Open Service Mesh To Join Cloud Native Computing Foundation
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 10 August 2020

Microsoft has announced Open Service Mesh (OSM) an open-source lightweight and extensible cloud-native service mesh that runs on Kubernetes. A proposal to donate OSM to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has already been submitted.

Google recently caused controversy by reneging on a long-standing commitment to contribute its open source service mesh, Istio, Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), Instead Google made the project, which dates back to 2017 and has IBM as a contributing partner together with Lyft, a founder member of its Open Usage Commons. Now Microsoft appears to be plugging the gap by announcing an alternative service mesh, also open source, which it intends to hand over to the CNCF.


If "service mesh" isn't yet in your vocabulary, this is the definition according to Wikipedia:

In software architecture, a service mesh is a dedicated infrastructure layer for facilitating service-to-service communications between microservices, often using a sidecar proxy.

Red Hat's explanation goes:

A service mesh, like the open source project Istio, is a way to control how different parts of an application share data with one another. Unlike other systems for managing this communication, a service mesh is a dedicated infrastructure layer built right into an app.

According to its embryonic website

Open Service Mesh (OSM) takes a simple approach for users to uniformly manage, secure, and get out-of-the box observability features for highly dynamic microservice environments.

OSM is based on the CNCF Envoy project and implements the  Service Mesh Interface (SMI), a collection of Kubernetes Custom Resource Definitions (CRD) and Extension API Server, for securing and managing  microservice applications.

In the blog post announcing Open Service Mesh, Michelle Noorali, who is one of the main contributors to the project on GitHub explains the Microsoft has been active in the Service Mesh Interface (SMI) community, helping define the specification for a standard set of portable APIs for common service mesh functionality across service mesh implementations.

She refers to three underlying design principles for the project: 

First, OSM provides a control plane compatible with the SMI specification, to preserve user choice. Next, OSM uses Envoy for the data plane, due to strong community momentum around Envoy. And finally, the overriding philosophy behind OSM features a “no cliffs” design in order to make OSM flexible enough to handle both simple and complex scenarios using both SMI and programming Envoy xDS APIs directly. 

By donating OSM to the CNCF Microsoft intends it to have open governance and be in a place where we can easily collaborate with the community making it a:

"community-led project that it will spur collaboration on new and existing APIs for SMI.."



More Information

Open Service Mesh website

Introducing Open Service Mesh

Open service Mesh on Github

Cloud Native Computing Foundation

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 August 2020 )