Book Cover



This is a work-in-progress book, and it’s only at the draft stage. The title of the book is “Istio & Envoy Insider”, and the Chinese name is “Istio & Envoy 内幕”.

This English version is under translation from the Chinese version. So, you may see there are some Chinese parts here.

There is Chinese(中文版本) version too:

Book overview#

What this book is not#

This book is not a manual. Not from the user’s point of view, teaching how to learn Istio in simple terms. It won’t preach how powerful Istio is, let alone teach how to use Istio. There are already too many excellent books, articles, and documents on the Internet.

🤷 : Yet, another Istio User Guide?
🙅 : No!

What is this book#

In this book, I try to think systematically as much as possible from the perspective of design and implementation:

  • Why is Istio the way it is?

  • The truth behind those magic configs: Linux + Envoy

    • How traffic is intercepted to Envoy using Linux’s netfilter technology

    • How istiod programmed Envoy to implement service mesh traffic policy

  • What Istio might look like in the future

What the book says is just my thinking and recording after researching and using Istio for a period of time. I just checked some Istio/Envoy related functions and performance issues, browsed and debugged some Istio/Envoy codes.

In the process of researching Istio. There is a lot of valuable information on the Internet. However, either it is mainly based on the user, and the implementation mechanism is not mentioned; or the mechanism is said, and it is well said, but the content is less systematic and coherent.


This book mainly talks about the design and implementation mechanism of Istio/Envoy. It is assumed that the reader already has some experience with Istio. and are interested in further research on its realization mechanism

Book access address#

About the author#

My name is Mark Zhu, a middle-aged programmer with little hair. I am not an Istio expert, nor an Istio Committer. Not even the employees of big Internet companies.

Why do you still learn to write books with limited level? Because of this sentence:

You don’t need to be great to start, but you need to start to be great.

Blog: In order to facilitate readers to follow the updates of the Blog and this book, a synchronized WeChat Official Account has been opened:


WeChat Official Account: Mark的Cloud与BPF沉思录#

Involved in the preparation#

If you are also interested in writing this book, please contact me. The starting point of this book is not to brush a resume, nor does it have this ability. Moreover, such non-short and fast and TL;DR books are destined to be a niche product.

Dedication 💞#

First, to my dear parents, for showing me how to live a happy and productive life. To my dear wife and our amazing kid – thanks for all your love and patience.

Copyleft Statement#

Whether it is text or pictures, if reproduced or modified, please indicate the original source.


Since it claims to be an interactive book, reader feedback is of course very important. If you find an error in the book, or have a better suggestion, feel free to file an Issue here: labilezhu/istio-insider#issues

Table of contents#