The CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) has voted to accept emissary-ingress as a CNCF incubating project. Emissary-ingress, formerly known as Ambassador, is an open source ingress controller and API Gateway for Kubernetes. It is built on Envoy Proxy and supports a wide range of use cases for ingress, including load balancing, authentication, and observability.

The project was created at Datawire (now Ambassador Labs) in 2014, and version 1.0 was released in January 2020. It has been adopted by thousands of organizations, many of whom are successfully using it in production, including AppDirect, Lifion by ADP, Ticketmaster, Chick-Fil-A, and OneFootball. Customers report successfully using emissary-ingress in production with requirements as high as 500,000 requests per second and jumps from 5 million users to 15 million in less than 10 minutes.

“Working with the Emissary-Ingress community over the last four years has been wonderful, and I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished to make life easier for Kubernetes developers,” said Flynn Hood, creator of Ambassador and engineer at Ambassador Labs. “I look forward to more great things ahead as we join the CNCF.”

Joining CNCF will open emissary-ingress up to more users and contributors. It will also help to advance the north-south use case for Envoy Proxy and help to define best practices for ingress in Kubernetes. 

“API Gateways, or ingress controllers, provide a standard architecture for managing the flow of north-south (ingress) traffic to services deployed in Kubernetes,” said Matt Klein, creator of Envoy Proxy and engineer at Lyft. “emissary-ingress fills an important use case, tying together Kubernetes and Envoy to centralize the management of traffic to services running inside a Kubernetes cluster.”

Main Components:

  • Kubernetes-native: emissary-ingress uses Kubernetes for persistence, so there is no need to run, scale, or maintain a database. It also uses Kubernetes liveness and readiness probes, so Kubernetes automatically restarts emissary-ingress if it detects a problem.
  • Envoy-based: All of the Layer 7 routing is done by Envoy Proxy, so performance is the same as Envoy. 
  • Ecosystem integration: the project integrates with others in the cloud native community, including Prometheus, Linkerd, Jaeger, and many others.

Notable Milestones:

  • 3.2k GitHub Stars 
  • 2k pull requests 
  • 1.2k issues
  • 150+ contributors
  • 500+ releases

“The emissary-ingress project is already a popular Kubernetes native ingress option, so cultivating the community into CNCF is a natural fit,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “We’re excited to see the project continue to grow and build further collaboration across CNCF projects in the service mesh and service proxy ecosystem.” 

The emissary-ingress project roadmap includes adding new project maintainers across multiple organizations, as well as adding support for WASM, caching APIs, and emerging standards. The team is also involved in work on Service APIs and Ingress v1 to ensure continued support of the evolving Kubernetes standard.

As a CNCF-hosted project, joining incubating technologies Argo, Buildpacks, CloudEvents, CNI, Contour, Cortex, CRI-O, Dragonfly, Falco, Flux, gRPC, KubeEdge, Linkerd, NATS, Notary, OpenTracing, Operator Framework, Rook, SPIFFE, SPIRE, and Thanos, emissary-ingress is part of a neutral foundation aligned with its technical interests, as well as the larger Linux Foundation, which provides governance, marketing support, and community outreach. For more information on maturity requirements for each level, please visit the CNCF Graduation Criteria.