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Tigera launched Calico Cluster Mesh

June 2024 by Marc Jacob

Tigera, the creator of Project Calico, the most adopted technology for container networking and security, delivers its approach to secure microservices communication with Calico Cluster Mesh, a lightweight service mesh. Calico Cluster Mesh delivers the benefits of a service mesh without the added complexity and latency of a traditional service mesh solution. Tigera’s approach has proven effective, with one of the largest options exchanges globally using Calico Cluster Mesh to ensure low-latency networking and security for multi-cluster Kubernetes deployment.

Today’s developers need solutions that streamline working in complex microservices environments without adding additional products, steps, or complexity. Platform owners, DevOps teams, and Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) have limited resources, and adopting a service mesh is a significant undertaking due to the resources required for configuration, operation and maintenance. With Tigera’s differentiated approach, Calico provides the capabilities to address the security and observability challenges organizations face without the overhead of a bespoke service mesh solution.

Calico enables a single-pane-of-glass unified control to address the three most popular service mesh use cases—security, observability, and control—with an operationally simpler approach, avoiding the complexities associated with deploying a separate, standalone service mesh. With Calico, users can easily achieve full-stack observability and security, deploy highly performant encryption, and tightly integrate with existing security infrastructure like firewalls.

Their lightweight service mesh has proven effective, with one of the largest options exchanges in the world deploying Calico Cluster Mesh after migrating from a monolithic application to a new distributed application. The Clearinghouse implemented Calico Cluster Mesh to create a fail-safe multi-cluster Kubernetes environment, which enabled security and observability across multiple clusters using a single Calico management plane. Today, the application, with a new foundation of containers and Kubernetes, is used for clearing options trades on stock exchanges and providing real-time monetary settlements while meeting SWIFT clearance requirements.

Calico Cluster Mesh provides users with the following capabilities:

• Seamless Service-to-Service Connectivity Across Clusters – Calico Cluster Mesh hides network complexity and simplifies service connectivity for developers. The lightweight service mesh provides robust workload connectivity that works with flat, cloud, or hybrid networks, and eliminates network changes with a choice of TOR or Overlay VXLan networking. Additionally, cross-cluster networking is simplified with DNS connectivity.
• Service Discovery and Security – Calico Cluster Mesh enables both the discovery of remote services with federated service, and interaction with remote services in a multi-cluster environment. The lightweight service mesh enforces consistent network security controls on local and remote services.
• Observability and Troubleshooting – With Calico Cluster Mesh, users can visualize workload communication and application dependencies across clusters. They can troubleshoot service-to-service communication more quickly, while also identifying security gaps and enforcing network security controls.
• Multi-cluster Security Controls – Calico Cluster Mesh includes a single management plane to manage security controls for multiple clusters. The lightweight service mesh provides centralized observability and troubleshooting across clusters.

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