Top 3 API gateways to manage microservices in 2021

Microservices are the backbone of modern web development architecture. Although monolithic architecture comes with a lot of limitations, it keeps things simple by aggregating multiple functionalities of a web in a single place. If you have switched to microservices architecture recently, then you must be struggling to orchestrate your services and this article is going to help you in getting started.

What are API gateways?

API gateways protect and aggregate your API services. For example, you have built multiple API backends to handle multiple logics of your web app. Now to expose access to your services securely and conveniently, you need a centralized setup. API gateways allow you to achieve this result.

API gateways allow you to manage your microservices from a single place. You can build a single authentication flow on the API gateway layer. This leaves only the business logic in your microservices and moves several extra functionalities including authentication, rate limiting, permissions, and much more to a separate layer.

Here are the top 3 API gateways that I have tried for our microservices and I am recommending them to you based on my own personal experience.

AWS API Gateway

AWS brings you a complete stack when it comes to deploying web services. Their API gateway is one of the most popular services that you can use in order to manage and secure your microservice backends. This gateway allows you a simple UI that you can use in order to add and remove backends. Generally, AWS is known for its complexity, but I have found its API gateway among the easiest tools from AWS.

Using AWS API gateway, you can secure a serverless microservice in AWS lambda or any HTTP API service within AWS or outside AWS. Their pricing is based on the volume of the request that you will send in, thus it should be an affordable choice for your project.

Kong API Gateway

This is a real gem and I am glad that I found it early in my journey towards microservices architecture. The open-source version is what I use and love but they offer a dedicated fully managed service too. And the best thing about their managed service is that it is free up to a decent requests volume each month. Ranging from multiple API backends for load balancing to rate-limiting, Kong has every tool that you will need to manage a solid layer over your microservices.

Kong along with Python FastAPI is on the list of most frequent software that I use in order to develop and maintain microservices. After spending some time reading their docs, you should be able to install and configure Kong on your server. Using an admin API, you can manage your all services programmatically. If you need further simplicity, you can use their managed service where you will not need to use the admin API and you will be able to manage services and plugins using an elegant UI.

Google API Gateway

Google also offers an API gateway that’s almost similar to AWS API gateway in terms of pricing and features. If you aren’t feeling comfortable using Kong self-managed or if you didn’t like Kong’s managed services or AWS API gateway, then Google’s API gateway should serve your purpose.

So these were the top 3 API gateways that I have tried so far. I hope one of these tools will help you in managing your services securely.

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