CNCF Hosts Envoy

By September 13, 2017 Blog

Announced today onstage by Chris Lambert, Lyft CTO, at Open Source Summit North America, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) has voted Envoy in as our 11th hosted project alongside Kubernetes, Prometheus, OpenTracing, Fluentd, linkerd, gRPC, CoreDNS, containerd, rkt, and CNI.

“One of the key components of cloud native computing are microservices backed by a resilient service mesh,” said Chris Aniszczyk, COO of Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “Service meshes provide a dedicated infrastructure layer for making service-to-service communication safe, fast, and reliable. Envoy helps provide this needed layer and integrates nicely with Kubernetes, Prometheus and OpenTracing.

Originally built at Lyft to move their architecture away from a monolith, Envoy is a high-performance open source edge and service proxy that makes the network transparent to applications. Software Engineer Matt Klein led his team to design the technology to abstract most networking complexities from the application developer. Written in C++ for performance reasons, the Envoy out of process architecture can be used with any application, in any language or runtime; including HTTP/2 gRPC proxying, MongoDB filtering and rate limiting, and more.

Main features:

  • High-performance native code implementation
  • Eventually consistent service discovery
  • API-driven configuration
  • L4 (TCP) proxy with an extensible filter chain mechanism
  • Parallel pluggable L7 filter chain
  • Transparent HTTP/1 to HTTP/2 proxy in both directions
  • Robust and consistent observability within a microservice architecture
  • Easy debugging
  • Advanced load balancing; including zone awareness, retry, timeouts, circuit breaking, rate limiting, shadowing, and outlier detection
  • Best in class observability using both statistics, logging, and distributed tracing

“The network should be transparent to applications, so when network and application problems occur it should be easy to determine the source of the problem,” said Klein. “Envoy is a universal data plane where it does not matter which system you are in; the mesh just works no matter where the code is running. As a key component of next-generation microservices architectures, we are thrilled to be part of CNCF and to work with the cloud native community to further our project.”

Lyft’s SOA Architecture today

Envoy was open sourced last September and has several companies contributing to the project; including Google and IBM. In fact, there are now more people working on Envoy at Google than there are at Lyft. Lyft is collaborating with Google and IBM to bring Envoy to Kubernetes via the Istio project.

Notable Milestones:

  • 75 Contributors
  • 2,123 Github stars
  • 5 releases
  • 1,085 commits

“CNCF is thrilled to welcome Envoy as a CNCF incubated project as fast internal communication is such an essential component of a modern cloud-native application,” said Alexis Richardson, CNCF TOC Chair and project co-sponsor. “After speaking with several users of the project it quickly became clear that Envoy’s API based approach provides much more than just a new evolution of the software router and load balancer.  It is in fact a breakthrough abstraction that enables any developer to control and observe how data flows through the stack. We look forward to helping fuel broader adoption of Envoy.”

As a CNCF hosted project, Envoy will be part of a neutral community aligned with technical interests, receive help in building its developer community. CNCF will also assist with Envoy  marketing and documentation efforts.

“Having the backing of the CNCF community will be mutually beneficial to all parties,” said Ken Owens, CNCF TOC Representative and project co-sponsor. “Envoy is not only native to modern service oriented systems and a great proxy implementation, the community has a strong ethos that is working on configuration standardization for proxies that will benefit other proxies in the ecosystem over time.”

For more on Envoy, read this blog by Klein, which discusses the main problems Envoy solves, the design points most compelling to the industry and its future roadmap. For additional reading, check out: Microservices Architecture Guide: Getting started with Lyft Envoy for microservices resilience and Lyft’s Envoy: From Monolith to Service Mesh or watch the video. Envoy will also have a technical salon at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2017 in Austin on December 6.

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