The Envoy Gateway project wants to bring Envoy to the masses

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is hosting its semi-annual KubeCon + CloudNativeCon conference this week, so it’s maybe no surprise that we’ll hear quite a bit of news around open source cloud infrastructure projects in the next few days. But even a day before the event, the CNCF has a bit of news: it’s launching a new project built around Envoy, the popular proxy originally developed and open sourced by Lyft in 2016. The new Envoy Gateway takes the core of Envoy with a simplified deployment model and API layer to make it easier for new users to get started with Envoy as an API gateway.

In addition, the CNCF is also merging two existing CNCF API gateway projects, Contour and Emissary, with Envoy Gateway. Both of these projects were already building out API gateway features for Envoy, but the CNCF argues that this new approach will allow the community to converge around a single Envoy-branded API gateway core. The new project, the organization explains in today’s announcement, is meant to “reduce duplicative efforts around security, control plane technical details, and other shared concerns” and allow vendors to focus on building on top of Envoy and this new project instead of trying to re-invent the wheel. 

The Envoy API will essentially be the Kubernetes Gateway API with Envoy-specific extensions and the overall project aims to reduce the complexities of deploying Envoy as an API gateway.

The flip side of Envoy’s success as a component of many different architecture types and vendor solutions is that it is inherently low level; Envoy is not an easy piece of software to learn,” the CNCF explains. “While the project has had massive success being adopted by large engineering organizations around the world, it is only lightly adopted for smaller and simpler use cases, where nginx and HAProxy are still dominant.”