Gloo Mesh Enterprise is a service mesh management plane that is based on hardened, open-source projects like Envoy and Istio. With Gloo Mesh, you can unify the configuration, operation, and visibility of service-to-service connectivity across your distributed applications. These apps can run in different virtual machines (VMs) or Kubernetes clusters on premises or in various cloud providers, and even in different service meshes.

You can follow this guide to quickly get started with Gloo Mesh Enterprise. To learn more about the benefits and architecture, see About. To customize your installation with Helm instead, see the advanced installation guide.

Before you begin

  1. Install the following command-line (CLI) tools.

    • kubectl, the Kubernetes command line tool. Download the kubectl version that is within one minor version of the Kubernetes clusters you plan to use.
    • meshctl, the Solo command line tool.
        curl -sL | GLOO_MESH_VERSION=v2.5.7 sh -
      export PATH=$HOME/.gloo-mesh/bin:$PATH
  2. Create or use an existing Kubernetes or OpenShift cluster, and save the cluster name in an environment variable.

      export CLUSTER_NAME=<cluster_name>
  3. Set your Gloo Mesh Enterprise license key as an environment variable. If you do not have one, contact an account representative. If you prefer to specify license keys in a secret instead, see Licensing. To check your license’s validity, you can run meshctl license check --key $(echo ${GLOO_MESH_LICENSE_KEY} | base64 -w0).

      export GLOO_MESH_LICENSE_KEY=<license_key>
  4. Create a YAML file with the following values to configure the TLS connection between the Gloo management server and agent. The following example uses My token as your relay identity token value, but you can use any string value. The relay token is used by the Gloo agent when establishing the first connection to the Gloo management server. Only when the relay identity token that the agent presents matches the relay token that the Gloo management server uses, initial trust is established and the Gloo agent and management server proceed with establishing a simple TLS connection. In a simple TLS setup, only the management server presents a certificate to authenticate its identity. The identity of the agent is not verified.

  cat > values.yaml <<EOF
      value: "true"
      value: "My token"
      value: "true"
      value: "My token"

Install Gloo Mesh Enterprise and Istio

Install Gloo Mesh and Istio in your cluster. This command uses basic profiles to install the management plane components, such as the management server and Prometheus server, and the data plane components, such as the agent, managed Istio service mesh, rate limit server, and external auth server, in your cluster.

Verify the installation

  1. Verify that your Gloo Mesh Enterprise setup is correctly installed. If not, try debugging the relay connection. Note that this check might take a few seconds to verify that:

    • Your Gloo product license is valid and current.
    • The Gloo CRDs are installed at the correct version.
    • The management plane pods in the management cluster are running and healthy.
    • The Gloo agent is running and connected to the management server.
      meshctl check

    Example output:

      🟢 License status
    INFO  gloo-mesh enterprise license expiration is 25 Aug 24 10:38 CDT
    INFO  No GraphQL license module found for any product
    🟢 CRD version check
    🟢 Gloo deployment status
    Namespace | Name                           | Ready | Status
    gloo-mesh | ext-auth-service               | 1/1   | Healthy
    gloo-mesh | gloo-mesh-agent                | 1/1   | Healthy
    gloo-mesh | gloo-mesh-mgmt-server          | 1/1   | Healthy
    gloo-mesh | gloo-mesh-redis                | 1/1   | Healthy
    gloo-mesh | gloo-mesh-ui                   | 1/1   | Healthy
    gloo-mesh | gloo-telemetry-collector-agent | 3/3   | Healthy
    gloo-mesh | prometheus-server              | 1/1   | Healthy
    gloo-mesh | rate-limiter                   | 1/1   | Healthy
    🟢 Mgmt server connectivity to workload agents
    Cluster | Registered | Connected Pod                                   
    test    | true       | gloo-mesh/gloo-mesh-mgmt-server-558cddbbd7-rf2hv
    Connected Pod                                    | Clusters
    gloo-mesh/gloo-mesh-mgmt-server-558cddbbd7-rf2hv | 1  
  2. Verify that the istiod pod has a status of Running.

         kubectl get pods -n istio-system

    Example output:

         NAME                            READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
       istiod-1-20-b65676555-g2vmr     1/1     Running   0          47s

  3. Optional: Check out the workspace and workspace settings that were created for you. Workspaces help to organize team resources in your cluster, and to isolate Kubernetes and Gloo resources. Because the default workspace is used for demonstration purposes, it does not isolate any resources, and instead allows all Kubernetes and Gloo resources in the workspace.
      kubectl get workspace $CLUSTER_NAME -n gloo-mesh -o yaml
      kubectl get workspacesettings default -n gloo-mesh -o yaml


Deploy sample apps to try out the routing capabilities and traffic policies in Gloo Mesh.

Understand what happened

Find out more information about the Gloo Mesh Enterprise environment that you set up in this guide.

Gloo Mesh Enterprise installation: This quick start guide used meshctl to install a minimum deployment of Gloo Mesh Enterprise for testing purposes, and some optional components are not installed. For more information, check out the CLI install profiles. To learn more about production-level installation options, including advanced configuration options available in the Gloo Helm chart, see the advanced installation guide.

Management server and agent: When you installed the Gloo management plane, a deployment named gloo-mesh-mgmt-server was created to translate and implement your Gloo configurations. As you create service mesh configurations, the management components translate your Gloo configurations into Istio resources that are implemented in the service mesh. The management plane also aggregates all of the discovered Istio service mesh components into simplified, internal Gloo custom resources. Additionally, because the glooAgent.enabled: true setting is included in the gloo-gateway-single install profile, the cluster was also registered to be managed by Gloo. The deployment named gloo-mesh-agent was created to run the Gloo agent as part of the Gloo data plane.

Relay architecture: When you installed Gloo Mesh Enterprise, the connection between the Gloo management server and agent was secured by using simple TLS with a self-signed TLS certificate that the Gloo management server uses to prove its identity to the Gloo agent. To establish initial trust, the agent uses the relay identity token that you provided during the installation. To learn more about other options to secure the relay connection, see Setup options. In a multicluster setup, the Gloo agent discovers Gloo and Kubernetes resources, such as deployments and services, and sends snapshots of them to the management server for translation and implementation. However, in a single cluster setup, your resources are written directly to the cluster without relay. For more information about relay server-agent communication, see the relay architecture page.

Istio installation: The Istio profiles in this getting started guide were provided within the Gloo Mesh installation Helm chart. However, Gloo Mesh can discover Istio service meshes regardless of their installation options. For more information about service mesh lifecycle management with Gloo, check out Service mesh lifecycle and

Solo distributions of Istio

. Additionally, note that although an ingress gateway was deployed, you can only set up basic routing rules to match and forward traffic. To deploy policies, such as rate limits, external authentication, or a Web Application Firewall, you must have a Gloo Mesh Gateway license.

Gloo workspace: Gloo workspaces let you organize team resources across Kubernetes namespaces and clusters. In this example, a single workspace is created for everything. Later, as your teams grow, you can create a workspace for each team, to enforce service isolation, set up federation, and even share resources by importing and exporting. You can also change the default workspace by following the Workspace setup guide.