Introducing SuperGloo: The Service Mesh Orchestration Platform

Today we are thrilled to announce the release of SuperGloo, an open-source project to manage and orchestrate service meshes at scale. SuperGloo is an opinionated abstraction layer that will simplify the installation, management, and operation of your service mesh, whether you use (or plan to use) a single mesh or multiple mesh technologies, on-site, in the cloud, or on any topology that best fits you.

Service mesh is the future of cloud-native apps

A service mesh is an infrastructure layer that handles service-to-service communication, freeing applications from being aware of the complex communication network. The mesh provides advanced capabilities, including encryption, authentication and authorization, routing, monitoring and tracing.

The adoption of service mesh in the cloud-native ecosystem is growing rapidly, with several exciting offerings. Among the leading service meshes are Istio, backed by Google, IBM, and Lyft; Linkerd and Linkerd2 (formerly Conduit), CNCF projects; and the new Connect feature of Hashicorp Consul. Each of the different service mesh technologies has their own characteristics, strengths, and features.

SuperGloo will let you maximize the advantages of your mesh while minimizing its complexity

The complexity and disparity of the available service-mesh offerings make it hard to investigate and operate a single solution, let alone multiple ones. To make service-mesh adoption an easy and rewarding task, we at Solo developed SuperGloo. SuperGloo is designed to address current and future challenges, from early stages of usage to complex super-meshes involving many instances on multiple clouds.

SuperGloo helps users kick off their service mesh experience. Users who contemplate working with service mesh can be deterred by the many configuration choices they have to make. SuperGloo solves this problem by providing an opinionated API that automates the installation process, obviating the need for writing and deploying complicated yaml files.

SuperGloo takes charge of key functionalities associated with the mesh, including encryption, telemetry, and tracing. Launching any of these with SuperGloo is as simple as flipping a switch, completely bypassing the need for complicated configuration steps.

SuperGloo unifies management of ingress traffic (“north/south”) and mesh traffic (“east/west”). Every service mesh relies on ingress controllers to manage traffic across clusters and from the internet. SuperGloo provides a fully-automated opinionated workflow for configuring your mesh to work with your ingress, offering a unified management experience for all traffic.

SuperGloo gives you the freedom to pair any service mesh with any ingress. The mesh abstraction provided by SuperGloo lets users be free to choose their favorites mesh and ingress, and leave it to SuperGloo to take care of the installation and configuration necessary to let them work together. SuperGloo also supports running multiple ingress with multiple mesh in the same cluster.

Our vision: a multi-mesh

At Solo, we believe that companies at any stage of adoption will gain from experiencing multiple service meshes. At the early stages of adoption, users will benefit from the ability to experiment with multiple technologies. Groups within the same organization may favor different options, making multi-mesh a lasting reality. Whether multi-mesh is a transition-phase or the end-game, keeping your options open without compromising on ease-of-use, functionality or flexibility will give early adopters a competitive edge.

SuperGloo makes it easy to explore different meshes and migrate between them. The unified interface, as well as the automated installation, makes the transition from one mesh to another fast and painless.

SuperGloo allows using the same tools with different meshes. The abstraction we seek to provide will allow developers to build a single product that runs on any mesh, or across meshes.For users, this will provide the ability to migrate between service mesh providers without changing the tooling they are work with.

SuperGloo will ‘glue’ meshes of any type into a multi-mesh. For companies that run multiple service mesh instances, SuperGloo will connect all the different meshes together, across namespaces, across clusters, across clouds. All with flat-networking and policy applied at the level, rather than repeated at each individual level, without any effort of synchronizing config across meshes.

As of today, SuperGloo supports Istio, Consul and Linkerd2. We invite the community to join us in adding support for more meshes, more ingresses, and more features. We encourage you to check out our Github repo, our docs, and join our slack channel. Happy Thanksgiving from Solo!