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I am looking forwards to digging in to this a bit more and figuring out how this compares to Istio. I am guessing integration with AWS services such as X-ray and Cloudwatch/logs are the selling point. Still, I am a bit weary about configuring things that run inside your Kubernetes cluster through amazon apis, and not k8s resources. However, you could easily create a custom resource for this. Maybe that is to come? EKS is still young and they are yet to figure a lot of things out, from what i've seen, the roadmap is promising though. I have been working with it a lot, kops still wins for small/medium workloads in production, but I doubt for much longer.

shubha from AWS here, we built App Mesh to enable customers to use microservices in any compute service in AWS - be it ECS, Fargate, EKS or even directly on EC2. You configure capabilities using APIs and App Mesh configures Envoy proxies deployed with your pods.

IS it Istio? Someone on Twitter mentioned it uses the same ports and MIGHT just be Istio...

The ports that are common are the envoy ports. In the roadmap it's mentioned that support for istio mixer is planned implying that mixer isn't supported now which, if it was istio, it would be.

(App Mesh SDE)

We chose to use some common configuration for deploying Envoy to drive consistency there, but App Mesh itself is a custom control plane for managing Envoy.

the blog post says it's envoy

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