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Traffic Split (canaries, blue/green deploys)

Linkerd’s traffic split functionality allows you to dynamically shift arbitrary portions of traffic destined for a Kubernetes service to a different destination service. This feature can be used to implement sophisticated rollout strategies such as canary deployments and blue/green deployments, for example, by slowly easing traffic off of an older version of a service and onto a newer version.

Linkerd exposes this functionality via the Service Mesh Interface (SMI) TrafficSplit API. To use this feature, you create a Kubernetes resource as described in the TrafficSplit spec, and Linkerd takes care of the rest. You can see step by step documentation on our Getting started with Linkerd SMI extension page.

By combining traffic splitting with Linkerd’s metrics, it is possible to accomplish even more powerful deployment techniques that automatically take into account the success rate and latency of old and new versions. See the Flagger project for one example of this.

Check out some examples of what you can do with traffic splitting: