Extending Service Mesh to the Edge

Stephen Wong at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2020

The advent of edge computing has led to the trend of splitting applications into edge and cloud components, which makes service mesh a great fit to enable unified application network policies for inter-container communications, regardless of where individual microservice is deployed. However, service mesh projects such as Istio are mostly designed for large scale deployment, and some features, such as per pod sidecar, may be ill-suited for inherently more resource constrained edge. And optimizing the use of WAN connection is mostly missing. The talk centers on Clovisor, a project aimed to extend service mesh to the edge. By utilizing eBPF, SDWAN, and Envoy, Clovisor performs functions such as translating service mesh app network policies to edge/cloud network policies, redirecting traffic to proxy on edge, classifying and mapping application flows to WAN connectivity tunnels.