Layer7 API Management Review

We use it to transmit data from one format to another format, including content-based data routing.

What is most valuable?

We use the API Management tool mostly for the portal application and managing the APIs.

CA has a portal where we can expose the public and private APIs across the globe. We use it as a gateway for security and exposing the internal applications through that layer.

For us, it acts like a proxy as it passes through the API layer. We use it to transmit data from one format to another format, especially to route the data based on the content. This is a seamless process. There are little challenges in regards to the AWS integration but we were able to get through that and CA helped us move towards AWS.

The problem was that it was slow. This product was initially built as an in-house product, but later on they converted it to a pilot product. It was not ready at that time but now it is. We are fine-tuning it to make it available on AWS; so, it's good.

How has it helped my organization?

We're moving towards microservices. We do have around 358 to 400 APIs, i.e., monolithic APIs, and we want to convert them into lightweight microservices. We want to deploy them in a container, use the gateway and then expose those microservices to the external world. That’s our main goal and we are using CA API Gateway for this purpose.

What needs improvement?

I want a more loosely coupled migration utility.

Now they provide a DMU for migration of the code or APIs for continuous delivery. But it's not robust, so I want to see what CA is going to come up with regards to that.

In terms of using the tool itself, it is not user-friendly. You can use the product with ease, but once it starts developing the code, there are a lot of APIs and functions that are not readily available for you. You need to refer to a document to learn about that. They should provide some APIs which will drop down the list of all the functions and that are available and ready to use. The world is changing now; we don't want to be stuck in the 80s or 70s, where we need to search for everything and then try to write a code for it one-by-one. It needs be a good tool; easy for the customers to use it.

The main missing aspect from this tool is that although continuous delivery is available, it is not that straightforward and we have to work on that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good except when we went live with AWS; that's when we had initial hiccups but slowly it improved. We are good at this point.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The good thing about McCloud being on AWS is scalability which you get by default. Hence, you don't have to worry about how you want to manage your infrastructure. By default, it will look at your load and there are some alarms set on that and then it will act. When you see the peak, it automatically scales to a new instance and when the load is too low, it will kill that new instance that it has created. AWS will help us with that.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used technical support. We had a few bugs in the code, i.e., bugs in the product code for which we had to talk to CA central customer service; they were good and responsive.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we were using OAG - Oracle Application Gateway. The CDCI was not that good with that. The continuous delivery and continuous integration are not readily available and there are a lot of bugs in the code, in the product. In comparison to that, the CA tool is less buggy.

There were a few reasons for choosing this vendor. The first being the continuous delivery and continuous integration, which was one of the major things we were looking for. Next, we wanted to look at the portal and the API itself; how do you manage the APIs, giving access, access control and all those aspects. The third thing we were looking at was security. So, these are 3 different things that we were considering whilst selecting a vendor.

How was the initial setup?

I was part of the initial setup but CA was there with us to help through the implementation process. It's not complex.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did do some research and tried to explore some of the API products available in the market. We did speak to all the different product owners, assessed it and then finally we came up with this solution.

Some of the vendors we looked at were Apigee and Amazon API Gateway.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, this is a good product. Those who are interested in a similar product should try to do a PoC first and then see what you want from it.

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