1970s Wireless mesh networks emerge for military use.
1990s Laptops with Wi-Fi were used to form mobile ad hoc networks, generating interest in protocols for mesh networking.
2010s Early foundations of the service mesh concept emerged at Netflix, Twitter, Airbnb, Lyft, and other startups. The Twitter “Fail Whale” often stemmed from service-to-service communication problems, for example.
2014 Initial release of the container orchestration system Kubernetes as an open-source project, based on Google’s container management system, Borg.
2016 The Linkerd (“linker-dee”) open-source project is released (based on Twitter libraries), with Buoyant popularizing the term “service mesh.” The Envoy proxy (originally built at Lyft) was announced as open source.
2017 The Istio open-source project is started by IBM, Google, and Lyft. Conduit, a new version of service mesh designed to be lightweight, debuted for Kubernetes.
2018 VMware, F5 Networks, NGINX, Datadog, and other software providers announced Istio product integrations or adapters.
2019 General availability of AWS App Mesh, Amazon’s service mesh offering.
2020 Service Mesh Interface and Open Service Mesh open-source projects (led by Microsoft) are kicked off to improve interoperability between service mesh offerings.