The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has revealed that the Istio service mesh has graduated, which is the highest maturity level and signifies the project is stable and production ready.  

It joins 20 other graduated projects, including Kubernetes, Prometheus, Linkerd, Open Policy Agent, and more. 

Istio was a pioneer of the service mesh concept, which uses sidecar containers to provide security, traffic routing, and observability. 

The project first was created in 2017 by engineers from Google and IBM, who used the Envoy project as a basis. Currently, the project is being maintained by over 16 companies and sees use from a range of companies, including eBay, T-Mobile, Airbnb, and 

According to the CNCF, Istio is their third most active project in terms of the number of PRs that get opened and merged. In addition, Istio Day at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2023 was the second most popular co-located event at the conference that year. 

“Service mesh adoption has been steadily rising over the past few years as cloud-native adoption has matured across industries,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of CNCF. “Istio has helped drive part of this maturation, and the project has progressed quickly since joining CNCF late last year. We look forward to watching and supporting this continued growth as the Istio team adds new features and simplifies the service mesh experience.