Announcing Linkerd as a validated service mesh for Azure Linux

Announcing Linkerd as a validated service mesh for Azure Linux


May 24, 2023

Today, we are excited to announce the availability of Linkerd as a fully supported service mesh on Microsoft's newly-announced Azure Linux distribution. This collaboration between Buoyant and Microsoft means that Azure Linux customers can now take full advantage of Linkerd’s security, reliability, and observability features.

Azure Linux

The Azure Linux container host provides reliability and consistency from cloud to edge across the AKS, AKS-HCI, and Arc products. It is the recommended Linux distribution for Microsoft's own cloud services and products, making it the ideal platform for Linkerd in AKS.

Linkerd and Azure Linux: a focus on simplicity

Linkerd provides Kubernetes-based applications with security, reliability, and observability at a platform level, with a strong focus on operational simplicity. Support for Linkerd on Azure Linux means that Linkerd’s ability to dramatically improve application security and resilience while keeping complexity to a minimum is now available for any Azure Linux user—without any changes to the application.

What does Linkerd enable for Azure Linux customers?

Zero-trust security and mutual TLS

Every Azure Linux workload on AKS using  Linkerd will benefit from strong encryption and authentication via mutual TLS, with no application changes and zero configuration. Additionally, Linkerd’s powerful, fine-grained L7 authorization controls allow for flexible policy enforcement across the entire application. These are both tenets of a modern, zero trust approach to network security.

A comprehensive approach to application reliability

Linkerd provides advanced reliability features like request-level load balancing, automatic retries, and circuit breaking to dramatically improve the overall availability of Kubernetes-based applications, as well as observability for every workload in the mesh, making it easy to track down errors wherever they happen.

Best-in-class operational simplicity

Unlike other service meshes, installing Linkerd is straightforward and painless: having a proof of concept running with Linkerd is usually a matter of minutes rather than days. 

Use cases for Linkerd on Azure Linux

The benefits of using Linkerd with Azure Linux align perfectly with the operational and security benefits of Azure Linux itself:

Securing workloads with mutual TLS

Linkerd provides each of your workloads with a highly secure and regularly rotated TLS certificate that will be used to positively identify your application and secure all its communications over the network, helping to ensure your applications are protected from host and network level attacks.

Gathering standardized metrics 

Running distributed systems requires building a holistic understanding of your workloads and how they relate to each other. Linkerd simplifies this process by producing a set of shared golden metrics for your pods and showing you details about how they communicated with each other so you can see the overall performance of an application.

gRPC load balancing in Kubernetes

Linkerd replaces native Kubernetes load balancing with sophisticated latency-based, per-request load balancing that optimizes the way traffic gets distributed. The effect is that all applications, and gRPC in particular, are able to achieve a much more balanced, and therefore more efficient, traffic distribution.

Multi-cluster, failover, and high availability

Azure Linux applications that run across multiple AKS clusters can use Linkerd to establish secure and transparent communication between clusters, as well as apply advanced reliability techniques such as automated cross-cluster failover, to build highly available systems that are resilient to a variety of potential failure conditions.

Get started today

Learn more about Azure Linux and how it can help your cloud native journey and how to mesh your services with Linkerd.