Istio support


WebLogic Server Kubernetes Operator version 2.6 and later, includes support for Istio 1.4.2 and later. This support lets you run the operator, and WebLogic domains managed by the operator, with Istio sidecar injection enabled. You can use Istio gateways and virtual services to access applications deployed in these domains. If your applications have suitable tracing code in them, then you will also be able to use distributed tracing, such as Jaeger, to trace requests across domains and to other components and services that have tracing enabled.


The current support for Istio has these limitations:

  • It is tested with Istio 1.4.2 and later (up to 1.5.4), however, it is tested with both single and multicluster installations of Istio.
  • You cannot expose any of the default channels; any attempt will result in an error when deploying the domain.
  • If the istio-ingressgateway service in your environment does not have an EXTERNAL-IP defined, in order to use WLST commands, define a network access point (NAP) in your WebLogic domain and expose it as a NodePort in your Domain YAML file and access it through the NodePort instead of accessing the channel through the Istio mesh network.

To learn more about service mesh, see Istio.

Using the operator with Istio support

These instructions assume that you are using a Kubernetes cluster with Istio installed and configured already. The operator will not install Istio for you.

You can deploy the operator into a namespace which has Istio automatic sidecar injection enabled. Before installing the operator, create the namespace in which you want to run the domain and label it.

$ kubectl create namespace weblogic-operator
$ kubectl label namespace weblogic-operator istio-injection=enabled

After the namespace is labeled, you can install the operator.
When the operator pod starts, you will notice that Istio automatically injects an initContainer called istio-init and the envoy container istio-proxy.

You can validate this using the following commands:

$ kubectl --namespace weblogic-operator get pods
$ kubectl --namespace weblogic-operator get pod weblogic-operator-xxx-xxx -o yaml

In the second command, change weblogic-operator-xxx-xxx to the name of your pod.

Creating a domain with Istio support

You can configure your domains to run with Istio automatic sidecar injection enabled. Before creating your domain, create the namespace in which you want to run the operator and label it for automatic injection.

$ kubectl create namespace domain1
$ kubectl label namespace domain1 istio-injection=enabled

To enable Istio support for a domain, you need to add the configuration section to your domain custom resource YAML file, as shown in the following example:

apiVersion: ""
kind: Domain
  name: domain2
  namespace: domain1
    weblogic.domainUID: domain2
  ... other content ...
      enabled: true
      readinessPort: 8888

To enable Istio support, you must include the istio section and set enabled: true as shown. The readinessPort is optional and defaults to 8888 if not provided; it is used for a readiness health check.

How Istio-enabled domains differ from regular domains

Istio enforces a number of requirements on Pods. When you enable Istio support in the Domain YAML file, the introspector job automatically creates configuration overrides with the necessary channels for the domain to satisfy Istio’s requirements, including:

When deploying a domain with Istio sidecar injection enabled, the operator automatically adds the following network channels using configuration overrides.

For non-SSL traffic:

Name Port Protocol Exposed as a container port
http-probe From configuration Istio readinessPort http No
tcp-default Server listening port t3 Yes
http-default Server listening port http Yes
tcp-snmp Server listening port snmp Yes
tcp-cbt server listening port CLUSTER-BROADCAST No
tcp-iiop Server listening port http No

For SSL traffic, if SSL is enabled on the server:

Name Port Protocol Exposed as a container port
tls-default Server SSL listening port t3s Yes
https-secure Server SSL listening port https Yes
tls-iiops Server SSL listening port iiops No
tls-ldaps Server SSL listening port ldaps No
tls-cbts Server listening port CLUSTER-BROADCAST-SECURE No

If the WebLogic administration port is enabled on the Administration Server:

Name Port Protocol Exposed in the container port
https-admin WebLogic administration port https Yes

Additionally, when Istio support is enabled for a domain, the operator ensures that the Istio sidecar is not injected into the introspector job’s pods.

Apply the Domain YAML file

After the Domain YAML file is modified, apply it by:

kubect apply -f domain.yaml

After all the servers are up, you will see output like this:

kubectl -n sample-domain1-ns get pods

NAME                             READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
sample-domain1-admin-server      2/2     Running   0          154m
sample-domain1-managed-server1   2/2     Running   0          153m
sample-domain1-managed-server2   2/2     Running   0          153m

If you use istioctl proxy-status, you will see the mesh status:

istioctl proxy-status
NAME                                                               CDS        LDS        EDS        RDS          PILOT                            VERSION
istio-ingressgateway-5c7d8d7b5d-tjgtd.istio-system                 SYNCED     SYNCED     SYNCED     NOT SENT     istio-pilot-6cfcdb75dd-87lqm     1.5.4
sample-domain1-admin-server.sample-domain1-ns                      SYNCED     SYNCED     SYNCED     SYNCED       istio-pilot-6cfcdb75dd-87lqm     1.5.4
sample-domain1-managed-server1.sample-domain1-ns                   SYNCED     SYNCED     SYNCED     SYNCED       istio-pilot-6cfcdb75dd-87lqm     1.5.4
sample-domain1-managed-server2.sample-domain1-ns                   SYNCED     SYNCED     SYNCED     SYNCED       istio-pilot-6cfcdb75dd-87lqm     1.5.4
weblogic-operator-7d86fffbdd-5dxzt.sample-weblogic-operator-ns     SYNCED     SYNCED     SYNCED     SYNCED       istio-pilot-6cfcdb75dd-87lqm     1.5.4

Exposing applications in Istio-enabled domains

When a domain is running with Istio support, you should use the Istio ingress gateway to provide external access to applications, instead of using an ingress controller like Traefik. Using the Istio ingress gateway, you can also view the traffic in Kiali and use distributed tracing from the entry point to the cluster.

To configure external access to your domain, you need to create an Istio Gateway and VirtualService, as shown in the example below:

kind: Gateway
  name: domain1-gateway
  namespace: domain1
    istio: ingressgateway
    - hosts:
        - '*'
        name: http
        number: 80
        protocol: HTTP
kind: VirtualService
  name: domain1-virtualservice
  namespace: domain1
    - domain1-gateway
    - '*'
    - match:
        - uri:
            prefix: /console
        - port: 7001
        - destination:
            host: sample-domain1-admin-server.sample-domain1-ns.svc.cluster.local
              number: 7001
    - match:
        - uri:
            prefix: /testwebapp
        - port: 8001
        - destination:
            host: sample-domain1-cluster-cluster-1.domain1.svc.cluster.local
              number: 8001

This example creates a gateway that will accept requests with any host name using HTTP on port 80, and a virtual service that will route all of those requests to the cluster service for cluster-1 in domain1 in the namespace domain1. Note: In a production environment, hosts should be limited to the proper DNS name.

After the gateway and virtual service has been set up, you can access it through your ingress host and port. Refer to Determining the ingress IP and ports.

For more information about providing ingress using Istio, see the Istio documentation.

Traffic management

Istio provides traffic management capabilities, including the ability to visualize traffic in Kiali. You do not need to change your applications to use this feature. The Istio proxy (envoy) sidecar that is injected into your pods provides it. The image below shows an example with traffic flowing: In from the Istio gateway on the left, to a domain called domain1.

In this example, you can see how the traffic flows to the cluster services and then to the individual Managed Servers.

Traffic visualization with Kiali

To learn more, see Istio traffic management.

Distributed tracing

Istio provides distributed tracing capabilities, including the ability to view traces in Jaeger. In order to use distributed tracing though, first you will need to instrument your WebLogic application, for example, using the Jaeger Java client. The image below shows an example of a distributed trace that shows a transaction following the same path through the system as shown in the image above.

Distributed tracing with Jaeger

To learn more, see distrubting tracing in Istio.