Today we are very excited to introduce Aspen Mesh, an enterprise service mesh built on the open source project Istio. After talking to development and operations teams it became clear that microservices are great for development velocity, but the complexity and risk in these architectures lies in the service-to-service communication that microservices depend on. We have taken an application first approach to provide a communication fabric for microservices, called a service mesh. With our supported service mesh DevOps teams have the flexibility and autonomy they desire while providing the policy, visibility and insights into their microservice environment that operations teams demand for production-grade applications.
What is Aspen Mesh?
It’s a service mesh.
I know what you are thinking… “So what?”
We’ll have plenty more to say about that in the future, but for now think about all of the network, security and telemetry services you use for your traditional monolithic applications.
Now think about your plans for microservices. Maybe you plan to have 10, 50, 100 or 1000’s of services running in your Kubernetes cluster. How do you get all of those services in your new microservice and container environments in an efficient, uniform way.
Do you know who is talking to who and if they are allowed to? Is that communication secure? How do you debug something when it goes down? How do you add tracing or logging without touching all of your applications? Do you know what the performance or quality impacts of releasing a new version of one of those services is on the upstream and downstream services?
A service mesh helps answer those questions. As a transparent infrastructure layer that is inserted between your microservice and the network a service mesh gives you a single point in the communication path of your applications to insert services and gather telemetry. You can do this without requiring changes to your applications.
What are Aspen Mesh’s Benefits Over Open Source?
We think open source is great! In fact, we think some projects are so awesome that we decided to use them in our product. Aspen Mesh is built on an open core model and our Enterprise Service Mesh is a packaged and supported distribution of Istio and Envoy.
Because having a choice is important, we have taken a unique approach to our product that allows you the most flexibility in how you deploy a service mesh in your environment. Aspen Mesh consists of our hosted SaaS platform for visibility, analytics and policy management and our supported Enterprise Service Mesh distribution.
Aspen Mesh’s Enterprise Service Mesh Distribution can be deployed by customers who require product support and services for their production systems. We version, build, package, test and document our distribution and we fully support our customers throughout their microservices journey. Using our distribution of Istio gives you access to our feature set in both the service mesh as well as our hosted portal, and it is fully supported.
Our Hosted SaaS Platform can be used with the community version of Istio. So if you are passionate about using open source, just exploring the concepts of containers and service mesh, or have already deployed Istio, using the portal alone is an option. As an open source user you get visibility, predictive analytics and policy management as well as a hosted option for logging and tracing infrastructure. Our enterprise customers have access to features and functionality that can only be provided when using our enterprise distribution.
How Do I Get Started with Aspen Mesh?
The concept of service mesh is brand new. In fact, until 2018 was declared “The Year of the Service Mesh” at KubeCon in December, most people had never heard of a service mesh. But, we have been working on this concept in different ways for a while now and are able to offer early access to the product for interested customers.
We are looking for teams on their container journey who are looking to solve real problems with their applications. We need partners who are excited to work with us and understand the value of a strong relationship.
Not everyone is cut out for the next big thing, but if you think you are up to the challenge we would love to talk to you and your team.