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IBM, Google and Lyft Pioneer New Open Source Service Mesh Known as Istio

Up until now, Lyft has operated exclusively in a niche market. Going head-to-head with their closest competitor, Uber, the on-demand driving service has already made a name amongst the mobile generation – but now they're reaching out.

Thanks to a recent collaborative effort with teams at IBM and Google, Lyft is credited as one of the founders of a next-gen, open-source platform that takes aim at microservices management. While many see Lyft as just moving from one niche market to the next, they hope to usher in their new platform as the mainstream, go-to solution for future enterprise needs.

What are Microservices?

Microservices can, in many ways, be likened to traditional smartphone apps. Instead of creating a comprehensive software suite that includes different features and functionality, many of today's software developers are opting for a more modular approach.

Not only does this spare the end-user from paying for additional features or services that aren't needed, but it gives IT managers the option of assigning different development teams to specific microservices. As such, microservices can typically be released with shorter development lifecycles than full-scale software solutions. They can also be updated and modified independently of one another.

Consistency is one of the biggest challenges faced by today's microservices. As pointed out by Jason McGee, vice president and CTO of IBM's Cloud Platform, software developers need to maintain consistency throughout all of their services and solutions.

''"Based on years of practical experience running container-based systems and working with enterprise clients, I've found that as developers adopt microservice architectures, they need a consistent way to connect, secure and manage the applications they are building. IBM is thrilled to be joining forces with Google to launch the Istio project and give cloud developers the tools they need to turn disparate microservices into an integrated service mesh."

Meet Istio

Known as Istio, the joint project by Lyft, IBM and Google provides the level of consistency that developers need. It also provides the next-gen security that is critical in the 21st century as well as new controls over traffic flow and policy creation.

According to a recent blog post by Google, some of the key features of Istio include:

-Fully automated load balancing amongst HTTP, TCP and gRPC traffic

-Strategic routing controls to adjust and monitor traffic behaviors

-Next-gen encryption and service-to-service authentication for added security

-Thorough and comprehensive policy controls

-Detailed reporting functions, including integrate telemetry ''

Eric Brewer, vice president with Google Cloud, spoke about Google's part in Istio by saying: ''"Google's experience is that having a uniform substrate for developing and operating microservices is critical to our ability to scale while maintaining both feature velocity and reliability."''

For more information on Istio, including specific details on the next-gen microservices manager, please visit their official website at {{|}}. To find out more about the original developers, including Lyft, IBM or Google, please visit their websites at {{|}}, {{|}} or {{|}}, respectively.


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