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Service Mesh: Istio 1.12 launches new WebAssembly API

Istio version 1.12 was released. The minor release of the service mesh platform introduces a new API for extension using WebAssembly. The Istio installation is on the way to the beta feature using Helm, and as an experimental feature, Istio 1.12 is learning how to use HTTP / 3 gateways.

WebAssembly, or Wasm for short, can be used in Istio to load user-defined extensions at runtime. According to the development team, however, configuring WebAssembly plug-ins has so far been experimental and difficult to implement. Istio 1.12 is therefore implementing the announcement made three months ago and introducing a new API for WebAssembly, which is intended to remedy the situation: WasmPlugin. The API, which is still in alpha status, should enable the simple deployment of user-defined plug-ins to individual proxies or the entire mesh.

The Istio team has also worked on the telemetry API, which has been included since version 1.11. After three months it is still in alpha status, but has received new features and is now suitable for configuring metrics as well as for access logging.

Also the installation and configuration of Istio through the Kubernetes package manager Helm remains in alpha status in version 1.12, but further steps have been taken to advance the feature towards beta. The new official helmet repository should make it easier to get started. As the installation guide shows, it can be configured as follows:

$ helm repo add istio https://istio-release.storage.googleapis.com/charts
$ helm repo update

Complete support for version v1alpha2 of the Kubernetes Gateway API is also new. It should serve to standardize various APIs that are used by Istio, Kubernetes Ingress and other proxies – with the planned result of an extensive API for configuring traffic routing.

All new features in Istio 1.12 interested parties can find in the change notes, the highlights shows an announcement post.


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