Elton's Container Show


Elton's Container Show - resources for the YouTube broadcast

View the Project on GitHub sixeyed/ecs

ECS-M3: Service Mesh with Istio on Kubernetes

Istio is the most well-known and fully-featured service mesh. It uses Envoy as the network proxy, running as a sidecar container in Kubernetes Pods or as an agent on VMs.

Istio layers on security with encryption and authorization, traffic management with routing and fault injection, and observability at multiple levels.

We’ll see all of those features in action using the Widgetario demo application, and get a feel for the additional modelling and management Istio adds to your apps.

Here it is on YouTube - ECS-M3: Service Mesh with Istio on Kubernetes

And here are the demo files on GitHub - sixeyed/ecs


Install the Istio CLI:

# Windows:
choco install istioctl

# macOS/Linux:
curl -L https://istio.io/downloadIstio | sh -

Demo 1 - Deploy Istio to Kubernetes

Istio deploys the control plane as standard Kubernetes resources.

Verify your Istio CLI & Kubernetes cluster:

istioctl version

kubectl get nodes

Install the demo profile:

istioctl install --set profile=demo -y

Check the deployment:

kubectl get ns

kubectl get all -n istio-system

Istio used to have a distributed control plane with multiple components - now the whole control plane runs in Istiod.

Telemetry comes from addons - install the whole set (Kiali, Prometheus, Grafana and Jaeger):

Deploy add-ons and launch the Kiali UI:

kubectl apply -f demo1/addons/

# repeat if the CRD isn't created before the rest of the resources

kubectl get all -n istio-system

istioctl dashboard kiali

Demo 2 - Deploy the Widgetario app

The demo app will run in its own namespace - 01-namespace.yaml includes the Istio auto-injection label.

Create the namespace and do an Istio dry-run:

kubectl apply -f demo2/widgetario/01-namespace.yaml

istioctl analyze demo2/widgetario/ -n widgetario

Deploy straight onto the mesh:

kubectl apply -f demo2/widgetario/

kubectl get pods -n widgetario

kubectl describe pod -l app=stock-api -n widgetario

istioctl dashboard kiali

Check the Graph in Kiali, then try the app at http://localhost:8010

Run some load into the app:

docker container run --rm `
  fortio/fortio:1.14.1 `
  load -c 32 -qps 25 -t 30m http://host.docker.internal:8010/

Demo 3 - Secure service access

Mutual TLS is applied between meshed services by default. You can enforce mTLS by using the strict peer authentication policy.

You can also apply service-to-service authorization. Authentication is outside Istio, using dedicated service accounts for each client component.

web.yaml adds an explicit service account for the web component; there are similar updates to the APIs.

Apply the new service accounts:

kubectl apply -f demo3/widgetario/

Everything still works at http://localhost:8010

Now deploy a default deny authorization policy. deny-all.yaml blocks all communication for meshed services in the namespace.

kubectl apply -f demo3/authz/deny-all.yaml

curl http://localhost:8010 

App breaks - traffic to the web component is blocked.

We can apply fine-grained authorization for this app:

kubectl apply -f ./demo3/authz/allow/

curl http://localhost:8010 

It can take a few seconds for the policies to get pushed out to the proxies - but then the app works again.

Any Pods which are not authorized - or not authenticated - can’t access the service. sleep.yaml doesn’t mount a service account token, so it has no service identity.

kubectl apply -f demo3/sleep.yaml

kubectl exec -it sleep -- sh

nslookup stock-api.widgetario.svc.cluster.local

wget -qO- http://stock-api.widgetario.svc.cluster.local/stock/1


Demo 4 - Traffic management

Istio provides a lot of traffic management features, including retries and intelligent client-side load balancing.

Traffic management is specced with two Istio resource types: the DestinationRule and the VirtualService.

We’ll do a canary deployment for a new version of the products API, starting with:

kubectl apply -f demo4/products-api/

kubectl get po -l app=products-api -n widgetario -o wide 

kubectl get endpoints products-api -n widgetario

The Kubernetes Service would load-balance between v1 and v2, but Istio is selecting the endpoints based on the Pod label selector in the subset

Traffic management in the VirtualService can be used for canary deployments - 75-25.yaml sends 25% of traffic to the new deployment.

Start the canary rollout:

kubectl apply -f demo4/products-api/traffic-split/75-25.yaml

Try the app again - refresh and 1 in 4 responses will have the higher prices. 50-50.yaml increases the traffic to v2.

kubectl apply -f demo4/products-api/traffic-split/50-50.yaml

Try the app and check the graph in Kiali

Istio can also apply fault injection - useful for testing your apps fail gracefully if they can’t reach all their dependencies.

The stock-api folder adds new Istio resources:

Add 20% failure rate to the API and test the app:

kubectl apply -f ./demo4/stock-api

kubectl apply -f ./demo4/stock-api/fault-injection/abort-20-pct.yaml

curl http://localhost:8010

kubectl logs -n widgetario -l app=web --since 30s --tail 100

Fault injection responds with a real network fault - your VirtualService rules can include match filters, so you could add failures for users in your test team.

Replace the 503 fault with a delay:

kubectl apply -f ./demo4/stock-api/fault-injection/delay-70-pct.yaml

Try localhost:8010

You can also use Istio for ingress - with the custom Ingress Gateway API. That lets you apply Istio features to external traffic coming into your apps.

Demo 5 - Observability

Istio add-ons provide all the observability features.

Send some load into the app:

docker container run --rm `
  fortio/fortio:1.14.1 `
  load -c 32 -qps 25 -t 30m -timeout 5s http://host.docker.internal:8010/

List the available dashboards and run Kiali again:

istioctl dashboard

istioctl dashboard kiali

Try the more detailed dashboards in Grafana:

istioctl dashboard grafana

And lastly the distributed tracing in Jaeger:

istioctl dashboard  jaeger

You’ll see individual traces from the services, but they’re not linked. This app doesn’t have the HTTP header propagation in code, so Jager can’t tie requests together into one transaction.

Coming next