9 Kubernetes-Native API Management Tools

9 Kubernetes-Native API Management Tools

Posted in

Kubernetes has become the go-to platform for container orchestration and management. It provides a powerful and flexible framework for managing containerized applications at scale. As more and more organizations adopt Kubernetes, there is a growing need for tools that can help manage the APIs that power modern applications.

Kubernetes-native API management tools are designed to run natively on the Kubernetes platform and provide rich features such as traffic routing, rate limiting, and authentication. By using these tools, organizations can ensure that their APIs are secure, reliable, and scalable.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular Kubernetes-native API management tools and gateways and what they offer. We’ll look at their features and how they work on Kubernetes.

1. Envoy Proxy

Envoy Proxy is a high-performance proxy that can be used as an API gateway in Kubernetes. It can be deployed as a sidecar to your application or as a standalone service.

Some of the key features of Envoy Proxy include:

  • High-performance pluggable proxy
  • Offers enhanced networking and monitoring features to handle the growing traffic
  • Built on the knowledge and experience gained from HAProxy and NGINX
  • Official Cloud Native Computing Foundation project

Envoy’s flexibility and performance make it a popular choice for managing APIs on Kubernetes. It can be easily integrated into existing Kubernetes deployments and provides advanced features for driving traffic and securing APIs. By using Envoy Proxy, organizations can ensure that their APIs are reliable, scalable, and secure.


2. Kusk

Kusk is a Kubernetes-native API management tool that enables an OpenAPI-first approach for your Kubernetes API gateway. It’s based on Envoy Proxy, a reliable, high-performance, open-source service proxy designed for cloud-native applications.

Some features of Kusk include:

  • Open-source API-first Kubernetes API gateway
  • Built on the foundation of Envoy Proxy, a dependable and high-performing service proxy designed for cloud-native applications
  • Automates the entire deployment process of your API without requiring manual intervention


3. Solo Gloo Mesh

Solo Gloo Mesh is a management plane designed for Kubernetes that facilitates the configuration and operational management of multiple service meshes across various clusters via a unified API. The Gloo Mesh API works with leading service meshes and simplifies the differences between their individual APIs, enabling users to establish consistent behavior across different service mesh environments.

Some of its features include:

  • Unified API for managing multiple service meshes
  • Integration with leading service meshes
  • Abstraction of differences between disparate APIs
  • A consistent set of behaviors across different service mesh environments


4. Azure API Management for AKS

Azure API Management for AKS is a solution that allows you to publish your microservices as APIs for internal and external consumption using Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and Azure API Management (API Management).

Some of its features include:

  • Quick deployment and operation of a microservices-based architecture in the cloud
  • Publishing of microservices as APIs for internal and external consumption
  • Leveraging Azure API Management to manage APIs


5. Amazon API Gateway on EKS

Amazon API Gateway on EKS enables you to manage Amazon API Gateway in the same manner as other Kubernetes resources, such as pods, deployments, services, and ingresses. With the help of ACK (AWS Controller for Kubernetes), you can easily integrate and utilize AWS services such as API Gateway, Amazon S3, Amazon SNS, Amazon SQS, DynamoDB, and Amazon ECR within your Kubernetes cluster.

Some features of Amazon API Gateway on EKS include:

  • Managing Amazon API Gateway like other Kubernetes resources
  • Defining and consuming AWS services directly within a Kubernetes cluster
  • Integration with other AWS services such as Amazon S3, Amazon SNS, Amazon SQS, DynamoDB, and Amazon ECR


6. NGINX Kubernetes Gateway

The NGINX Kubernetes Gateway is an open-source project that provides a Gateway API implementation using NGINX as the data plane. This project builds upon the capabilities of an ingress controller to address the challenges of routing traffic to Kubernetes-based applications. The core Gateway APIs (Gateway, GatewayClass, HTTPRoute, TCPRoute, TLSRoute, and UDPRoute) are implemented to enable the configuration of an HTTP or TCP/UDP load balancer, reverse-proxy, or API gateway for Kubernetes applications.


7. Tyk

Tyk is an API management platform that offers a suite of tools to help organizations transform their operations, increase velocity, and deliver more value to customers faster. Tyk offers Kubernetes-native API management for your K8s stack through its Tyk Operator.

Some features of Tyk include:

  • Kubernetes-native API management through its Tyk Operator
  • API management for GraphQL
  • Fully automated and cloud-native, it can smoothly incorporate everything from complex legacy code to the most recent Kubernetes stack
  • Performant and secure API gateway for your API and microservices


8. Kong

Kong is a cloud-native API management platform that helps organizations manage their APIs at scale in a Kubernetes environment. It provides features such as monitoring, security, and governance for managing APIs and microservices. It enables organizations to take control of their API connections across any environment and stay ahead of customer demand with connected, scaled, and secured applications.

Some of its features include:

  • Full lifecycle API management
  • Design, run, and govern APIs and microservices
  • Built-in security, governance, and compliance
  • Support for any cloud, platform, and modern protocol
  • Automated enterprise-grade security
  • The flexibility for developers to build, operate, and reuse APIs across architectures


9. Gloo Edge

Gloo Edge, another offering from Solo.io, is a feature-rich API gateway and ingress controller for Kubernetes, excelling in function-level routing and supporting legacy applications, microservices, and serverless architectures.

Some of its features include:

  • Tightly integrated with leading open-source projects.
  • Gloo Edge is designed for highly dynamic environments like self-service platforms such as Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry, and the public cloud.


Final Words

In conclusion, Kubernetes-native API management tools provide a powerful and flexible way for organizations to manage their APIs at scale. These tools are designed to work seamlessly with Kubernetes, allowing developers to take full advantage of the platform’s capabilities. With features such as improved networking and observability, these tools enable organizations to deliver high-quality APIs that meet the needs of their users.

As the demand for cloud-native applications grows, Kubernetes-native tools will play an increasingly important role in helping organizations achieve their goals.

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ve found a Kubernetes-native API management solution to suit your needs. If you have any questions or want to suggest another tool, please feel free to comment below. We would love to hear from you!