Service Mesh Interface (SMI) and our Vision for the Community and Ecosystem

Idit Levine
May 21 · 3 min read

The service mesh ecosystem is rising with many mesh providers and different use cases that will require different technologies. So the question is how do we foster industry innovation without fragmenting the end user experience? By agreeing on a standard set of APIs, we are able to provide interoperability and preserve the end user experience across different meshes and tools built for those meshes.

Today’s announcement of the Service Mesh Interface (SMI) is an important step in making this a reality for the industry.

SMI is a specification for service meshes that runs on Kubernetes. It defines a common standard that can be implemented by a variety of providers. This allows for both standardization for end-users and innovation by service mesh providers. SMI enables flexibility and interoperability.

SMI minimizes complexity while maximizing the benefits of service mesh

The complexity and disparity of different service meshes make it difficult to investigate and operate a single solution, let alone multiple ones. To make service mesh adoption simple and smooth, Solo.io is collaborating with Microsoft and others to standardize the interface to ensure a great end user experience and consistency and interoperability for the ecosystem to innovate.

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

SMI will make it easy to try different meshes and migrate between them. A standard interface and API makes the transition from one mesh to another fast and painless and prevent mesh vendor lock-in. With a quickly evolving ecosystem, there are many mesh providers and end users want the flexibility to change their mind.

SMI is ecosystem friendly and allows end users to use the same toolset. Consistent APIs allows for the products built for one mesh is interoperable with another mesh that is compliant with the specification so end users can maintain a consistent workflow.

SMI at Solo.io

At Solo.io, we started this journey towards the multi mesh vision last year with the open sourcing of the SuperGloo project, an abstraction layer that unifies and automates the orchestration of any service mesh. SuperGloo provides a simple API to consistently install and operate single or multi cluster meshes from one or more provider for their environment.

Last week, we continued to deliver on this vision with the release with the Service Mesh Hub, the first industry hub for end users, the community and ecosystem to build, share and collaborate. The Service Mesh Hub is a unified Dashboard to install, discover and operate a single or group of meshes and the services and extensions running on them. The Extensions Catalog of the Hub is a place for the community and ecosystem to build and share tools specifically designed to bring additional functionality to mesh environments. The Service Mesh Hub builds on top of and extends the SuperGloo project.

With today’s announcement, both SuperGloo and the Service Mesh Hub have been updated to support the SMI spec and are the first reference implementations available.

The vision for multi-mesh is not complete, check back with us at Solo.io to see what we do next.

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Blogs and articles from solo.io

Idit Levine

Written by

Founder & CEO @solo.io

solo.io

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Blogs and articles from solo.io

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