Configuring Request Routing

This task uses the new v1alpha3 traffic management API. The old API has been deprecated and will be removed in the next Istio release. If you need to use the old version, follow the docs here.

This task shows you how to configure dynamic request routing based on weights and HTTP headers.

Before you begin

Content-based routing

Because the Bookinfo sample deploys 3 versions of the reviews microservice, we need to set a default route. Otherwise if you access the application several times, you’ll notice that sometimes the output contains star ratings. This is because without an explicit default version set, Istio will route requests to all available versions of a service in a random fashion.

This task assumes you don’t have any routes set yet. If you’ve already created conflicting route rules for the sample, you’ll need to use replace rather than create in the following command.

  1. Set the default version for all microservices to v1.

    $ istioctl create -f samples/bookinfo/routing/route-rule-all-v1.yaml

    In a Kubernetes deployment of Istio, you can replace istioctl with kubectl in the above, and for all other CLI commands. Note, however, that kubectl currently does not provide input validation.

    You can display the routes that are defined with the following command:

    ```command-output-as-yaml $ istioctl get virtualservices -o yaml apiVersion: kind: VirtualService metadata: name: details … spec: hosts:

    • details http:
    • route:
      • destination: host: details subset: v1 — apiVersion: kind: VirtualService metadata: name: productpage … spec: gateways:
    • bookinfo-gateway
    • mesh hosts:
    • productpage http:
    • route:
      • destination: host: productpage subset: v1 — apiVersion: kind: VirtualService metadata: name: ratings … spec: hosts:
    • ratings http:
    • route:
      • destination: host: ratings subset: v1 — apiVersion: kind: VirtualService metadata: name: reviews … spec: hosts:
    • reviews http:
    • route:
      • destination: host: reviews subset: v1 — ```

    The corresponding subset definitions can be displayed using istioctl get destinationrules -o yaml.

    Since rule propagation to the proxies is asynchronous, you should wait a few seconds for the rules to propagate to all pods before attempting to access the application.

  2. Open the Bookinfo URL (http://$GATEWAY_URL/productpage) in your browser

    You should see the Bookinfo application productpage displayed. Notice that the productpage is displayed with no rating stars since reviews:v1 does not access the ratings service.

  3. Route a specific user to reviews:v2

    Lets enable the ratings service for test user “jason” by routing productpage traffic to reviews:v2 instances.

    $ istioctl replace -f samples/bookinfo/routing/route-rule-reviews-test-v2.yaml

    Confirm the rule is created:

    ```command-output-as-yaml $ istioctl get virtualservice reviews -o yaml apiVersion: kind: VirtualService metadata: name: reviews … spec: hosts:

    • reviews http:
    • match:
      • headers: cookie: regex: ^(.?;)?(user=jason)(;.)?$ route:
      • destination: host: reviews subset: v2
    • route:
      • destination: host: reviews subset: v1 ```
  4. Log in as user “jason” at the productpage web page.

    You should now see ratings (1-5 stars) next to each review. Notice that if you log in as any other user, you will continue to see reviews:v1.

Understanding what happened

In this task, you used Istio to send 100% of the traffic to the v1 version of each of the Bookinfo services. You then set a rule to selectively send traffic to version v2 of the reviews service based on a header (i.e., a user cookie) in a request.

Once the v2 version has been tested to our satisfaction, we could use Istio to send traffic from all users to v2, optionally in a gradual fashion. We’ll explore this in a separate task.


  • Remove the application routing rules.

    $ istioctl delete -f samples/bookinfo/routing/route-rule-all-v1.yaml
  • If you are not planning to explore any follow-on tasks, refer to the Bookinfo cleanup instructions to shutdown the application.

What’s next