About WebAssembly

WebAssembly (Wasm) is the future of cloud-native infrastructure extensibility. Wasm provides a safe, secure, and dynamic way of extending infrastructure with the programming language of your choice. While feature-rich service meshes like Istio provide many features to help solve problems related to microservice communication, your organization might need custom solutions that are tailored specifically to your production environment, corporate policies, or other development constraints. Gloo packages all of the tooling that you need to develop, publish, and deploy Wasm extensions to meet your unique service mesh requirements.

With the Gloo CLI, you can initialize, build, and push proprietary Wasm filters. Choose your preferred programming language and meshctl generates all the source code that you need to get started implementing custom mesh behavior. To publish your work, use the build and push commands. These commands compile and publish your Wasm module and to webassemblyhub.io or the OCI registry of your choice.

To add your new Wasm filter to the service mesh, all you need is a WasmDeployment Kubernetes custom resource. Specify which Workload resources to configure with the Wasm filters, and then Gloo handles the rest. A Gloo extension server watches for Wasm deployments and manages the lifecycle of all your Wasm filters accordingly.

Supported programming languages

You can get Wasm starter kits in the following programming languages.

Benefits of using Gloo Wasm

Solo has driven development and provided support for Wasm filters in Envoy and Istio environments since early 2020, with the WasmDeployment custom resource. With the release of Istio 1.12 in late 2021, users also have the option to install the WasmPlugin community custom resource. To help you decide which method is right for you, consider the following benefits of Gloo Wasm.

Benefit Community Wasm plug-in Gloo Wasm
Portable binary instruction format for programming languages to extend web and server-side apps
Embeddable and safe execution environment for Kubernetes, Envoy Proxy, and Istio
Developer templates to get started quickly
Tight integration with WebAssembly Hub for easy discovery and sharing
CLI tooling to simplify building and pushing images
Deploy to just one management cluster for consistent configuration and easy management across clusters
Stabler offering under development longer
Support for Istio versions earlier than 1.12

More resources for Wasm