All the highlights of the newest release

Istio 1.2 arrives with SNI at ingress, distributed tracing, and service tracing becoming stable

© Shutterstock / Anna Om  

Istio 1.1 might have taken some extra time to go live but its successor, 1.2 comes along swiftly! With Istio 1.2, features that have been delivered over the past several 1.1.x releases are now officially part of the build. Let’s have a look.

The Istio team is back with a prompt release of Istio 1.2.

The previous major release, Istio 1.1, took quite some time to go out due to some heavily manual work on testing and infrastructure.

For that reason, 1.2 focuses on improving the stability of the features introduced in Istio 1.1 and the past several 1.1.x releases, and improving general product health.

One of the most interesting highlights in this release is the graduation of SNI at ingress, distributed tracing, and service tracing from Beta to Stable.

Let’s have a look.

The updates

Istio 1.2 brings a lot of fixes and features from the Istio community.

Here are some highlights.


  • Added annotation to eliminate the need for service owner to declare containerPort in the deployment yaml file. This will become the default in a future release.
  • Added IPv6 experimental support for Kubernetes clusters.

Traffic management

  • Added ability to configure the DNS refresh rate for sidecar Envoys, to reduce the load on the DNS servers.
  • Graduated Sidecar API from Alpha to Alpha API and Beta runtime.
  • Added support for setting HTTP idle timeouts to upstream services.



  • Graduated distributed tracing from Beta to Stable.
  • Changed Prometheus generated traffic is excluded from metrics.

SEE ALSO: Making microservices micro with Istio and Kubernetes

istioctl and kubectl

  • Graduated istioctl verify-install out of experimental.
  • Improved istioctl verify-install to validate if a given Kubernetes environment meets Istio’s prerequisites.
  • Added auto-completion support to istioctl.
  • Added istioctl experimental dashboard to allow users to easily open the web UI of any Istio addons.
  • Added istioctl x alias to conveniently run istioctl experimental command.
  • Improved istioctl version to report both Istio control plane and istioctl version info by default.
  • Improved istioctl validate to validate Mixer configuration and supports deep validation with referential integrity.

Check out the official release notes for the detailed list of all new features and improvements.

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou was the editor for Coming from an academic background in East Asian Studies, she decided that it was time to go back to her high-school hobby that was computer science and she dived into the development world. Other hobbies include esports and League of Legends, although she never managed to escape elo hell (yet), and she is a guest writer/analyst for competitive LoL at TGH.

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