Fast-growing service mesh has added end users, events, features, and maintainers to reach Foundation’s top maturity level

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – July 12, 2023 – The Cloud Native Computing Foundation® (CNCF®), which builds sustainable ecosystems for cloud native software, today announced the graduation of Istio. Istio is an open source service mesh that provides a uniform and efficient way to secure, connect, and monitor services in cloud native applications.

Istio provides zero-trust networking, policy enforcement, traffic management, load balancing, and monitoring without requiring applications to be rewritten. It pioneered the modern service mesh pattern — security, traffic routing and observability using sidecar containers — when it launched in 2017. In 2022, the project continued to drive innovation in the space by introducing a complementary architecture, ambient mesh — offering the same benefits without needing sidecars.

“Today, the Istio project takes its place alongside the projects that enable it and upon which it is built, including Kubernetes, Envoy, Prometheus, and SPIFFE,” said Craig Box, Istio Steering Committee member and VP of Open Source and Community at ARMO. “On behalf of the project’s leadership, we wish to thank every contributor, both corporate and individual, who have collectively brought us to graduation within the CNCF.”

Istio was initially developed by Google and IBM and built on the Envoy project from Lyft. The project now has maintainers from more than 16 companies, including many of the largest networking vendors and cloud organizations worldwide. End users range from digital native startups to the world’s largest financial institutions and telcos, with case studies from companies including eBay, T-Mobile, Airbnb and Istio is the third most active CNCF project in terms of the number of PRs opened and merged.

This year, the Istio community welcomed the maintainers of the Open Service Mesh project, with the team from Microsoft becoming Istio contributors. The combined group continues to drive the development of the Kubernetes Gateway API, which traces its lineage directly to Istio’s traffic management model.

The inaugural Istio Day at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2023, the first Istio event arranged by CNCF, was the second best attended of all the co-located events. As a result, the program will be a full-day event on November 6th during the upcoming KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023. The CFP is open through August 6, 2023.

The two IstioCon events have attracted an audience of more than 4,000 end users, developers, and maintainers. A third annual IstioCon will be hosted by CNCF on the 25th and 26th of September 2023. A full day of in-person content in Chinese will be offered alongside KubeCon + CloudNativeCon + Open Source Summit China in Shanghai, with two days of virtual content in English for the worldwide Istio audience. The CFP is open for sessions in Chinese and English through July 23, 2023.

“Service mesh adoption has been steadily rising over the past few years as cloud native adoption has matured across industries,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of CNCF. “Istio has helped drive part of this maturation, and the project has progressed quickly since joining CNCF late last year. We look forward to watching and supporting this continued growth as the Istio team adds new features and simplifies the service mesh experience.”

As a CNCF graduated project, Istio joins the ranks of respected technologies that have proven their value and viability in the cloud native ecosystem. Graduation validates Istio’s commitment to openness, collaboration, and innovation.

Supporting Quotes


“With the rise of microservices architectures as the de facto pattern for authoring modern applications, connecting, observing, and securing the complex landscape of containers and services has become a challenge for engineers. Google is proud of our role in the creation and development of Istio as a comprehensive solution to this hard problem. Istio’s graduation, as well as its leading position as the world’s most adopted service mesh technology, reinforces our belief that it should be easy for everyone to benefit from secure, robust service-based applications.” – Cameron Etezadi, Director of Engineering, Google Cloud


“After having helped to found the Istio project and contributing to it since its launch, IBM is proud to see the project graduate from CNCF and be recognized for its maturity as the leading cloud native service mesh. Istio shares IBM’s passion for enhancing interoperability, open collaboration, security, resiliency and performance across cloud native applications. Continued open source innovation is vital to IBM’s hybrid cloud strategy, and we applaud all the Istio contributors who worked hard to reach this point.” – Jason McGee, IBM Fellow, CTO and GM, IBM Cloud

Red Hat

“Red Hat joined the Istio community to help further application-driven networking. We have found this community to be passionate about security, observability, microservices, layer 7 networking, and API strategies and patterns – all components we derive great value from as building blocks in a modern application platform. Congratulations to all the Istio contributors for reaching this amazing milestone in CNCF.” – Mike Barrett, Vice President of Hybrid Platforms, Red Hat

“We are immensely proud of Istio reaching the Graduated level within CNCF. It is a clear testament to the dedication and collaborative spirit of our vibrant community, as well as the value the project provides to our users. At Solo, we are proud to have worked alongside the community and contributors since the project’s inception to grow Istio from an ambitious idea into a mature and stable service mesh solving large real-world problems. We want to thank everyone who has contributed to this moment, and we look forward to shaping the future of application networking together.” – Louis Ryan, CTO, and co-creator of Istio


“When we started Istio at Google in 2016, we believed two things: application networking was the next major barrier in cloud native development, and zero-trust was the future of security. Istio has proven itself to be the way forward, driving innovation in both of these areas. The graduation of Istio marks the attainment of a level of maturity and stability the community can be proud of. It’s also a proof point enterprises can rely on, demonstrating Istio is proven at scale and backed by successful and massive global deployments.” – Varun Talwar, Co-Founder, Tetrate


“We are extremely happy to see Istio graduate as a CNCF project. In its six year history, Istio has established itself as a leader in cloud native networking, security, and observability. We are excited to continue to collaborate with the Istio community, bolstered by cross-organizational governance that makes it possible for all of us to achieve more together.” – Keith Mattix, Senior Software Engineer Lead, Microsoft


“Huawei Cloud has been an active contributor to Istio from the very beginning, leveraging our years of technical expertise and industry experience. We were among the first to launch an Istio cloud service, accelerating the enhancement of the mesh technology and ecosystem. With Istio’s graduation, we are confident it will continue to serve the digital transformation of organizations. Huawei remains committed to collaborating with the Istio community to deliver superior service mesh technology and cloud service products to developers and enterprises worldwide.” – Bruno Zhang, CTO, Huawei Cloud


“F5 supports innovative technologies through open source efforts, with Istio’s graduation in CNCF as a prime example. As examples, Istio has further enabled F5 to manage microservice-based network functions at scale for a Tier 1 telco and deliver Kubernetes observability and management for a global consumer tech company. We look forward to additional standards and best practices emerging from CNCF projects.” – Jacob Delgado, Principal Software Engineer, F5.


“Congratulations to Istio on their graduation as a CNCF project! Cisco has been a long-time contributor to Istio, participating in the first multi-cluster implementation and the Istio CNI, both important features which are still being used today. Istio has evolved into a robust and feature-rich tool which has made it easy for us to innovate with and incorporate into our products. It will continue to be a critical component of our cloud native application management portfolio.” – Stephen Augustus, Head of Open Source, Cisco


“VMware is delighted to celebrate Istio’s graduation within CNCF. Service mesh is a key part of cloud native architecture, and Istio provides a uniform and efficient way to better secure, connect, and monitor modern app services – making it the choice for enterprises. VMware has been an advocate for Istio and shares in the vision for a robust cloud native ecosystem for application networking. VMware looks forward to its continued collaboration with the Istio project and community to deliver more secure connectivity solutions for enterprises.” – said Niran Evenchen, Senior Product Line Manager, VMware Tanzu


“We are happy to see Istio become a CNCF graduated project. Intel has contributed to the Istio project with a focus on helping Istio make gains in performance, security, and network functionalities via unleashing underlying hardware capabilities. Istio’s graduation in CNCF is a big milestone for the whole community, and we are looking forward to the next big step for the project”. – Grace Lian, Senior Director for Cloud Software Engineering and Iris Ding, Cloud Software Engineer, Istio Steering Committee member, Intel


“As one of the most popular projects in the service mesh field, Istio not only brings underlying security guarantees and convenience for cloud native transformation and migration to applications at the infrastructure level but also subverts the governance model of traditional microservices at the business implementation level. We are looking forward to the maturity of the Istio ambient mode and more new features beyond.” – Kebe Liu, Senior Software Engineer, DaoCloud


“Moving Istio to Graduated Status confirms what we have known for a while: a service mesh is an important part of a robust multi-cloud network architecture, and Istio is the service mesh par excellence. We are proud to contribute to this incredible project, and we expect more excellent innovation in the releases to come. Congratulations to Istio’s maintainers, contributors, and most of all, its users, without whom none of this would be possible.” – Mitch Connors, Sr Principal Software Engineer, Aviatrix

Ericsson Software Technology

“We are happy to know that Istio is moving one step ahead in its cloud native journey as it continues to help us build a secure and reliable 5G Telco platform to achieve uniform security and visibility across Cloud-Native Network Functions (CNFs).” – Faseela K, Cloud Native Developer, EST, and Istio Steering Committee Member


“We are very excited to see Istio reach Graduation. Its capabilities have become critical for our customers who need the security and control a service mesh provides. Istio has also shown the value of the CNCF community, bringing hundreds of developers from dozens of companies together into a thriving, vibrant community.” – Dan Ciruli, VP Product, D2iQ

To learn more about Istio:

About Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Cloud native computing empowers organizations to build and run scalable applications with an open source software stack in public, private, and hybrid clouds. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) hosts critical components of the global technology infrastructure, including Kubernetes, Prometheus, and Envoy. CNCF brings together the industry’s top developers, end users, and vendors and runs the largest open source developer conferences in the world. Supported by more than 800 members, including the world’s largest cloud computing and software companies, as well as over 200 innovative startups, CNCF is part of the nonprofit Linux Foundation. For more information, please visit


The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our trademark usage page. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Media Contact

Katie Meinders

The Linux Foundation