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Video: Why Cloud Foundry Chose Istio and Envoy for Routing

As the adoption of Cloud Foundry grows, it creates a new set of challenges that leads to a new set of solutions–something at which the Cloud Foundry community excels. One such challenge for the Cloud Foundry Routing team is north-south traffic.

Aaron Hurley, software engineer at VMware, pointed out some of the requirements users want in a routing system. They want security — encryption and authentication everywhere. They want reliability. They want intelligent routing features such as weighted routing or circuit breaking. They want telemetry so they have the the ability to trace the system and determine the location of the breakage.

Cloud Foundry currently doesn’t have some of these features, including weighted routing. One way of solving this problem is simply by adding those features to Cloud Foundry. That involves throwing more developers at the issue and a massive refactoring of the code base.

Hurley found a better way–the open source way. The Cloud Foundry community is working on bringing weighted routing and other needed features to Cloud Foundry through open source projects like Istio and Envoy. Betting on Istio and Envoy is wise, as they are already feature-rich and backed by major companies like Google and IBM that ensure their longevity.

“If we are able to focus on the integration of Istio and Envoy into the routing tier instead of trying to continue to evolve off of our existing products, the routing team within Cloud Foundry could enable features more quickly,” said Hurley.

Cloud Foundry will also benefit from a much larger team of developers working on those two projects and actually help these developers, adding more to the team. It also gives Cloud Foundry a chance to rethink its system architecture and further improve it.

That doesn’t mean it’s an easy ride. There are many challenges for the Cloud Foundry team to achieve, but the work has already started and the code exists on GitHub.

Check out the entire talk below!

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Swapnil Bhartiya, AUTHOR