Chapter 2. Contrasting Technologies

How do service meshes contrast to one another? How do service meshes contrast to other related technologies?

You might already have a healthy understanding of API gateways, ingress controllers, container orchestrators, client libraries, and so on. How are these technologies related to, overlapping with, or deployed alongside service meshes? Where do service meshes fit in?

Different Service Meshes (and Gateways)

Let’s begin by characterizing different service meshes. Some service meshes support a variety of underlying platforms, whereas some focus solely on layering on top of container orchestrators. All support integration with service discovery systems. The subsections that follow provide a brief survey of offerings within the current technology landscape.


This list is neither exhaustive nor intended to be a detailed comparative. See for community-maintained contrasting of service meshes and related technologies.


Hosted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and built on top of Twitter Finagle. Linkerd (pronounced “linker-dee”) includes both a proxying data plane and the Namerd (“namer-dee”) control plane all in one package.

  • Open source. Written primarily in Scala.

  • Data plane can be deployed in a node proxy model or in a proxy sidecar. Proven scale, having served more than one trillion service requests.

  • Supports services running within container orchestrators and as standalone virtual or ...

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