Happy to hear about the start of your Istio journey!
I’d be interested to know what the perf requirements are that we believe disabling metrics and traces will solve (is it mesh perf or backend system perf?, for instance). That might inform some of the potential solutions.
At the moment, there is work going on to enable pod annotations to opt out of policy checks. See: https://github.com/istio/istio/pull/10886. That work could be extended to turn of telemetry reporting through Mixer.
I don’t believe that there is a (simple) way to turn off tracing in the Envoy proxies for a subset at the moment. There is, of course, a way to turn the sampling rate on tracing way down, but that applies cross-mesh.
Other than that, Mixer rules themselves provide a mechanism for selecting when to generate data. You could remove the
istio-system-namespaced metrics configuration and apply them in only in namespaces that you desire… or edit them to have a
match clause that meets your needs.
Mixer isn’t involved in generating trace spans for services by default. But, if you opted into having Mixer generate trace spans (instead of Envoy), you could similarly select using the Mixer rules.
Hope that helps,