Istio vs Kong: What are the differences?
What is Istio? Open platform to connect, manage, and secure microservices, by Google, IBM, and Lyft. Istio is an open platform for providing a uniform way to integrate microservices, manage traffic flow across microservices, enforce policies and aggregate telemetry data. Istio's control plane provides an abstraction layer over the underlying cluster management platform, such as Kubernetes, Mesos, etc.
What is Kong? Open Source Microservice & API Management Layer. Kong is a scalable, open source API Layer (also known as an API Gateway, or API Middleware). Kong controls layer 4 and 7 traffic and is extended through Plugins, which provide extra functionality and services beyond the core platform.
Istio and Kong can be primarily classified as "Microservices" tools.
"Zero code for logging and monitoring" is the primary reason why developers consider Istio over the competitors, whereas "Easy to maintain" was stated as the key factor in picking Kong.
Istio and Kong are both open source tools. Kong with 22.4K GitHub stars and 2.75K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Istio with 18.5K GitHub stars and 3.1K GitHub forks.
Checkr, Policygenius, and Decision6 are some of the popular companies that use Kong, whereas Istio is used by Entelo, Cuemby, and AgFlow. Kong has a broader approval, being mentioned in 50 company stacks & 14 developers stacks; compared to Istio, which is listed in 32 company stacks and 30 developer stacks.
Envoy proxy is widely adopted in many companies for service mesh proxy, but it utilizes BoringSSL by default. Red Hat OpenShift fork envoy branch with their own OpenSSL support, I wonder any other companies are also using envoy-openssl branch for compatibility? How about AWS App Mesh?
Any input would be much appreciated!
Istio based on powerful Envoy whereas Kong based on Nginx. Istio is K8S native as well it's actively developed when k8s was successfully accepted with production-ready apps whereas Kong slowly migrated to start leveraging K8s. Istio has an inbuilt turn-keyIstio based on powerful Envoy whereas Kong based on Nginx. Istio is K8S native as well it's actively developed when k8s was successfully accepted with production-ready apps whereas Kong slowly migrated to start leveraging K8s. Istio has an inbuilt turn key solution with Rancher whereas Kong completely lacks here. Traffic distribution in Istio can be done via canary, a/b, shadowing, HTTP headers, ACL, whitelist whereas in Kong it's limited to canary, ACL, blue-green, proxy caching. Istio has amazing community support which is visible via Github stars or releases when comparing both.
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