Traffic Redirection

In service mesh, iptables and eBPF are two common ways of intercepting traffic.

iptables is a traffic interception tool based on the Linux kernel. It can control traffic by filtering rules. Its advantages include:

  • Universality: The iptables tool has been widely used in Linux operating systems, so most Linux users are familiar with its usage.
  • Stability: iptables has long been part of the Linux kernel, so it has a high degree of stability.
  • Flexibility: iptables can be flexibly configured according to needs to control network traffic.

However, iptables also has some disadvantages:

  • Difficult to debug: Due to the complexity of the iptables tool itself, it is relatively difficult to debug.
  • Performance issues: Unpredictable latency and reduced performance as the number of services grows.
  • Issues with handling complex traffic: When it comes to handling complex traffic, iptables may not be suitable because its rule processing is not flexible enough.

eBPF is an advanced traffic interception tool that can intercept and analyze traffic in the Linux kernel through custom programs. The advantages of eBPF include:

  • Flexibility: eBPF can use custom programs to intercept and analyze traffic, so it has higher flexibility.
  • Scalability: eBPF can dynamically load and unload programs, so it has higher scalability.
  • Efficiency: eBPF can perform processing in the kernel space, so it has higher performance.

However, eBPF also has some disadvantages:

  • Higher learning curve: eBPF is relatively new compared to iptables, so it requires some learning costs.
  • Complexity: Developing custom eBPF programs may be more complex.

Overall, iptables is more suitable for simple traffic filtering and management, while eBPF is more suitable for complex traffic interception and analysis scenarios that require higher flexibility and performance.

Iptables Redirection

Redirect traffic to sidecar proxy with iptables.

eBPF Redirection

Using eBPF for traffic interception and communication.


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Last modified April 11, 2024: update versions of fsm and pipy (cea5b3e)