Banzai Cloud Backyards (Backyards) is a multi and hybrid-cloud enabled service mesh platform for constructing modern applications. Built on Kubernetes, our Istio operator, and Pipeline, Backyards enables flexibility, portability and consistency across on-premise datacenters and on five cloud environments.

Backyards helps you to confidently scale your microservices over single- and multi-cluster environments and to make daily operational routines standardized and more efficient. The componentization and scaling of modern applications inevitably lead to a number of optimization and management issues:

  • How do you spot bottlenecks? Are all components functioning correctly?
  • How are connections between components secured?
  • How does one reliably upgrade service components?

Backyards helps you accomplish these tasks and many others in a simple and scalable way, by leveraging the Istio service mesh and building a large number of automations around it. Our tag-line for the product captures this succinctly:

“Banzai Cloud Backyards operationalizes the service mesh to bring deep observability, convenient management, and policy-based security to modern container-based applications.”

Key features 🔗︎

Backyards takes the pain out of Istio by offering great UX from installation and mesh management to runtime diagnostics and more.

Istio distribution 🔗︎

Backyards is built on Istio, but offers enhanced functionality, for example, operator-based Istio management, a full-featured CLI tool, and an intuitive and easy to use UI. It is not a new abstraction layer on top of Istio, and stays fully compatible with the upstream.

Backyards is designed for enterprise users and comes with commercial support.

Observability 🔗︎

The Backyards UI gives you insight into the operation of your services. It not only shows the service topology with real-time and historical metrics, but also allows you to drill-down and analyze the metrics in context. Backyards automatically calculates the health of your services and workloads based on the available metrics. If you still need additional details, you can access the related Grafana dashboards with a single click.

You can also monitor communications with services that are external to your mesh.

Root cause diagnostics 🔗︎

Root cause diagnostics help you efficiently isolate and solve operational issues related to your services. Backyards offers:

Control 🔗︎

You can manage Istio through the Backyards UI and the CLI. Backyards gives you easy access to the configuration of the Istio service mesh and its underlying traffic-management features, including:

With Backyards, you can manage service-updates using automated, industry-standard upgrade strategies, like canary releases.

Multi-cluster 🔗︎

With Backyards, you can monitor and manage your hybrid multi-cloud service infrastructure from a single pane of glass. You can easily attach and detach clusters using the CLI, and take advantage of enhanced multi-cluster telemetry.

Backyards supports multiple mesh topologies, so you can use the one that best fits for your use-cases. In multi-cluster configurations it provides automatic locality load-balancing.

Service Level Objectives and burn-rate alerts 🔗︎

Backyards helps SREs and operation engineers to observe and control the health of their services and applications. You can create and track service level objectives and corresponding alerting rules on the Backyards dashboard.

Security & Compliance 🔗︎

Backyards helps you secure your services through industry-standard authorization and authentication practices, including:

High-level architecture 🔗︎

Backyards (now Cisco Service Mesh Manager) consists of the following components:

Backyards architecture overview

  • Service mesh management: The open source Banzai Cloud Istio operator helps to install/upgrade/manage Istio deployments. Its unique features include managing multiple ingress/egress gateways in a declarative fashion, and automated and fine-tuned multi cluster management.

  • The core components of Backyards are:

    • the Backyards backend (exposing a GraphQL API)
    • the Backyards UI, a web interface
    • the Backyards CLI
    • the Backyards operator

    Backyards’s soul is its backend, which exposes a GraphQL API. The Backyards UI (dashboard) and CLI interact with this API. The Backyards operator is an optional component which helps with a declarative installation method to support GitOps workflows.

  • External out-of-the-box integrations:

    These components are automatically installed and configured by Backyards by default to be able to work with Istio. You can also integrate Backyards with your own Prometheus, Grafana, Jaeger, or Cert manager - Backyards follow the batteries included but replaceable paradigm.

Next steps 🔗︎