HomeOperationsTop 4 Load Balancing Service Mesh Technologies of 2024

Top 4 Load Balancing Service Mesh Technologies of 2024

Why do we need Service Mesh Technologies?

Service meshes have become the talk of the town in the cloud-native world in recent years. And not without reason – A service mesh is essentially an infrastructure layer interwoven into your application, serving as a sophisticated air traffic controller for internal communication among microservices. Load-balancing service meshes have been indispensable in modern cloud developments. They make services resilient by rerouting failing services, enforcing a zero-trust security model by ensuring encrypted communication channels, micro-segmentation and distributing traffic across service instances which in turn optimizes its performance.. 

When compared to API gateways, service meshes outperform API gateways in granular network administration, extensive traffic routing, and service lifecycle monitoring, diminishing the reliance on centralized load balancers. They enhance a distributed, scalable architecture. Although API gateways manage client queries and bridge external networks with service meshes, their emphasis on the internal microservices network may be less compared to service meshes.

This shift, integrates security, fostering innovation, improving efficiency, and enhancing scalability. 

Read ahead to find out about the four top load-balancing service mesh technologies of this year!

Consul

Consul, developed by Hashicorp, is an open-source tool. It used Envoy proxy for north-south as well as east-west load balancing between connections in a mesh. North-south connections are routed through Envoy Proxy which needs configuration to act as an ingress pathway whereas the east-west traffic is directed through a sidecar proxy. What makes it easy to use, is that it uses a common policy to resolve internal and external requests from inside and outside the mesh, which reduces the level of configuration required for load balancing. 

Consul is best suited for organizations that prioritize security and a robust infrastructure. 

Istio

Istio is a service mesh framework created in collaboration with Google, IBM, and Lyft. It is extremely popular and known to make service mesh accessible to a large audience. Like Consul, Istio uses a lightweight proxy from Envoy proxy and is separate from any particular programming language. 

What makes Istio stand out, is that the services are not made aware that they are working alongside envoy proxies and sidecar proxies which keeps them insulated from the underlying infrastructure and makes them resilient to changes in network or proxy implementation. Istio facilitates application teams to develop a zero-trust security framework by allowing them to define and implement authentication, authorization, and access control policies. Additionally, every flow of data between services, whether within the cluster or data center, is encrypted using Istio’s mTLS protocols. 

Linkerd

Carrying the title of the first service mesh project, Linkerd is presently in use across corporations globally such as Microsoft, HP, and Nordstrom. It became the world’s only service mesh to graduate from CNCF in 2021. Unlike Consul and Istio, Linkerd is built on a micro-proxy called Linked2-proxy and written in Rust rather than C++ since it chooses to emphasize a simple lightweight solution that safeguards Kubernetes as effectively as possible. For purposes of simplicity, Linkerd does not offer ingress, instead works in tandem with your chosen ingress controller. It enables TLS application-wide, utilizing advanced load-balancing algorithms for intelligent traffic distribution, dynamically managing request routing, and providing distributed tracing to identify the root cause of issues.

NGINX Service Mesh (NSM)

It is a fully comprehensive lightweight service mesh that manages container traffic in Kubernetes environments via an NGINX Plus-powered data plane. NSM encrypts all communications using mTLS, preventing hackers from collecting vital information. Its access controls allow you to define policies governing which services can communicate with one another and offer a built-in Grafana dashboard that displays all accessible metrics in NGINX Plus.

It is well known for its excellent abilities in traffic management, hybrid deployment, visualization, and security for microservices and LBs. Its foundation is built on open-source services, which may not always deliver the best results owing to how complicated the architecture is. Unlike Istio which handles complicated microservices communication, observability, and security in Kubernetes, NGINX is well-suited to typical web applications, providing high traffic handling, speed optimisation, caching, and SSL termination.

Wrapping up

So, buckle up to watch these top 4 game-changing service mesh technologies shape the future of load balancing in 2024.  Load balancing service mesh technologies have made a name for themselves as offering  global service discovery, zero trust networking, reducing traffic bottlenecks in the network and making apps work faster and better. In the grand scheme, load balancers emerge as crucial players, contributing significantly to the creation of a resilient and agile digital landscape.

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