Service mesh, cloud-native, and open-source technologies on the rise in 2023

07.01.2023
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Service mesh, cloud-native, and open-source technologies on the rise in 2023

Cloud-native technology is revolutionizing digital transformation – empowering organizations with higher levels of agility and versatility. However, increased complexity in the deployment of applications and services becomes a challenge to manage performance needs as well as availability issues. Fortunately, service mesh provides a solution that creates a dedicated layer for handling all service-to-service communications for greater consistency yet maintains security integrity at every level – bringing about true observability like never before. 

To facilitate the operations of companies, a community-based open-source service mesh eliminates any difficulties associated with building an in-house version while also taking away much of its arduous maintenance burden. 

A survey by Cloud Native Computing Foundation reveals that 70% of the respondents run a service mesh in production or development. 

As Kubernetes cluster deployments become increasingly widespread, so does the use of service mesh to complement them. 65% of participants either currently run or intend to operate two-to-ten clusters on a service mesh. 

Capabilities driving adoption of service mesh  

Security 

Organizations are taking the security of their infrastructure seriously. 79% of respondent organizations have implemented mTLS authentication for transactions to prevent malicious attacks. 

Observability 

As cloud infrastructure has become increasingly essential and intricate, observability has surged in popularity. The implementation of logs, metrics, and traces allows for a further understanding of system health and performance monitoring. 

Traffic management 

With the increasing complexity of cloud-native, traffic management is an essential component to help ensure reliable and successful operations. Service mesh technology helps organizations manage a variety of capabilities related to deployment scenarios such as endpoint discovery, API call control between services, and service exposure/hiding. 

Reliability 

56% of respondents give importance to reliability as they recognize networking and communication issues stemming from latency, bandwidth limitations, security incidents, or the changing cloud environment. To alleviate these concerns, a service mesh can bridge infrastructure gaps for the reliable performance of services. 

Service mesh features organizations expect to use in future  

  • As users look to deploy service mesh technology, header-based routing control is estimated as being their clear preference – with an impressive 46% opting for this feature. This capability makes it easy to implement more intricate capabilities such as A/B testing and blue/green deployments that are highly sought after. 
  • Conducting a thorough analysis of network traffic is essential for 29% seeking to ensure accuracy in their data collection. Shadow or dark traffic can easily be overlooked by analytics tools, so organizations must take active steps to detect and manage its presence. 
  • 27% of respondents placed considerable emphasis on incorporating the service mesh with non-Kubernetes structures. This illustrates that, although Kubernetes is a highly significant element in cloud-native technologies, other frameworks and environments remain well acclaimed. 
  • By implementing a service mesh that connects disparate elements, IT organizations are able to break down silos and foster better collaboration. Additionally, 25% found plug-ins to environments like WebAssembly important. 

Despite the current surge of demand for service mesh technology, its successful adoption has proven difficult due to several impediments. The lack of engineering expertise and experience (47%), architectural complexity (41%), and a dearth of guidance on best practices (36%) are all major roadblocks standing in the way. 

When asked about technical issues, respondents identified integration as the primary challenge they faced (32%), followed by concerns with reliability and consistency (26%), policy definition (22%), monitoring/tracing activity (22%), and management of policies (21%). 

Service meshes are increasing in popularity as they provide many benefits for organizations, such as improved performance and privacy. However, some challenges come with implementing a service mesh, such as the lack of understanding and experience. Organizations need to overcome these challenges to effectively implement service mesh.  

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