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Istio brings a myriad of options to provide routing rules, encryption, and monitoring for microservices, typically in container environments. Cilium provides accelerated network security using a modern kernel technology called BPF. Put the two together and what do you get? A distributed security solution enabling microservices traffic management, security, and monitoring while enforcing policy as close to the microservices as possible.
Cynthia Thomas and Romain Lenglet discuss the architectural and performance benefits of using Cilium with Istio and provide a demo of this BPF-based, Linux kernel technology. Cilium provides an API-aware security solution that can make a decision on every single microservice flow, with the ability to enforce protocols such as HTTP, Kafka, and gRPC. By addressing security policy at the API layer, you can enforce policy efficiently with kernel capabilities while reducing the attack surface in a microservices deployment.