Solo.io Adds Cilium to Gloo Mesh
May 19, 2022

Solo.io announced the addition and integration of Cilium networking into its Gloo Mesh platform, providing a complete application-networking solution for companies’ cloud-native digital transformation efforts.

The addition of Cilium to Solo.io’s product portfolio unites Cilium, an open source container-networking solution, with Istio, the industry standard service mesh that manages, secures and observes communication and traffic flows between microservices. Gloo Mesh Enterprise is Solo.io’s enterprise-grade, Kubernetes-native solution for multi-cluster and multi-workload service mesh management. Solo.io is now delivering a unified cloud-native architecture that improves the performance and simplifies the management of networking for cloud-native applications. This paves the way for a smoother, simplified enterprise cloud journey.

“We talked with our Gloo Mesh customers and heard their excitement about cloud-native networking and efforts, such as eBPF and Cilium. But they told us they want to access this innovation seamlessly and with the maturity of Istio,” said Idit Levine, founder and CEO, Solo.io. “We know most companies have a wide range of applications that require different networking layers, services, and functions — and application networking architectures are never one-size-fits-all. Bringing together Cilium and Istio gives our customers a complete application networking stack for their cloud-native efforts. This well-defined path forward will also help companies expedite their application modernization efforts.”

In today’s market, companies using Kubernetes have two choices for OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model Layer 3-4 networking through the CNI (container native interface); iptables-based solutions and eBPF-based solutions. While iptables-based solutions are well established in the market, eBPF-based solutions bring new innovations, and require a new level of expertise to take advantage of performance, security and observability capabilities. eBPF, a kernel technology that can run sandboxed programs in an operating system kernel, provides a safe way to enhance the kernel with observability, networking, and security technologies Solo.io has expanded its expertise in eBPF, a core technology within Cilium, and is in a position to offer companies specific best practices for integrating Cilium and Istio.

While the new Cilium integration with Gloo Mesh offers an exciting opportunity to leverage eBFP innovation, Solo.io remains committed to the principle of batteries included by swappable. Solo.io will also continue to support iptables-based CNI solutions with Gloo Mesh. This approach gives our customers the flexibility they need on their cloud journey.

“We have seen major cloud providers such as Alibaba, AWS, Google Cloud, Digital Ocean begin to adopt Cilium as a CNI option for their Kubernetes services. We want to ensure that our Gloo Mesh customers are properly equipped for the next phase of their cloud journey — and that they can make a seamless migration at the pace that makes sense for their business,” Levine said. “Solo.io’s deep experience with application networking throughout the entire stack — including expertise in Istio, Envoy Proxy, eBPF, Kubernetes and containers — serves as the foundation for the next generation of cloud-native application networking. That’s why our customers trust Solo to anticipate and address their cloud-native application networking needs. The latest addition of Cilium will enable us to simplify how customers connect, secure, and observe their cloud-native applications across any cloud environment.”

Companies now have access to enterprise-grade Cilium CNI. Solo.io offers:

- Cilium CNI support to all new and existing Gloo Mesh customers at no additional cost.

- Direct enterprise support for Cilium for new customers or existing customers of Gloo Mesh.

- Continued support for additional third-party CNI implementations with Gloo Mesh, in a batteries included by pluggable manner.

- Enterprise-level support for the Cilium CNI directly from Solo.io, similar to how Solo.io offers enterprise-level support for Istio.

- Collaboration opportunities in the open source Cilium community to help shape the future of the project.

- Option to start with just the Cilium CNI; pricing will be available soon.

“Alongside the rise of cloud-native architectures, we’ve also seen many organizations struggle to navigate the complex and fragmented landscape of related networking offerings,” said KellyAnn Fitzpatrick, Senior Industry Analyst, RedMonk. “By integrating key technologies that serve different connectivity layers, Solo.io aims to better align the networking stack, thereby offering application teams a user experience that better supports paradigms such as GitOps.”

In addition, Solo.io will expand its role in contributing and maintaining the Cilium project. Solo.io will work closely with both the Cilium and Istio communities to enable advancements in bringing together a more cohesive, secure and performant Layer 2 – Layer 7 application networking architecture.

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