Envoy Proxy is a modern, high performance, small footprint edge and service proxy. Envoy is most comparable to software load balancers such as NGINX and HAProxy. Originally written and deployed at Lyft, Envoy now has a vibrant contributor base and is an official Cloud Native Computing Foundation project.
As organizations have adopted microservices, a crucial component of deploying and managing microservices is a state-of-the-art L7 proxy. A L7 proxy provides observability, resilience, and routing in a way that’s transparent to your actual service.
Envoy has a highly sophisticated configuration system. For basic configuration, Envoy supports static configuration via YAML files. For more advanced configuration, Envoy has a set of gRPC-based APIs. These tutorials walk through the basics of configuring Envoy.
A service mesh is a transparent layer that adds resilience, observability, and security to your service-to-service communication. Example service meshes include Istio and Linkerd. Istio is closely associated with Envoy because Istio relies on Envoy to do the actual Layer 7 traffic management. Istio itself is a control plane for a fleet of Envoy Proxies that are deployed next to your microservices.