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Microsoft was in attendance at KubeCon EU in Barcelona today and dropped announcements on several Kubernetes tools and solutions. Among them was the launch of the Service Mesh Interface (SMI) spec, which is a collaboration project around Service Mesh. Microsoft also rolled out Helm 3 alpha, version 1.0 of the Virtual Kubelet, and version 1.0 of the Visual Studio Code.

SMI is an open project that Microsoft has been developing in recent months. Through that early stage, the company has already acquired major partners such as VMWare, Weaveworks, Pivotal, Docker, AspenMesh, and more.

Service Mesh has brought majors changes to networks through Kubernetes. Previously, networks were limited but Service Mesh allows smarter integration through management APIs. The technology has become increasingly popular with developers.

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“There’s extensibility just all over the system,” Brendan Burns, Kubernetes cofounder and Microsoft distinguished engineer, told VentureBeat. “And service mesh stood out as this place where there wasn’t any accessibility and there wasn’t any generic interface. It wasn’t following the pattern of the way that the rest of the Kubernetes architecture had been designed, or had been retrofitted, in all honesty.”

Universal Interface

Microsoft’s Service Mesh Interface is a universal API interface that allows developers to leverage mesh services without being linked to a specific tool. SMI specification gathers common APIs to give developers the freedom to create their own implementations.

“Some of the people who we’re partnering with are excited because they’re not going to build a service mesh but they want to build tooling that targets a service mesh,” Burns explained. “Maybe it’s a better way of doing experiments, or rollouts of software. And if they have to choose a particular service mesh’s API, that tool has less reach. We’re in the business of making generic infrastructure, and different customers will make different choices. Someone might choose to use Consul by HashiCorp, someone might choose Istio.”

SMI specs offer three service mesh tools, Policy, Telemetry, and Management:

  1. Traffic policy – apply policies like identity and transport encryption across services
  2. Traffic telemetry – capture key metrics like error rate and latency between services
  3. Traffic management – shift and weight traffic between different services
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