After a couple of years in development and just three months in beta, Solo.io has released Gloo Mesh Enterprise service mesh to general availability this month, marking API stability and a slate of new features, built in response to customer feedback during the beta period. Gloo Mesh Enterprise is the company’s enterprise-grade, Kubernetes-native solution to help organizations install and manage Istio service mesh deployments.
While Gloo Mesh Enterprise may just now be reaching this milestone, Solo.io CEO Idit Levine speaks of massive, unnamed customers already using the product in production, in deployments spanning more than 40 data centers, and 1,200 clusters and Istio service mesh instances.
“When you’re running with that scale, there are a lot of things that you need to do. This is exactly what Gloo Mesh is for. Gloo Mesh is basically saying, ‘crawl, walk, run, fly.'” said Levine, referring to the product’s ability to help not only with the initial steps of service mesh adoption and installation but also the day two operations and added capabilities to handle complex multicluster, multicloud, multiregion deployments.
To start (or “crawl”), Gloo Mesh Enterprise provides Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) compliance and long-term support for Istio for the previous three versions, as opposed to just the last version for the upstream community version of Istio.
From there, Gloo Mesh Enterprise adds advanced API functionality with Gloo Portal, the company’s developer portal for Istio, and facilitates more advanced day two features such as rollback and delegation.
It also gives users the ability to extend their service mesh deployments using WebAssembly, which Solo.io also offers a Docker-like experience for. Finally, Gloo Mesh Enterprise assists with those most complex deployments — and this would be the “flying” to which Levine refers — by providing a centralized point of management and observability for those large organizations running many clusters in many locations.
During the beta program, Solo.io saw more than 2,000 requests to participate in the beta, with 400 developers taking part in the Solo.io beta Slack channel. As a result of the beta program feedback, Solo.io added a number of features, including a single pane of glass view for Istio service mesh deployed on every cluster, centralized traffic management and control, global service routing and load balancing, a fully FIPS-compliant Istio build, the ability to extend Istio with WebAssembly across multiple clusters, and centralized logging and debugging.
“I wanted to make sure it was bulletproof and put it in a lot of people’s hands,” said Levine of the time it took for Gloo Mesh Enterprise to become generally available. “We added a lot of enterprise features.”
Levine offered another example of an upgrade made in response to beta period feedback. Previously, Gloo Mesh Enterprise might require users with multiple clusters to give permission to allow it to be able to write on every cluster. This sharing of credentials wasn’t the most secure way to do things, especially for large organizations, and so Gloo Mesh Enterprise switched to a pull model that uses agents on each cluster to connect to the control plane to work better with existing security models in large multicluster environments.
Interested organizations can request a free trial of Gloo Mesh Enterprise, and Solo.io will be offering sessions and workshops around this and other products at its inaugural SoloCon 2021 on March 23-25, when Levine said the company will also have a number of announcements.