AKO on Istio


AKO can be deployed in an Istio environment. Currently, strict mTLS is supported in ClusterIP mode. This article explains the steps to deploy AKO on Istio and verify the deployment.

Note: This feature is currently under Tech Preview.

Deploying and Verifying AKO Deployment on Istio

To deploy AKO, follow the steps given below:

  1. Set the flag istioEnabled to True in values.yaml to allow AKO to work in an Istio environment.
  2. Verify istio sidecar injection is enabled and working:
     kubectl logs ako-0 -n avi-system -c istio-proxy
  3. Verify the istio-secret secret is created in the AKO namespace with cert-chain, key and root-cert data populated. These correspond to the workload and CA certificates.
    kubectl describe secret istio-secret -n <AKOnamesapce>
  4. Verify the PKI profile using pkiprofile istio-pki-<clustername>-<AKOnamespace> and sslkeyandcertification istio-workload-<clustername>-<AKOnamespace> are created on the Controller.

Service Name for AKO

AKO and the NSX Advanced Load Balancer Service Engines use a service name based on the AKO service account and AKO namespace such as cluster.local/ns/<AKOnamespace>/sa/<AKOServiceAccount>.

For example, cluster.local/ns/avi-system/sa/ako-sa

This service name should be used when updating the auth policy CRD for Istio.


  • AKO prioritizes the Istio pkiprofile over any other PKI profile reference added using httprule.

Note: AKO works only with L7.


  • Sidecar injection for AKO is not working
    Workaround: Try enabling injection for the ako namespace. For example, kubectl label namespace avi-system istio-injection=enabled --overwrite.

  • istio-secret is not created
    Workaround: Check AKO cluster role has permissions to create or update secrets in the AKO namespace.

Document Revision History

Date Change Summary
September 29, 2022 Created the article for AKO on Istio