Buoyant Announces Linkerd 2.13 with New Reliability and Security Features for Kubernetes

Apr 11, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca.— March 28, 2023Buoyant, creator of Linkerd, the CNCF’s only graduated service mesh, today announced the release of Linkerd 2.13. This release, delivered shortly before the first-ever Linkerd Day conference to be held in Amsterdam, introduces dynamic request routing based on the Kubernetes Gateway API, circuit breaking for overloaded services, a FIPS-compatible version for government users, and a set of free security and reliability extensions for all Linkerd users through Buoyant Cloud, Buoyant's automated Linkerd platform.

“As a first for the service mesh industry, we are proud to announce that we’re launching free automated health monitoring, vulnerability alerts, and upgrade assistance for any Linkerd cluster in the world with Buoyant Cloud,” said William Morgan, Buoyant CEO and one of the creators of Linkerd. “This means that any Linkerd adopter in the world can ensure their Linkerd deployment itself is healthy, secure, and up-to-date—a critical part of delivering the security and reliability guarantees that Linkerd itself provides.”

Dynamic request routing

Linkerd 2.13 now offers Kubernetes adopters dynamic request routing, providing fine-grained control over the routing of individual HTTP and gRPC requests. With this feature, Linkerd users can route requests based on HTTP headers, gRPC methods, query parameters, or almost any other aspect of the request. This feature unlocks a variety of exciting capabilities including sticky sessions, user-based A/B testing and canary deploys, and dynamic staging environments.

Linkerd's dynamic request routing is built on Kubernetes's new Gateway API, which Linkerd became the first service mesh to fully embrace as its core configuration mechanism in the earlier 2.13 release. Leveraging the Gateway API is a huge win for Linkerd adopters because it reduces the amount of new configuration machinery introduced onto the cluster—a major source of complexity for other service meshes—while still providing a rich and expressive feature set.

"We're really looking forward to the new capabilities introduced by Linkerd 2.13 and its move towards the Kubernetes Gateway API, and we're excited to use them at the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration," said Hans Kristian Flaatten, SRE/Platform Engineer and speaker at this month's Linkerd Day. "We've been using Linkerd for three years, and Buoyant's pace of innovation continues to impress us."

Circuit breaking

Linkerd 2.13 also introduces circuit breaking, the ability to dynamically shut off traffic to failing endpoints in order to give it a chance to recover. With Linkerd 2.13, Kubernetes adopters can now mark delicate services as eligible for circuit breaking and meshed clients will automatically reduce traffic if these services begin to return errors until they recover.

Automated health monitoring and vulnerability reporting

As of the 2.13 release, Buoyant now provides free, fully automated health monitoring, vulnerability reporting, and upgrade assistance for every Linkerd cluster via its Buoyant Cloud SaaS automation platform. Every Kubernetes user in the world can now make use of these features to ensure the reliability and security of their service mesh deployment.

FIPS compatibility and Azure Marketplace availability

The 2.13 release is also available in a FIPS-compatible form for those who need to comply with US government FIPS-140-2 and FIPS-140-3 standards.  

Morgan continued, “We’re happy to announce that Buoyant Cloud-enabled Linkerd is now available in the Azure Marketplace, enabling Azure customers to seamlessly add Linkerd to their existing environments.”

Existing Linkerd users can leverage a brand-new installer designed to simplify the upgrade process. To upgrade Linkerd 2.13 or install it new, start here.

The first-ever Linkerd Day conference

Next month marks the first-ever Linkerd Day event, colocated with Kubecon EU in Amsterdam. The sold-out event features talks by major Linkerd adopters in the EU region including Adidas, Pento, the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration, a major Germany-based global logistics company, and more.

About Buoyant

Buoyant was founded by William Morgan and Oliver Gould in 2015. They pioneered the service mesh category with Linkerd, the open source, open governance service mesh. Today, Buoyant’s software powers critical production infrastructure for leading organizations around the world. Buoyant investors include Google Ventures, Benchmark, #ANGELS, A Capital and SV Angel.

About Linkerd

Linkerd is an open source, ultralight, ultra-simple service mesh for Kubernetes. Created in 2016, Linkerd was the first service mesh project and the one to introduce the term “service mesh” to the industry lexicon. Linkerd is a graduated project of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). For more information, visit