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Istio: An Open Source Service Mesh

Istio reduces the complexity of managing microservices by providing a uniform way to connect, secure, control, and monitor microservices. It is deployed as a sidecar proxy that intercepts all communication between microservices. Its functionality includes:

Automatic load balancing

Automatic load balancing

Fine-grained control of traffic

Fine-grained control of traffic

Support for access controls, rate limits, and quotas

Support for access controls, rate limits, and quotas

Metrics, logs, and traces for all traffic

Metrics, logs, and traces for all traffic

Secure service-to-service communication

Secure service-to-service communication

WSO2 API Manager: The Complete Open Source Platform for API Management

The business logic is contained within the microservices. To gain value, these services need to be exposed to internal and external parties via APIs.

WSO2 API Manager goes beyond just managing the development, deployment and resilience of microservices to provide broader business value for organizations in all stages of the API lifecycle. This includes designing, publishing, documenting, analyzing, and monetizing APIs in a secure environment.

Why Istio Needs API Management

It’s a common misconception that implementing a service mesh means there is no requirement for API management. But the key difference is that Istio manages services and WSO2 API Manager manages APIs.

By combining the capabilities of both, you create a completely open source end-to-end solution for your entire business functionality — from microservices to APIs to the end consumer. This includes

Service development and deployment

Microservice and API security


API discoverability

Operational and usage metrics

How They Work Together

While Istio provides data plane and control plane capabilities, WSO2 API Manager provides management plane capabilities to manage microservices. You can use Kubernetes API Operator to apply API management to your microservices. There are 3 main approaches you can select from.

Approach 1: Istio in Permissive Mode


Approach 2: Istio in MTLS Mode


Approach 3: API Microgateway in Sidecar Mode


Make the most out of your MSA while keeping your development and DevOps teams agile.