Consul Service Mesh for Amazon ECS Awaits General Availability

HashiCorp’s managed service is the first open source service mesh deployable on Amazon’s Elastic Container Service

TL;DR

HashiCorp, on May 26, 2021, announced the availability of its open source service mesh, Consul, on Amazon’s ECS. Albeit just a preview version, there is an emphasis on delivering a service mesh with assured versatility extending to multiple runtime platforms.

In HashiCorp’s announcement, Consul would be labeled the first open source mesh deployable on ECS
In HashiCorp’s announcement, Consul would be labeled the first open source mesh deployable on ECS
Key Facts
  1. 1

    HashiCorp made an arguable claim that Consul is the first open source mesh deployable on ECS.

  2. 2

    The newly released service is still in the preview stage, limiting users to only testing and feedback on ECS.

  3. 3

    ECS users stand to behold HashiCorp’s high-security priority alongside key features on Consul Service mesh.

Details

Time and time again, we get to marvel at the resilience of the team at Amazon’s most productive division, Amazon Web Services. With as many big names as Netflix, Twitch, Facebook, BBC, Adobe, Twitter,  the kids’ favorite – Disney, smart tech hubs, Samsung and Xiaomi, big shot Harvard Medical School, automobile heavyweights like BMW and Lamborghini, etc., alongside unsung organizations and blooming startup in your clientele list, there is bound to be pressure to deliver and develop more and more options for your comprehensive stream of users. The good thing is Jeff Bezos does have the resources, in terms of software, hardware, and intellect to deliver the aforementioned, as we have seen before with AWS Lambda Extensions.

Great news for AWS users in the dying embers of May with the acquisition of a preview-version Consul Service mesh. In HashiCorp’s announcement, Consul would be labeled the first open source mesh deployable on ECS. This would be right, considering that Amazon’s native service mesh, Amazon App Mesh, relies on the Envoy proxy to connect with open source tools. On the other hand, Amazon’s other cloud orchestration service, AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), already supports Istio Service Mesh deployments. With all said and done, ECS remains the preferred choice for organizations deep-rooted in AWS. However, the open source nature is not the primary reason behind the acquisition of the Consul. AWS intends to carve ECS into a platform that supports every runtime with HashiCorp’s Consul.

The service remains preview only, which means operations would entail the deployment of a non-production version of Consul; this is a textbook strategy for testing and feedback.

This is currently a tech preview release, so it is designed to let users deploy a non-production version of Consul for testing on the Amazon ECS. HashiCorp claims this makes it the first open source service mesh to be deployable on ECS.

Deploying Consul on ECS means users stand to leverage its key features and its prioritization of security. One is the highly-rated zero-trust networking, tasking mTLS with the encryption of all traffic between tasks. Consul's configuration entries can be used to set up proxies to retry unsuccessful requests and improve microservice reliability. In contrast, sidecar proxies can be set up to produce consistent request metrics to improve observability.

HashiCorp emphasizes that there is room for improvement as it looks to move from preview to general availability. This would be easier with feedback from developers who have adopted the tech preview on Github.


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