Ingress with Istio

Seldon Core can be used in conjunction with istio. Istio provides an ingress gateway which Seldon Core can automatically wire up new deployments to. The steps to using istio are described below.

Install Seldon Core Operator

Ensure when you install the seldon-core operator via Helm that you enabled istio. For example:

helm install seldon-core seldon-core-operator --set istio.enabled=true --repo --set usageMetrics.enabled=true

You need an istio gateway installed in the istio-system namespace. By default we assume one called seldon-gateway. For example you can create this with the following yaml:

kind: Gateway
  name: seldon-gateway
  namespace: istio-system
    istio: ingressgateway # use istio default controller
  - port:
      number: 80
      name: http
      protocol: HTTP
    - "*"

If you want to want to create SSL based gateway, create your signed certificate or actual signed certificate (for example named fullchain.pem), key (privkey.pem) and then run follwing commands to get SSL gateway. Assuming we’re not using cert-manager then create self-signed certificate with

openssl req -nodes -x509 -newkey rsa:4096 -keyout privkey.pem -out fullchain.pem -days 365 -subj "/C=GB/ST=GreaterLondon/L=London/O=SeldonSerra/OU=MLOps/CN=localhost"

Import certificate and key as a secret into istio-system namespace

kubectl create -n istio-system secret tls seldon-ssl-cert --key=privkey.pem --cert=fullchain.pem

and create SSL Istio Gateway using following YAML file

kind: Gateway
  name: seldon-gateway
  namespace: istio-system
    istio: ingressgateway # use istio default controller
  - hosts:
    - '*'
      name: https
      number: 443
      protocol: HTTPS
      credentialName: seldon-ssl-cert
      mode: SIMPLE

If you have your own gateway you will use then you can provide the name when installing the seldon operator. For example if your gateway is called mygateway you can install the operator with:

helm install seldon-core seldon-core-operator --set istio.enabled=true --set istio.gateway=mygateway --repo --set usageMetrics.enabled=true

You can also provide the gateway on a per Seldon Deployment resource basis by providing it with the annotation

Istio Configuration Annotation Reference



Description<gateway name>


The gateway to use for this deployment. If no namespace prefix is applied it will refer to the namespace of the Seldon Deployment.


The number of istio retries


The per try timeout if istio retries is set


The Host for istio Virtual Service

All annotations should be placed in spec.annotations or metadata.annotations. spec.annotations will take precedence.

Traffic Routing

Istio has the capability for fine grained traffic routing to your deployments. This allows:

  • canary updates

  • green-blue deployments

  • A/B testing

  • shadow deployments

More information can be found in our examples, including canary updates.

Configuring Authentication/Authorization

To force clients to authenticate/authorize themselves in order to access the seldon model deployments, you can leverage Istio’s RequestAuthentication and AuthorizationPolicy. This will deny or accept requests to the model depending on specified conditions that you designated in the policies. More information can be found here.

You can set the policies to target all the models belonging to a specific namespace, but you must be using istio sidecar proxy, and ensure your seldon operator configuration has the following:

  enabled: true
  tlsMode: STRICT

When you’ve set up an AuthorizationPolicy, this will disrupt Prometheus from scraping metrics. Two proposed options to resolve this issue are:

  • You can specify that you want to allow GET requests to the prometheus endpoint in the AuthorizationPolicy


- to:
  - operation:
      methods: ["GET"]
      paths: ["/prometheus"]
      ports: ["6000", "8000", "6001"]
  • You can also exclude ports in your Istio Operator configuration

          autoInject: enabled
          clusterDomain: cluster.local
          componentLogLevel: misc:error
          enableCoreDump: false
          excludeInboundPorts: ""
          excludeOutboundPorts: "15021"


If you saw errors like Failed to generate bootstrap config: mkdir ./etc/istio/proxy: permission denied, it’s probably because you are running istio version <= 1.6. Istio proxy sidecar by default needs to run as root (This changed in version >= 1.7, non-root is the default) You can fix this by changing defaultUserID=0 in your helm chart, or add the following securityContext to your istio proxy sidecar.

  runAsUser: 0