Consul Service Mesh with Paul Banks

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Consul is a tool from HashiCorp that allows users to store and retrieve information from a highly available key/value data store. Consul is used for storage of critical cluster information, such as service IP locations and configuration data. A service interacts with Consul via a daemon process on the node of that service. The daemon process periodically shares information with the Consul server over a gossip UDP protocol and can share data on a more immediate basis using TCP.

Consul’s functionality has increased recently to add secure service connectivity. Consul Connect allows services to establish mutual TLS encryption with each other. The addition of mutual TLS to the Consul feature set is closely incidental with Consul gaining a title of “service mesh.”

Service mesh is an increasingly popular pattern that can encompass a variety of features: load balancing, security policy management, service discovery, and routing. Tools which offer self-described “service mesh” functionality include Linkerd, Kong, AWS App Mesh, Solo.io Gloo, and Google’s Istio open source project.

Paul Banks is the engineering lead of Consul at HashiCorp. He joins the show to talk about the service mesh category and the past, present, and future of Consul.

Transcript

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