We are going through an interesting cycle of application decomposition and recomposition. While the microservice paradigm enabled by containers is driving monolithic applications to be broken into separate individual services, the service mesh paradigm enabled by the proxy sidecars is helping them to be connected back together into well-structured applications.

This talk presents AppSwitch, an extremely fast and simple service mesh framework that offers traffic management and other service mesh functions without a proxy. AppSwitch provides a fundamentally new networking mechanism for containers based on transparent interposition of the BSD socket API.

In addition to providing connectivity for containers, the same mechanism also performs service mesh functions with several new advantages:

  • It can perform traffic management without actually touching data traffic and hence extremely fast
  • It does not require root privilege for its operation
  • It elegantly addresses issues such as service startup order and supports otherwise uncooperative legacy applications