September 10, 2019
4 min read

Kong Open Sources Kuma: The Universal Service Mesh

  • Kuma is a Modern Universal Control Plane for Service Mesh Based on Envoy

  • Out of the Box, Kuma Makes the Underlying Network Safe, Reliable and Observable

  • Kuma Removes the Complexity of Managing Microservices and Cloud Native Applications, Runs on Any Platform, Including Kubernetes and Virtual Machine Environments

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 10, 2019Kong Inc., creators of the leading API and service lifecycle management platform for modern architectures, today announced the release of a new open source project called Kuma. Based on the popular open source Envoy proxy, Kuma is a universal control plane that addresses limitations of first-generation service mesh technologies by enabling seamless management of any service on the network. Kuma runs on any platform including Kubernetes, containers, virtual machines, bare metal and other legacy environments and includes a fast data plane and an advanced control plane that makes it significantly easier to use. By covering the services across the entire organization, Kuma will enable greater return on current investment and drive greater value from a service mesh.

Its been amazing to see how quickly Envoy has been adopted by the tech community, and Im super excited by Kongs new Kuma project, said Matt Klein, creator of the Envoy proxy. Kuma brings Kong's proven enterprise developer focus to an Envoy-based service mesh, which will make it faster and easier for companies to create and manage cloud native applications.

As companies increasingly adopt distributed architectures, being certain of network reliability, security and visibility is essential. Initial service mesh solutions lacked the ease-of-use and flexibility needed to ease adoption across every team. Kuma automates the process of securing the underlying network, ensuring reliability and making everything observable without having to change any code. It does that for any platform not only for greenfield or Kubernetes-oriented applications, enabling a more pragmatic cloud native journey within the organization.

To download Kuma, please visit Kuma will also be on display at the second annual Kong Summit, which takes place in San Francisco on October 2-3, 2019.

We now have more microservices talking to each other, and connectivity between them is the most unreliable piece: prone to failures, insecure and hard to observe, said Marco Palladino, CTO and co-founder of Kong. It was important for us to make Kuma very easy to get started with on both Kubernetes and VM environments, so developers can start using service mesh immediately even if their organization hasnt fully moved to Kubernetes yet, providing a smooth path to containerized applications and to Kubernetes itself. We are thrilled to be open sourcing Kuma and extending the adoption of Envoy, and we will continue to contribute back to the Envoy project like we have done in the past. Just as Kong transformed and modernized API gateways with our open source Kong Gateway, we are now doing that for service mesh with Kuma.

Kuma: Service Mesh for All

Kuma is democratizing service mesh for organizations of all types without sacrificing advanced customization. First-generation meshes lacked a mature control plane, requiring substantial manual work and often custom builds. When they did provide a control plane, it was either hard to use, hard to deploy or built on immature proprietary networking libraries. Kuma, however, is designed for ease of use and enabling rapid adoption of mesh by leveraging the de-facto industry sidecar proxy Envoy.

Built on Envoy, Kuma can easily support all environments in the organization, so new applications can be built in Kubernetes, while existing applications can still be leveraged in their traditional environments, providing comprehensive coverage across an organization and the highest business value.

Kuma couples a fast data plane with an advanced control plane that allows users to easily set permissions, expose metrics and set routing rules with just a few commands by either using native CRDs or a RESTful API. The control plane is the core enabler for the service mesh that holds the master truth for all the service configurations and infinitely scales to manage tens of thousands of services across an organization. Key features include:

  • Software-Defined Security Kuma enables mTLS for all L4 traffic. Permissions can also be easily set to ensure appropriate access control.
  • Powerful Productivity Capabilities Kuma enables users to quickly implement tracing and logging, allowing them to better analyze metrics for rapid debugging.
  • Sophisticated Routing & Control Kuma provides fine-grained traffic control capabilities such as circuit breakers and health checks to enhance L4 routing.


Download open source Kuma today at:


About Kong Inc.

Kong delivers a next-generation API and service lifecycle management platform designed for modern architectures, including microservices, containers, cloud and serverless. Offering high flexibility, scalability, speed and performance, Kong enables developers and Global 5000 enterprises to reliably secure, connect and orchestrate microservice APIs for modern applications. Kong is building the future of service control platforms to intelligently broker information across services. For more information about Kong, please visit or follow @thekonginc on Twitter.