Accessing Istio addons in OKE by ingress gateway

September 15, 2022 | 8 minute read
Rithesh Subramanian
Cloud Architect
Text Size 100%:

Istio, an open source service mesh, is a networking layer that provides a transparent and language-independent way to flexibly and easily automate application network functions. With Istio, organizations can run distributed, microservices-based apps anywhere and modernize their enterprise apps swiftly and securely. Although port-forwarding access is the simplest way to access the Istio addons, it requires a config file and isn’t always an ideal scenario. The following method has no Kubeconfig requirement, and anyone with network access can work with them.

Istio comes with an ingress gateway, a load balancer operating at the edge of the mesh that receives incoming HTTP/TCP connections. It configures exposed ports, protocols, egress gateway, and more. Traffic routing for ingress traffic is configured using Istio routing rules in the same way as internal service requests.

Istio provides various addons for monitoring, tracing, and visualizing the services in the cluster, including the following examples:

  • Prometheus: Retrieve service mesh custom metrics

  • Grafana: Visualize metrics and everything going on through dashboards and charts

  • Kiali: Visualize, manage, and customize service mesh traffic

  • Jaegar: Monitor and inspect all requests using tracing

In this tutorial, we show you how to access the addons through the ingress gateway.


Istio architecture is comprised of a control plane, a data plane, and a observability plane. Refer the following architecture diagram.

A graphic depicting the architecture for the example.


The following prerequisites are required for the setup:

  • An Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE) cluster with Istio installed. For reference, see Creating a Kubernetes Cluster and Installing Istio Service Mesh on OKE.

  • kubectl (Already installed if you use the Oracle Cloud Console)

  • A network configuration that allows kubectl commands to be sent to OKE. Using the Oracle Cloud Console typically doesn’t need any extra setup.

Verifying the OKE cluster

Use the kubectl command kubectl get nodes -A to verify the cluster setup:

A screenshot of the resulting example nodes from the cluster setup command.

Verify that the Istio setup has completed successfully using the command kubectl get pods -n istio-system:

A screenshot of the code showing that Istio is running.

Verify the Istio service for the outbound access using the command kubectl get svc -n istio-system. While setting up Istio, OKE automatically creates a load balancer for the istio-ingress gateway.

A screenshot of the code showing the created load balancer.

Deploying telemetry addons

Now, we install the Istio telemetry addons into our OKE cluster. If the addons were installed already, you can skip this step.

Clone the Istio repo with the following command:

git clone

Navigate to the addons directory:

cd samples/addons

Deploy the required addons using the kubectl command. In this tutorial, we’re deploying the Kiali addon for visualizing and customizing our traffic.

kubectl apply -f kiali.yaml

Check the deployment status for the Kiali dashboard:

kubectl rollout status deployment/kiali -n istio-system

You can follow the same process for setting up Grafana, Prometheus, and Jaegar.

kubectl apply -f <prometheus>/<grafana>/<jaegar>.yaml

Now, verify that the Kiali dashboard has been deployed successfully using the command, kubectl get pods -n istio-system. If successful, the status is Running.

A screenshot of the code showing that the Kiali dashboard in running.

If you have deployed other addons (Grafana, Prometheus, or Jaegar), you can find them in the same command output, as shown in the following screenshot:

A screenshot of the running pods.

Setting up access

To access the Addons through the ingress gateway, we require the following configurations:

Each link provides more details on each module.

We’re using the ingress gateway, a load balancer, through which the services are exposed using ports 80 (HTTP) and 443 (HTTPS).

HTTP access

Create a gateway using the following configuration. It exposes the ports for ingress traffic (80, in this case). The simplest method is to paste the configuration into a new YAML file, such as gateway.yaml, and then use the command, kubectl apply -f gateway.yaml.

kind: Gateway
  name: kiali-gateway
  namespace: istio-system
    istio: ingressgateway
  - port:
      number: 80
      name: http-kiali
      protocol: HTTP
    - '*'

Now, create the virtual service. A set of traffic routing rules to apply when a host is accessed.

kind: VirtualService
  name: kiali-vs
  namespace: istio-system
    - kiali-gateway
    - '*'
    - match:
      - uri:
          prefix: /kiali
      - destination:
          host: kiali.istio-system.svc.cluster.local
            number: 20001
        weight: 100

Finally, we create the destination rule. It defines a set of policies that apply to traffic intended for a service after routing has occurred.

kind: DestinationRule
  name: kiali-dr
  namespace: istio-system
  host: kiali.istio-system.svc.cluster.local
      mode: DISABLE

Verify the gateway, virtual service and destination rule using the following kubectl commands:

kubectl get gateway -n istio-system

A screenshot of the code showing the gateway running.

kubectl get virtualservice -n istio-system

A screenshot of the code showing the virtual service running.

kubectl get destinationrule -n istio-system

A screenshot of the code showing the destination rule running.

To access the UI for the services, we get the ingress load balancer’s port and IP address, using the command, kubectl get svc istio-ingressgateway -n istio-system. Using the load balancer and node port IP, we can access the Kiali dashboard with the suffix /kiali (provided in our virtual service. In our example the IP address is

A screenshot of the Kiali dashboard, showing a default node and the example istio-system.

HTTPS access

The gateway that we set up with HTTP isn’t a secure way of accessing. To set it up with HTTPS (Secured), we need an SSL certificate provided by any certificate authority.

For the demo, we set up the gateway with HTTPS enabled using a self-signed certificate (Strictly not recommended for production).

Create an SSL key pair using the following OpenSSL commands:

openssl req -x509 -sha256 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -subj "/O=<OrgName>./CN=*.<INGRESS_DOMAIN>" -keyout ./ca.key -out ./ca.crt

openssl req -out ./cert.csr -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout ./tls.key -subj "/CN=*.<INGRESS_DOMAIN>/O=<OrgName>"

openssl x509 -req -sha256 -days 365 -CA ./ca.crt -CAkey ./ca.key -set_serial 0 -in ./cert.csr -out ./tls.crt

Now, create a kube secret in the istio-system namespace with the TLS certificate and key.

kubectl create -n istio-system secret tls telemetry-gw-cert --key./tls.key --cert=./tls.crt

Create the gateway with the following configuration, as we did earlier:

kind: Gateway
  name: kiali-gateway
  namespace: istio-system
    istio: ingressgateway
  - port:
      number: 443
      name: https-kiali
      protocol: HTTPS
      mode: SIMPLE
      credentialName: telemetry-gw-cert #Kube-Secret-Name
    - "*.<INGRESS_DOMAIN>" #Domain as per the Cert

For the virtual service and destination rule, the config remains same for both HTTP and HTTPS protocols.

After we create all three configurations, we can access the Kiali dashboard with HTTPS enabled.

Because we used a self-signed SSL certificate, we might get a warning that says “Error code: SEC_ERROR_UNKNOWN_ISSUER.” To make it secure, use the SSL certificate signed by a certificate authority.


This tutorial showed how to access the Istio addons remotely using an ingress gateway. With this approach, we don’t need to provide the kubectl config for everyone who wants to access the Istio addons for gathering metrics and visualizing traffic.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides enterprise-grade features for developers to build modern cloud applications while supporting the open source developer tools and solutions you’re already used to. Create your Always Free subscription, which comes with US$300 credits trial credits.

Rithesh Subramanian

Cloud Architect

Previous Post

Announcing request-based auth, dynamic auth, and dynamic routing in OCI API Gateway

Robert Wunderlich | 5 min read

Next Post

Configure pfSense active-passive high-availability clusters with Corosync and Pacemaker on OCI

Mayank Kakani | 3 min read