Multi-cluster topologies

Multi-cluster topologies overview

Service Mesh Manager is able to construct an Istio service mesh that spans multiple clusters. In this scenario you combine multiple clusters into a single service mesh that you can manage from either a single or from multiple Istio control planes.


Single mesh scenarios are best suited to use cases where clusters are configured together, sharing resources, and are generally treated as one infrastructural component within an organization.

Service Mesh Manager not only automates setting up multi-cluster topologies, but also:

  • Updates resources to keep everything running in case a cluster changes (for example, the IP address of a load balancer changes, and so on)
  • Keeps the Istio CRs in sync between the clusters
  • Creates federated trust between the clusters (this is a difference compared to Istio)
  • Provides observability, tracing, traffic tapping and other features over multiple clusters

Supported multi-cluster topologies

Istio supports a variety of mesh topologies, as detailed in the official documentation.

Service Mesh Manager implements the Primary-Remote model, either using the different or the same network model. Service Mesh Manager also supports the Primary-Primary model, either using the different or the same network model.

Moreover, the topologies can be combined and one can have multiple primaries and multiple remotes using Service Mesh Manager.

Creating a multi-cluster mesh

Read the multi-cluster installation guide for details on how to set up a multi-cluster mesh.