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radar blip
radar blip

Service mesh without sidecar

Published : Mar 29, 2022
This blip is not on the current edition of the Radar. If it was on one of the last few editions, it is likely that it is still relevant. If the blip is older, it might no longer be relevant and our assessment might be different today. Unfortunately, we simply don't have the bandwidth to continuously review blips from previous editions of the Radar. Understand more
Mar 2022
Assess ?

Service mesh is usually implemented as a reverse-proxy process, aka sidecar, deployed alongside each service instance. Although these sidecars are lightweight processes, the overall cost and operational complexity of adopting service mesh increases with every new instance of the service requiring another sidecar. However, with the advancements in eBPF, we're observing a new service mesh without sidecar approach where the functionalities of the mesh are safely pushed down to the OS kernel, thereby enabling services in the same node to communicate transparently via sockets without the need of additional proxies. You can try this with Cilium service mesh and simplify the deployment from one proxy-per-service to one proxy-per-node. We're intrigued by the capabilities of eBPF and find this evolution of service mesh to be important to assess.

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