CA API Management Review

I love the composability of the policies, and having visibility into who is using which APIs


What is our primary use case?

We have the API Gateway deployed in production. The primary use case is for the API Gateway to provide API access, and authentication, and authorization for the APIs we expose through our product. 

I am also looking forward to having the API developer portal deploy as well so we get a bit more insights into the analytics part, and also some of the API lifecycle management associated with it.

I love the API Gateway, especially the architecture, in terms of the composability of the policies. We approach it from a very software-engineering approach.We build on the policies, like legal blocks, and we deploy them throughout different environments. It's been working out great for us.

How has it helped my organization?

It definitely helps a lot with the DevOps and the support. Reliability is one thing, and having visibility into who is using which APIs. 

Some of the performance matrix that API Gateway gives off - we monitor them via SNMP traps - and then we tie them into our monitoring system. You can actually monitor some of the latencies and some of the performance aspects of both API Gateways, as well back end services. So having that line of sight surely helps in terms DevOps.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature, as I mentioned, is the composability, because we use a lot of functionalities. 

Also, right now we're looking into the Dockerized version of API Gateway because that would allow us to flow nicely into our Microservice Architecture.

What needs improvement?

The more automation the better. I think CA is stepping in the right direction. I went through the micro API Gateway presentations here at the CA World conference, on how you can automate more of the policy deployment via the JSON format, so you don't even having to touch the Policy Manager. Because every time you touch something in the Policy Manager you think, "Well, that's a GUI, humans need to go in and do something with it." So if we can automate everything with the APIs, that helps a lot in the DevOps lifecycle, where we want to automate everything.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've always been a fan of API Gateway. In the past we've used various API Gateways, some of them are open source. It's definitely very reliable and robust. The three years that we have them in production, not a single instance of downtime due to the API Gateway. We have issues, but it's mostly because of API backend issues or low balance issues and such, but API Gateway has been pretty reliable for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability has been good. Now we have exposed the APIs, we have a four-node cluster of API Gateways in production. It's been scaling out well for us. I haven't had any issue yet.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have ended up using technical support several times. I think it's fantastic. I've been working with a particular technical person in CA and he's been really, really helpful. He's been very busy, but the support that he gives me is above and beyond the call of duty.

Even going through the 24/7 support I usually get the answer back within 24 hours.

How was the initial setup?

It was three years back, and at that time there wasn't a lot of automation going on with the API Gateway. It was a lot manuals, so we're using the OVA version of the API Gateway. As time went on, with the API Gateway you can pretty much auto-provision things. But two years back at least, I wasn't aware of that, so there was some manual steps. But even manual it was still quite painless to get it done.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did do some evaluations against other products. Just to name a few, we looked at Mulesoft, WS02. We went with CA because the solution is simple to implement, it fits our use case well, and in terms of price point it also chimes well with our VPs.

What other advice do I have?

I like that CA is continuing to improve the product, looking for new solutions using the API Gateway. That's something that we're familiar with. And that they're trying to make it work for different types of architectures. As I mentioned, we are moving toward Microservice Architecture and having the Docker form and the micro API Gateway to help with those kind of architectures is really helpful.

I'm an engineer, so from my perspective things have to be simple. If things get way too complicated then maybe you don't have the right solution, or you're not using the right solution to solve the right problem. In that case you may want to look for a different solution.

When selecting a vendor, as an engineer the solution that's offered by the vendor needs to be simple enough to solve my problem in an efficient way. Of course, I don't worry too much about cost because I'm not paying for it, but certainly cost does play a part in terms of licensing scheme.

The solution you choose depends a lot on the use case, so without really understanding a colleague's use case it would be hard for me to recommend anything at all. Definitely, if they want functionality like API management, I would recommend looking at CA to see it fits their use case or not.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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