Istio accepted as a CNCF incubating project

Laszlo Bence Nagy
Laszlo Bence Nagy

Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

Read Time
2 min read

Istio has just been accepted as a CNCF incubation project. As you might read from all other similar posts today: Hooray!


Shortest Istio history ever

Since the first Istio version in 2017, Istio has come a long way in a little more than five years. At the beginning, frankly, Istio was a very complex system to install, operate, troubleshoot and upgrade. It had more than 50 CRDs at one point. Upgrades during the early releases were especially prone to instability. Trust us, we’ve been there 🙂

A lot has changed since then. Today, it is much easier to manage an Istio mesh, there are several tools to help troubleshoot issues, and APIs are much more stable even between versions. (Of course, Calisti The Cisco Service Mesh Manager makes Istio even better ;))

This growth lead Istio to be the most widely adopted service mesh solution on the market today.


Based on the past five years, we are fairly confident that many great things are to come in the Istio ecosystem in the next five years as well.

Being accepted to the CNCF is a huge step into the bright future of the project. Being in the CNCF, just like all the other relevant cloud-native tools (K8s, Envoy, etc.), anticipates well-established governance and even greater user adoption in the future.

We, at Cisco, are very much looking forward to being part of this journey with Istio.

Cisco & Istio

Cisco has been involved with Istio in many ways over the years and plans to continue to do so:

  • We initiated the Istio CNI project and contributed to the very first multi-cluster topologies.
  • We announced an open-source Istio operator in early 2019 to help Istio’s adoption.
  • We open-sourced Cluster Registry to support automatic Istio multi-cluster setups.
  • We built products around Istio:
    • Calisti is an enterprise ready Istio management solution for microservice based apps.
    • Panoptica makes application security “business as usual” and integrates with Istio meshes as well.
  • We evangelize Istio through blog posts, webinars, and presenting at conferences and meetups.
  • In Cisco, multiple teams are Istio end users, using it for various use cases.

Cisco anticipates Istio’s adoption to accelerate in the future and plans to keep heavily investing in it – helping the community, building products around it and using it as well.

We would like to thank everybody who has been involved in our Istio journey so far. The community around our open source Istio related projects and all of our customers/partners who helped to shape our products.

Come and find us in Detroit!