these features facilitate a seamless and secure network of microservices.

As Service Mesh solutions play a fundamental role in shaping the efficiency and security of microservice architectures, choosing the right solution is imperative. There are a wide range of tools on the market today, each offering their own set of features, benefits, and capabilities. 

We have put together a list of the top Service Mesh solutions to help support you through the decision-making process. For each service, we have taken into consideration the technical capabilities, ease of use, integration potential, and customer feedback. This guide aims aid organizations in making an informed decision that aligns with organizational needs and goals.

Google Cloud Logo

Google Cloud Anthos Service Mesh is powered by the Istio open-source project and designed to manage, observe, and secure services across complex microservice environments without requiring changes to application code. By simplifying service delivery, traffic management, and securing service communication, Anthos Service Mesh alleviates operational burdens for development teams.

Fully managed by Google, Anthos Service Mesh enhances security, allowing users to embrace zero-trust security models without making fundamental applications themselves. The solution provides authentication, authorization, and encryption features to secure service-to-service and end-user-to-service communications. In addition, Anthos allows fine-grained traffic control, ensuring reliable and consistent network performance.

Anthos Service Mesh offers comprehensive insights into application performance through its integration with Google’s Cloud Logging, Cloud Monitoring, and Cloud Trace services. It allows users to monitor service-level objectives (SLOs), set targets for latency or availability, and analyze network traffic. With Anthos Service Mesh, users can also enjoy a hybrid service mesh that spans both Google Cloud and on-premises deployments, thanks to Google’s management service.

Google Cloud Logo
AWS Logo

AWS App Mesh is an application-level networking solution that is designed to streamline operations, simplify custom traffic routing, and optimize communication between services. With AWS App Mesh, organizations can enhance their network security through authentication controls and encryption of service requests. App Mesh is compatible with various types of infrastructure, including AWS Fargate, Amazon ECS, Amazon EKS, Amazon EC2, and Kubernetes on EC2, enabling flexible service management at scale. AWS App Mesh uses the open-source Envoy proxy for managing traffic.

The key features of AWS App Mesh include dynamic traffic routing, client-side traffic policies, service-to-service authentication, and container orchestration compatibility. This solution allows teams to deploy new service versions with ease and build applications resilient to failures while providing consistent visibility and network traffic controls. With AWS App Mesh, companies do not have to update their application code to modify monitoring data collection or traffic routing. This is independently handled through the use of proxies, making it easier to identify and isolate issues. As a fully managed and highly available service, AWS App Mesh enables organizations to control service communications without the need to install or manage additional infrastructure.

AWS Logo
Hashicorp

HashiCorp Consul Service Mesh is designed to securely connect applications across various runtime environments, including public clouds, on-premises settings, and a range of deployment types including VMs, Kubernetes, or HashiCorp Nomad. The service offers multi-tenancy with administrative partitions. This enables consistent management and governance, whilst maintaining autonomy and isolation for different tenants. Users can choose to self-manage their deployments or opt for a fully managed solution.

Consul Service Mesh provides service-to-service connection authorization and encryption. This feature makes it easier to control access. Additionally, Consul Service Mesh helps secure services and offers data on service-to-service communications, observability, and simplifies discovery in complex networking environments.

One of the key benefits of Consul Service Mesh is its compatibility with all architectures and cloud providers, in addition to its first-class support for Kubernetes through an official Helm chart. This automates the installation and configuration of Consul Service Mesh on Kubernetes, enabling seamless integration and efficient deployment. With its platform-agnostic and multi-cluster mesh capabilities, Consul Service Mesh delivers a versatile and secure solution for a wide range of applications.

Hashicorp
Envoy Logo

Envoy Service Mesh is an open-source high-performance C++ distributed proxy designed for single services, applications, and as-a-service mesh architectures. Envoy operates alongside any application, offering network abstraction and common features in a platform-agnostic manner. By funneling all service traffic through an Envoy mesh, it becomes significantly easier to identify problem areas, optimize performance, and implement features in one location.

Envoy is a self-contained, high-performance server with a minimal memory footprint, and is capable of operating alongside any application language or framework. Envoy provides advanced load balancing capabilities such as automatic retries, circuit breaking, global rate limiting, request shadowing, and zone-local load balancing. The platform offers robust APIs for dynamic configuration management, ensuring adaptability to changing needs.

Envoy Logo
Gloo Mesh Logo

Gloo Mesh is a solution based on the open-source Istio service mesh that simplifies multi-cloud and multi-cluster management for container and virtual machine environments. It helps platform engineering teams reduce costs, risks, and improve application agility as a modular component of the wider Gloo Platform.

By securing internal communication between multiple services, Gloo Mesh makes applications more resilient and safer with automatic mTLS. This solution enables platform engineers to easily implement security and observability measures across distributed applications. Additionally, the platform supports GitOps to automate and centrally manage multi-cloud and multi-cluster environments, simplifying Kubernetes Security.

Gloo Mesh provides multiple benefits, including simplifying the application layer, increasing security, and offering insights into traffic. It also extends Istio’s service mesh functionality and management for Kubernetes clusters, microservices, and virtual machines, ensuring application traffic routing, high availability, observability, and security. Gloo Mesh is ideal for managing third-party service mesh deployments, replacing internal or open-source service mesh solutions, and supporting application modernization.

Gloo Mesh Logo
Istio Logo

Istio is an open-source service mesh that integrates with existing distributed applications to address challenges faced by developers and operators in microservices architecture. It provides a seamless and efficient way to secure, connect, and monitor services without major changes to the service code. Istio enables load balancing, service-to-service authentication, and monitoring through its control plane. This pane offers features such as secured communication with TLS encryption, automatic load balancing, and extensive control of traffic behavior.

Designed for scalability and extensibility, Istio accommodates diverse deployment needs and can be extended to include other clusters and connected to VMs or other non-Kubernetes endpoints. With a broad ecosystem of contributors, partners, and integrations, Istio is a versatile solution that can be installed and managed on your own or through various vendors’ integrated products.

Istio simplifies traffic routing and helps manage service-level properties for better deployment strategies and application performance. Additionally, Istio generates detailed telemetry on service behavior, offering valuable insights into how services interact. Its robust security features address microservices’ unique security needs. This includes protection against attacks, flexible access controls, and transparent TLS encryption. Istio provides comprehensive service mesh functionality and observability, allowing for improved application management, maintenance, and optimization.

Istio Logo
Kong Logo

Kong Mesh is an enterprise-grade service mesh that is built on the Kuma and Envoy services and is designed for simplicity and scalability. It supports both Kubernetes and VM-based services across various environments and clouds. With Kong Mesh, businesses can achieve service connectivity, zero-trust security, traffic reliability, and global observability for their microservices transformation.

Key features of Kong Mesh include universal support for Kubernetes and VM-based services, single and multi-zone deployments for multi-cloud and multi-cluster environments, and multi-mesh to reduce operational costs. The solution also allows for easy installation and management with a full-stack connectivity platform when natively integrated with Kong and Kong Enterprise. Powered by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s Kuma and Envoy services, Kong Mesh provides a reliable and modern foundation for enterprise service mesh needs.

Kong Mesh addresses security, identity, and traffic management challenges by providing out-of-the-box tools for intelligent traffic routing, identity verification, and traffic encryption. The service mesh is easy to deploy, secure, and scale. It is capable of running in any environment, including multi-cluster, multi-cloud, and multi-platform setups. With Kong Mesh, teams can deploy a turnkey service mesh solution and enjoy secure, resilient, and flexible microservices connectivity.

Kong Logo
Linkerd Logo

Linkerd is an open-source service mesh solution for Kubernetes assets. It is designed to make running services easier and safer, without requiring changes to existing code. Linkerd is focused on providing observability, reliability, and security to Kubernetes applications.

Linkerd consists of two main components: a control plane and a data plane. Upon installation of the control plane on a Kubernetes cluster, the data plane can be added to workloads, enabling service mesh functions. Linkerd operates through the use of ultralight, transparent micro-proxies that are situated next to service instances. These micro-proxies manage all traffic to and from the service, sending telemetry data to (and receiving control signals from) the control plane.

Key features of Linkerd include authorization policy, automatic mutual TLS, automatic proxy injection, CNI Plugin support, a dashboard and on-cluster metrics stack, distributed tracing, dynamic request routing, fault injection, high availability, and HTTP access logging. Linkerd was initially created by Buoyant, who also offer commercial support. The service mesh is designed to cater to a wide range of users, with technical prerequisites such as Kubernetes being a primary consideration. Enterprise distributions of Linkerd are available from both Buoyant and other companies.

Linkerd Logo
NGINX

NGINX Service Mesh is a lightweight service mesh developed by NGINX (acquired by F5 in 2019), which manages container traffic in Kubernetes environments. It provides a data plane powered by NGINX Plus for increased efficiency. NGINX Service Mesh enables centralized security, traffic management, visualization, and support for hybrid deployments.

NGINX Service Mesh enforces security by encrypting all communication through mTLS and implementing access controls to regulate communication between services. The solution also includes features like rate limiting, circuit breaking, and container traffic policies to optimize performance. NGINX Service Mesh provides a built-in dashboard to display various metrics whilst ensuring compatibility with both Kubernetes and legacy applications through its native integration with the NGINX Ingress Controller.

NGINX Service Mesh offers a comprehensive solution for managing container traffic in Kubernetes environments. It has a focus on security, traffic management, and visualization. The platform ensures seamless communication between services, allowing organizations to deploy and optimize application components with ease.

NGINX
Red Hat Logo

Red Hat OpenShift Service Mesh offers a standardized way to connect, manage, and monitor microservices-based applications. It is built on the open-source Istio platform and incorporates additional features through open-source projects (like Kiali and Jaeger). Red Hat OpenShift, delivers a consistent experience across various environments, including public cloud, on-premise, hybrid cloud, or edge architecture. Users also have the option of selecting a self-managed or fully managed solution to suit their needs.

OpenShift Service Mesh helps developers to improve productivity by integrating communication policies without altering application code or utilizing language-specific libraries. It simplifies operations with easy installation and integration with other Red Hat products and services.

Key features of OpenShift Service Mesh include comprehensive application networking security, traffic management, telemetry, policy enforcement, and open-source integrations, extending security and control. Red Hat OpenShift caters to various workloads, including AI/ML, and edge computing. It also supports the modernization of existing applications and acceleration of new cloud-native application development and delivery. With OpenShift Service Mesh, users can streamline workflows for faster production, modernize existing apps and extend application services to remote locations.

Red Hat Logo
The Top 10 Service Mesh Solutions