Overview

The deployments are created by using Helm to facilitate future version upgrades. For example, you can fork Istio’s existing Helm chart to add it to your existing CI/CD workflow.

For more information about manually deploying Istio, review the following:

  • This installation guide installs a production-level Solo distribution of Istio, a hardened Istio enterprise image. For more information, see About the Solo distribution of Istio.
  • For information about the namespaces that are used in this guide and other deployment recommendations, see Best practices for Istio in prod.
  • The east-west gateways in this architecture allow services in one mesh to route cross-cluster traffic to services in the other mesh. If you install Istio into only one cluster for a single-cluster Gloo Mesh setup, the east-west gateway deployment is not required.
  • The ingress gateway in this architecture allows traffic from outside the cluster to reach a workload in the mesh. Note that you can use the ingress gateway to set up simple routing rules. However, if you plan to apply policies to the ingress gateway, such as rate limits, external authentication, or a Web Application Firewall, a Gloo Mesh Gateway license is needed alongside the Gloo Mesh Enterprise license.
  • For more information about using Istio Helm charts, see the Istio documentation.
  • For more information about the example resource files that are provided in the following steps, see the GitHub repository for Gloo Mesh Use Cases.
Figure of a production-level deployment architecture
Figure of a production-level deployment architecture

Step 1: Set up tools

Set up the following tools and environment variables.

  1. Review Supported versions to choose the Solo distribution of Istio that you want to use, and save the version information in the following environment variables.

    • REPO: The repo key for the Solo distribution of Istio that you can get by logging in to the Support Center and reviewing the Istio images built by Solo.io support article.
    • ISTIO_IMAGE: The version that you want to use with the solo tag, such as 1.22.0-solo. You can optionally append other tags of Solo distributions of Istio as needed.
    • REVISION: Take the Istio major and minor versions and replace the periods with hyphens, such as 1-22.
    • ISTIO_VERSION: The version of Istio that you want to install, such as 1.22.0.
      export REPO=<repo-key>
    export ISTIO_IMAGE=1.22.0-solo
    export REVISION=1-22
    export ISTIO_VERSION=1.22.0
      
  2. Install istioctl, the Istio CLI tool.

      curl -L https://istio.io/downloadIstio | ISTIO_VERSION=${ISTIO_VERSION} sh -
    cd istio-$ISTIO_VERSION
    export PATH=$PWD/bin:$PATH
      
  3. Add and update the Helm repository for Istio.

      helm repo add istio https://istio-release.storage.googleapis.com/charts
    helm repo update
      

Step 2: Prepare the cluster environment

Prepare the workload cluster for Istio installation, including installing the Istio custom resource definitions (CRDs).

  1. Save the name and kubeconfig context of a workload cluster in the following environment variables. Each time you repeat the steps in this guide, you change these variables to the next workload cluster’s name and context.

      export CLUSTER_NAME=<remote-cluster>
    export REMOTE_CONTEXT=<remote-cluster-context>
      
  2. Ensure that the Istio operator CRD (istiooperators.install.istio.io) is not managed by the Gloo Platform CRD Helm chart.

      kubectl get crds -A --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT | grep istiooperators.install.istio.io
      
    • If the CRD does not exist on your cluster, you disabled it during the Gloo Mesh installation. Continue to the next step.
    • If the CRD exists on your cluster, follow these steps to remove the Istio operator CRD from the gloo-platform-crds Helm release:
      1. Update the Helm repository for Gloo Platform.
          helm repo add gloo-platform https://storage.googleapis.com/gloo-platform/helm-charts
        helm repo update
          
      2. Upgrade your gloo-platform-crds Helm release in the workload cluster by including the --set installIstioOperator=false flag.
          helm upgrade gloo-platform-crds gloo-platform/gloo-platform-crds \
           --kube-context $REMOTE_CONTEXT \
           --namespace=gloo-mesh \
           --set installIstioOperator=false
          
  3. Install the Istio CRDs.

      helm upgrade --install istio-base istio/base \
      -n istio-system \
      --version $ISTIO_VERSION \
      --kube-context $REMOTE_CONTEXT \
      --create-namespace
      
  4. Create the istio-config namespace. This namespace serves as the administrative root namespace for Istio configuration. For more information, see Plan Istio namespaces.

      kubectl create namespace istio-config --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT
      
  5. OpenShift only: Deploy the Istio CNI plug-in, and elevate the istio-system service account permissions.

    1. Install the CNI plug-in, which is required for using Istio in OpenShift.
        helm install istio-cni istio/cni \
      --namespace kube-system \
      --kube-context $REMOTE_CONTEXT \
      --version $ISTIO_VERSION \
      --set cni.cniBinDir=/var/lib/cni/bin \
      --set cni.cniConfDir=/etc/cni/multus/net.d \
      --set cni.cniConfFileName="istio-cni.conf" \
      --set cni.chained=false \
      --set cni.privileged=true
        
    2. Elevate the permissions of the following service accounts that will be created. These permissions allow the Istio sidecarsgateways to make use of a user ID that is normally restricted by OpenShift. For more information, see the Istio on OpenShift documentation.
        oc adm policy add-scc-to-group anyuid system:serviceaccounts:istio-system --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT
      oc adm policy add-scc-to-group anyuid system:serviceaccounts:istio-config --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT
      oc adm policy add-scc-to-group anyuid system:serviceaccounts:istio-ingress --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT
      oc adm policy add-scc-to-group anyuid system:serviceaccounts:istio-eastwest --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT
        
    3. Create a NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource for the istio-ingress project. If you plan to create the Istio gateways in a different namespace, such as istio-gateways, make sure to create the NetworkAttachmentDefinition in that namespace instead.
        cat <<EOF | oc create -n istio-ingress --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT -f -
      apiVersion: "k8s.cni.cncf.io/v1"
      kind: NetworkAttachmentDefinition
      metadata:
        name: istio-cni
      EOF
        

Step 3: Deploy the Istio control plane

Deploy an Istio control plane in your workload cluster. The provided Helm values files are configured with production-level settings; however, depending on your environment, you might need to edit settings to achieve specific Istio functionality.

  1. Prepare a Helm values file for the istiod control plane. You can further edit the file to provide your own details for production-level settings.

    1. Download an example file, istiod.yaml, and update the environment variables with the values that you previously set.

        curl -0L https://raw.githubusercontent.com/solo-io/gloo-mesh-use-cases/main/gloo-mesh/istio-install/manual-helm/istiod.yaml > istiod.yaml
      envsubst < istiod.yaml > istiod-values.yaml
        
    2. Optional: Trust domain validation is disabled by default in the profile that you downloaded in the previous step. If you have a multicluster mesh setup and you want to enable trust domain validation, add all the clusters that are part of your mesh in the meshConfig.trustDomainAliases field, excluding the cluster that you currently prepare for the istiod installation. For example, let’s say you have 3 clusters that belong to your mesh: cluster1, cluster2, and cluster3. When you install istiod in cluster1, you set the following values for your trust domain:

        ...
      meshConfig:
        trustDomain: cluster1
        trustDomainAliases: ["cluster2","cluster3"]
        

      Then, when you move on to install istiod in cluster2, you set trustDomain: cluster2 and trustDomainAliases: ["cluster1","cluster3"]. You repeat this step for all the clusters that belong to your service mesh. Note that as you add or delete clusters from your service mesh, you must make sure that you update the trustDomainAliases field for all of the clusters.

  2. Create the istiod control plane in your cluster.

      helm upgrade --install istiod-$REVISION istio/istiod \
      --version $ISTIO_VERSION \
      --namespace istio-system \
      --kube-context $REMOTE_CONTEXT \
      --wait \
      -f istiod-values.yaml
      
  3. After the installation is complete, verify that the Istio control plane pods are running.

      kubectl get pods -n istio-system --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT
      

    Example output for 2 replicas:

      NAME                          READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    istiod-1-22-7b96cb895-4nzv9   1/1     Running   0          30s
    istiod-1-22-7b96cb895-r7l8k   1/1     Running   0          30s
      

Step 4 (multicluster setups): Deploy the Istio east-west gateway

If you have a multicluster Gloo Mesh Enterprise setup, deploy an Istio east-west gateway into each workload cluster. An east-west gateway lets services in one mesh communicate with services in another.

  1. Prepare a Helm values file for the Istio east-west gateway. This sample command downloads an example file, eastwest-gateway.yaml, and updates the environment variables with the values that you previously set. You can further edit the file to provide your own details for production-level settings.

      curl -0L https://raw.githubusercontent.com/solo-io/gloo-mesh-use-cases/main/gloo-mesh/istio-install/manual-helm/eastwest-gateway.yaml > eastwest-gateway.yaml
    envsubst < eastwest-gateway.yaml > eastwest-gateway-values.yaml
      
  2. Create the east-west gateway.

      helm upgrade --install istio-eastwestgateway-$REVISION istio/gateway \
      --version $ISTIO_VERSION \
      --create-namespace \
      --namespace istio-eastwest \
      --kube-context $REMOTE_CONTEXT \
      --wait \
      -f eastwest-gateway-values.yaml
      
  3. Verify that the east-west gateway pods are running and the load balancer service is assigned an external address.

      kubectl get pods -n istio-eastwest --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT
    kubectl get svc -n istio-eastwest --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT
      

    Example output:

      NAME                                        READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    istio-eastwestgateway-1-22-7f6f8f7fc7-ncrzq   1/1     Running   0          11s
    istio-eastwestgateway-1-22-7f6f8f7fc7-ncrzq   1/1     Running   0          48s
    NAME                             TYPE           CLUSTER-IP      EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)                                                                                                      AGE
    istio-eastwestgateway-1-22       LoadBalancer   10.96.166.166   <externalip>  15021:32343/TCP,80:31685/TCP,443:30877/TCP,31400:31030/TCP,15443:31507/TCP,15012:30668/TCP,15017:30812/TCP   13s
      

Step 5 (optional): Deploy the Istio ingress gateway

If you want to allow traffic from outside the cluster to enter your mesh, create a GatewayLifecycleManager resource to deploy and manage an ingress gateway. The ingress gateway allows you to specify basic routing rules for how to match and forward incoming traffic to a workload in the mesh. However, to also apply policies, such as rate limits, external authentication, or a Web Application Firewall to the gateway, you must have a Gloo Mesh Gateway license. For more information about Gloo Mesh Gateway, see the docs. If you want a service mesh-only environment without ingress, you can skip this step.

  1. Prepare a Helm values file for the Istio ingress gateway. This sample command downloads an example file, ingress-gateway.yaml, and updates the environment variables with the values that you previously set. You can further edit the file to provide your own details for production-level settings.

      curl -0L https://raw.githubusercontent.com/solo-io/gloo-mesh-use-cases/main/gloo-mesh/istio-install/manual-helm/ingress-gateway.yaml > ingress-gateway.yaml
    envsubst < ingress-gateway.yaml > ingress-gateway-values.yaml
      
  2. Create the ingress gateway.

      helm upgrade --install istio-ingressgateway-$REVISION istio/gateway \
      --version $ISTIO_VERSION \
      --create-namespace \
      --namespace istio-ingress \
      --kube-context $REMOTE_CONTEXT \
      --wait \
      -f ingress-gateway-values.yaml
      
  3. Verify that the ingress gateway pods are running and the load balancer service is assigned an external address.

      kubectl get pods -n istio-ingress --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT
    kubectl get svc -n istio-ingress --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT
      

    Example output:

      NAME                                       READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    istio-ingressgateway-1-22-665d46686f-nhh52   1/1     Running   0          106s
    istio-ingressgateway-1-22-665d46686f-tlp5j   1/1     Running   0          2m1s
    NAME                             TYPE           CLUSTER-IP      EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)                                                                                                      AGE
    istio-ingressgateway-1-22        LoadBalancer   10.96.252.49    <externalip>  15021:32378/TCP,80:30315/TCP,443:32186/TCP,31400:30313/TCP,15443:31632/TCP                                   2m2s
      
  4. Optional for OpenShift: Expose the load balancer by using an OpenShift route.

      oc -n istio-ingress expose svc istio-ingressgateway-1-22 --port=http2 --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT
      

Step 6 (multicluster setups): Repeat steps 2 - 5

If you have a multicluster Gloo Mesh setup, repeat steps 2 - 5 for each workload cluster that you want to install Istio on. Remember to change the cluster name and context variables each time you repeat the steps.

  export CLUSTER_NAME=<remote-cluster>
export REMOTE_CONTEXT=<remote-cluster-context>
  

Step 7: Deploy workloads

Now that Istio is up and running on all your workload clusters, you can create service namespaces for your teams to run app workloads in.

  1. OpenShift only: In each workload project, create a NetworkAttachmentDefinition and elevate the service account.

    1. Create a NetworkAttachmentDefinition custom resource for each project where you want to deploy workloads, such as the bookinfo project.
        cat <<EOF | oc -n bookinfo --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT create -f -
      apiVersion: "k8s.cni.cncf.io/v1"
      kind: NetworkAttachmentDefinition
      metadata:
        name: istio-cni
      EOF
        
    2. Elevate the permissions of the service account in each project where you want to deploy workloads, such as the bookinfo project. This permission allows the Istio sidecars to make use of a user ID that is normally restricted by OpenShift.
        oc adm policy add-scc-to-group anyuid system:serviceaccounts:bookinfo --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT
        
  2. For any workload namespace, such as bookinfo, label the namespace with the revision so that Istio sidecars are deployed to your app pods.

      kubectl label ns bookinfo istio.io/rev=$REVISION --overwrite --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT
      
  3. Deploy apps and services to your workload namespaces. For example, you might start out with the Bookinfo sample application for multicluster or single cluster environments. Those steps guide you through creating workspaces for your workloads, deploying Bookinfo across workload clusters, and using ingress and east-west gateways to shift traffic across clusters.

Next steps