Kong cuts path through cloud-native API jungle

Ape-named cloud connectivity company Kong has climbed a big gnarly branch upwards.

The San Francisco headquartered firm has reached a ‘major’ release of its Kong Enterprise product, a software tool for DevOps-driven automation to run APIs and microservices across multiple clouds and datacentres.

Put more simply, this is a cloud-native API lifecycle platform.

What is a service mesh?

The new version comes with multi-cloud (i.e. public, private, hybrid) and multi-region (i.e. different countries) deployment options — and it has ‘native service mesh support’ via the firm’s own Kong Mesh product.

A service mesh is a configurable piece of software designed to streamline IT system infrastructures that use Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) so that the infrastructure itself works on a low-latency basis. It ‘meshes’ (i.e. conjoins and connects) because containerised elements of infrastructure are essentially discrete and sometimes ephemeral. A service mesh is an infrastructure layer, but it is built right in the application itself to provide functions such as service discovery, load balancing, encryption, observability, traceability, authentication and authorization. It will also document how successfully different services have communicated with each other. So essentially, a service mesh is an in-app infrastructure layer designed to oversee and manage all service-to-service communication within a distributed software system that typically makes use of microservices and APIs. 

Many apologies… back to Kong.

Kong Enterprise can be used as a service mesh ingress and egress with a native data plane integration with Kong Mesh – Kong’s enterprise service mesh built on top of CNCF’s Kuma and Envoy – on both Kubernetes and VMs and across multiple clouds.

Kong has also introduced a new ‘Hybrid Mode’ deployment option that enables customers to use declarative configuration to deploy cloud-native Kong Gateway data planes across multiple clouds and datacentre and manage them through a central control plane. 

“[This] second generation of Kong Enterprise [was] created to support hybrid workloads,” said Marco Palladino, CTO and co-founder of Kong Inc. “As technology teams build services and applications on Kubernetes and other platforms that span multiple availability zones, datacentres and clouds, they need to ensure that service connectivity is reliable and performant.”

Palladino further stated that Kong Enterprise is the only enterprise-grade platform providing an API gateway, Kubernetes Ingress Controller and service mesh, with the ability to run data planes decoupled from their control planes.

Kong Enterprise 2.1 can be combined with the latest Kong Studio plugins included in Insomnia to further automate the API lifecycle. Developers can declaratively configure their runtimes to dynamically adapt to evolving traffic conditions across hybrid environments.  

Also here we find Expanded Plugin Ecosystem With Go: Kong plugins can now be built entirely in the popular Golang programming language, opening up Kong’s ecosystem to more developers and (in theory at least) making onboarding to Kong Enterprise easier.

Image source: Kong

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