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The Road Ahead for Service Mesh

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The Road Ahead for Service Mesh

Learn what might be in the future for microservices technologies as they develop, such as better security and scaling with the help of service mesh.

· Microservices Zone ·
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The new Gartner Critical Capabilities report explains how APIs and microservices enable digital leaders to deliver better B2B, open banking and mobile projects.

This is the third in a blog series covering how we got to a service mesh, why we decided on the type of mesh we did, and where we see the future of the space.

If you’re struggling to manage microservices as architectures continue to scale, there’s a good chance you’ve at least heard of service mesh. For the purposes of this blog, I’ll assume you’re familiar with the basic tenets of a service mesh but check out the Istio page (the mesh we are building on top of) if you’re not yet up to speed.

We believe that Istio is advancing microservice communication to a new level that is unachievable with the one-off solutions that were previously being used. Things like DNS patterns and configuration management provide some capabilities like service discovery, but don’t provide fast retries, load balancing, tracing and health monitoring. The old approach also requires that you cobble together several things each time when it’s possible to bundle it all together in a reusable tool.  

While it’s possible to accomplish much of what a service mesh manages with individual tools and processes, it’s a pain in the ass. The image below provides a good idea of how a mesh simplifies the management of microservices.

Before and After Service Mesh

Right Around the Corner

So what’s in the immediate future? I think we’ll see the technology quickly mature and add more capabilities as standard features in response to enterprises realizing the efficiency gains created by a mesh and look to implement them as the standard for managing microservice architectures. Offerings like Istio are immature for production deployments, but the roadmap is progressing quickly and it seems we’ll be to v1 in short order. Security is a feature provided by service mesh, but for most enterprises, it’s a major consideration and I see policy enforcement and monitoring options becoming more robust for enterprise production deployments.

A feature I see on the near horizon and one that will provide tremendous value is an analytics dashboard to show insights from the huge amount of telemetry data in a service mesh. I think an emerging value proposition we’ll see is that the mesh allows you to gain and act on data that will allow you to more efficiently manage your entire architecture.

Further Down the Road

There is a lot of discussion on what’s on the immediate horizon for service mesh, but what is more interesting is considering what the long term will bring. My guess is that we ultimately come to a mesh being an embedded value-add in a platform. Microservices are clearly the way of the future, so organizations are going to demand an effortless way to manage them. They’ll want something automated, running in the background that never has to be thought about. This is probably years down the road, but I do believe service mesh will eventually be a ubiquitous technology that is a fully managed plug and play config. It will be interesting to see new ways of using the technology to manage infrastructure, services, and applications.

We’re excited to be part of the journey and are inspired by the ideas in the Istio community and how users are leveraging service mesh to solve direct problems created by the explosion of microservices and also find new efficiencies with it. Our goal is to make the implementation of a mesh seamless with your existing technology and provide enhanced features, knowledge, and support to take the burden out of managing microservices. We’re looking forward to the road ahead and would love to work with you to make your microservices journey easier.

The new Gartner Critical Capabilities for Full Lifecycle API Management report shows how CA Technologies helps digital leaders with their B2B, open banking, and mobile initiatives. Get your copy from CA Technologies.

Topics:
microservices ,microservice architecture ,service mesh ,istio

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