Sidecar Proxy

Istio requires to run a sidecar proxy next to every instance of your containers that needs to participate in the service mesh. There are 2 ways of adding the sidecar proxy:

  1. Automatic sidecar injection

  2. Manual sidecar injection

Automatic Sidecar Injection

You can inject the Istio sidecar automatically for every pod that's deployed into a specific namespace. You can enable automatic injection by annotating the namespace you want to use the service mesh.

kubectl label namespace default istio-injection=enabled

Deploy a workload, such as the Helloworld application from the Kubernetes Deployment section.

kubectl apply -f k8s/deployment.yaml

Verify that the Helloworld pod has 2 containers rather than only 1:

kubectl get pods

Each container within a pod is named. Now that the pod has multiple containers, you can specify a container within the pod using -c containername parameter:

POD_NAME=$(kubectl get pods -lapp=helloworld -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}')
kubectl logs ${POD_NAME} -c helloworld
kubectl logs ${POD_NAME} -c istio-proxy

If, for some reason, a workload do not want to participate in the mesh, then you can explicitly turn off automatic sidecar injection using annotation:

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
metadata:
name: helloworld
...
spec:
template:
metadata:
labels:
...
annotations:
# Explicitly turn off automatic sidecar injection
sidecar.istio.io/inject: "false"
spec:
...

Manual Sidecar Injection

You can use istioctl to filter your existing Kubernetes deployment file and it'll produce the enhanced deployment manifest.

istioctl kube-inject -f k8s/deployment.yaml

In addition to your original manifest, the enhanced manifest now has an additional istio-proxycontainer.

You can save the enhanced manifest into a file for future deployments. Or, you can filter and apply in one command:

istioctl kube-inject -f k8s/deployment.yaml| kubectl apply -f

In most cases, Automatic Sidecar Injection is what you need.