Linkerd 2.0 Now In General Availability: From Service Mesh to Service Sidecar

By September 18, 2018 Blog

Today, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and maintainers of Linkerd are excited to announce the general availability of Linkerd 2.0.

The 2.0 release brings dramatic improvements to performance, resource consumption, and ease of use to Linkerd. It also transforms the project from a cluster-wide service mesh to a composable service sidecar, designed to give developers and service owners critical tools they need to be successful in a cloud native environment.

Released by Buoyant founders William Morgan and Oliver Gould in 2016, Linkerd was contributed to CNCF in early 2017. Since then, the project has experienced rapid growth and now powers a diverse ecosystem of applications around the globe, from satellite imaging to payments processing to the Human Genome Project.

Linkerd 2.0’s service sidecar design gives developers and service owners the ability to run Linkerd on just their service, providing automatic observability, reliability, and runtime diagnostics without configuration or code changes. The service sidecar approach also reduces the risk for platform owners and system architects, by providing a lightweight, incremental path to obtaining the traditional service mesh features of platform-wide telemetry, security, and reliability.

Notable release highlights include:

  • A self-contained “service sidecar” design that augments a single service without requiring cluster-wide installation.
  • An incremental path to cluster-wide service mesh, whereby service sidecars across multiple services link to become a service mesh.
  • A zero-config, zero-code-change installation process.
  • Automatic Grafana dashboards and Prometheus monitoring of service “golden metrics.”
  • Automatic TLS between services, including certificate generation and distribution.
  • A complete proxy rewrite in Rust, yielding orders of magnitude improvement in latency, throughput, and resource consumption.

Service Sidecars, Service Owners, and Service Ops

“With the 2.0 release, the community focused heavily on the idea of ‘service ops,’ whereby service owners are responsible for not just for building their service, but also deploying it, maintaining it, and waking up at 3 am if it breaks,” said Oliver Gould, core maintainer of Linkerd and CTO of Buoyant. “Service owners are the ultimate customers of all this platform technology we’re building, and we wanted to address their needs directly.”

“We’ve seen Linkerd grow at an incredible pace since becoming a part of CNCF, to the point where it is now successfully handling billions of production requests every day,” said Chris Aniszczyk, COO of Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “The migration path from 1.0 to 2.0 is a huge step forward in how service and platform owners can work together, and we look forward to seeing how it is integrated even deeper into the cloud native user community.”

The project’s contributor and end user community now spans dozens of organizations, including Salesforce, Walmart, Comcast, CreditKarma, PayPal, WePay, and Buoyant.

“Before Linkerd 2.0, for my services, all I had was statistics for my public API. Now I can see on a very granular level how each of my services are behaving,” said Pascal Bourque, CTO and co-founder of Studyo, a task and project manager designed for schools. “For me this is gold. The fact that it is painless to install is even better.”

“We had a problem with instability and latencies after we redeployed a key service and turned to Linkerd 2.0 to diagnose the problem,” said Will King, CTO and co-founder of Hush, a social commerce company focused on cosmetics. “Having the ability to watch real time requests and responses was incredibly useful, much more than we had expected. We use Linkerd 2.0 tap for all our container service debugging now.”

Join the community

Linkerd 2.0 is available for download on GitHub and the community welcomes new users + contributors. The Linkerd core maintainer team is reachable on Slack, Twitter, and mailing lists, and at meetups and other events for the cloud native community.