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Buoyant’s recent State of Service Mesh report highlights key trends in the service mesh market. The number one takeaway: security remains the key adoption driver.

The report focuses on three main questions: What’s driving service mesh deployments? Where are teams are in their adoption process? And what’s holding them back? From a survey of 100 attendees (55% being devops professionals) at the recent KubeCon + Cloud Native Con Europe conference in Valencia, Spain, the findings are shown in parallel with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s (CNCF) recent Service Mesh Micro Survey to highlight the current state of the industry and where it’s predicted to go.

The KubeCon EU respondents — practitioners in devops, development and IT architecture — revealed that end-to-end encryption was the biggest driver of service mesh adoption, cited by 65% of respondents. Observability was the second most important driver, cited by 41%.

Top reasons cited by KubeCon and CNCF survey respondents for service mesh adoption
Top reasons cited by KubeCon and CNCF survey respondents for service mesh adoption

Another top-level finding revealed that complexity is a key roadblock to adoption, even driving users to switch service meshes. 60% of KubeCon respondents indicated that complexity is preventing them from adoption. Over half (52%) pointed to complexity as their reason for switching service meshes.

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Among respondents to Buoyant’s KubeCon survey, only 33% said they have deployed a service mesh in production or are on their way to production, while 60% of respondents in the CNCF survey noted that they are running a service mesh in production. This report breaks down some of the differences in the two audiences, ultimately highlighting that service mesh adoption is on the rise, although it has a way to go among organizations that are less “cloud-native mature.”


Buoyant surveyed attendees of the KubeCon + Cloud Native Con Europe conference in Valencia, Spain. Of 100 survey respondents, over half (55%) were platform, devops or SRE professionals, 21% were architects and 9% were developers. For its report, Buoyant compared results from the KubeCon survey with those from CNCF’s Service Mesh Micro Survey.

Read the full report from Buoyant.

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