Guest post originally published on Istio’s blog by John Howard and Lin Sun

Istio ambient service mesh was launched in Sept 2022 in an experimental branch, introducing a new data plane mode for Istio without sidecars. Through collaboration with the Istio community, across Google,, Microsoft, Intel, Aviatrix, Huawei, IBM and others, we are excited to announce that Istio ambient mesh has graduated from the experimental branch and merged to Istio’s main branch! This is a significant milestone for ambient mesh, paving the way for releasing ambient in Istio 1.18 and installing it by default in Istio’s future releases.

Major Changes from the Initial Launch

Ambient mesh is designed for simplified operations, broader application compatibility, and reduced infrastructure cost. The ultimate goal of ambient is to be transparent to your applications and we have made a few changes to make the ztunnel and waypoint components simpler and lightweight.

Get involved

Follow our getting started guide to try the ambient pre-alpha build today. We’d love to hear from you! To learn more about ambient: