F5 Networks makes a play in mesh space with Istio-based Aspen Mesh

The mesh space is heating up at this week's KubeCon North America conference as F5 Networks announced its Istio-based service mesh was in an open public beta test. 

Also at KubeCon, which started Monday and ends Thursday, VMware announced that its NSX Service Mesh, which also taps into Istio, was now in a beta program.

Istio, which was created last year by Red Hat, Google and IBM before it was put into open source, offers a means to manage microservices and containers across various systems in the cloud. While microservices allow enterprises and service providers to continuously build and deploy applications, they also add complexities and decentralize ownership control.

In order to better manage microservices and containers, companies are tapping into Istio because it provides a tool set of different features, such as visibility, control and security, combined with a range of microservice capabilities.

RELATED: VMware taps into Istio to manage Kubernetes clusters

F5 Networks' Aspen Mesh utilizes the open source abilities of Istio on top of its own platform that includes advanced policy and configuration options, analytics and alerting, and multicluster and multicloud capabilities.

Aspen Mesh is a fully hosted software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that comes with professional support from F5 Networks' service mesh experts. F5 Networks didn't specify when the beta program would end.

"Observing, controlling, and securing microservice-based applications can be a major challenge,” said William Fellows, research vice president at 451 Research, in a prepared statement. “A service mesh provides a myriad of capabilities that make it easier to manage these containerized applications at runtime. Aspen Mesh simplifies service mesh implementation through engineering support and a fully tested and documented version of Istio that makes it easier to get all the benefits of a service mesh.”

F5 Networks said Aspen Mesh was one of the first products to come out of its recently launched corporate incubation program. F5 Networks plans on announcing additional software and SaaS application services for developers in the first half of next year.

In more KubeCon news, Kaloom announced today that it had completed the integration of OpenShift and Kubernetes into its software-defined fabric. At KubeCon, Kaloom is demonstrating its container networking improvements and an enhanced version of the Kubernetes Container Network Interface, named Kactus, to better sustain mission-critical applications, high availability and support emerging container networking functions.