Layer7 API Management Review

Built-in assertions for vulnerabilities, like DDoS attacks and IP restrictions, are useful

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is basic encryption/decryption using symmetric assertions and then, gradually, SOAP signatures, SOAP encryption, non-SOAP XML encryption, and signing that. In the last six months or so, I have been working on JWT (JSON Web Tokens).

How has it helped my organization?

Using this solution, the deployment and development processes become easier when compared to before, when complete Java development was necessary. Now, the encryption part is very easy and our clients don't have to continuously depend on logic. On this platform, it's very easy for them to understand and to do testing. It saves them time.

What is most valuable?

I haven't found that there are any most-valuable features. I'm not using any feature most often in any of my use cases. The use cases depend upon the customers' requirements.

In terms of protecting APIs against threats and vulnerabilities, there are a few assertions which are built-in for threat protection. I have used them for vulnerabilities, like for DDoS attacks, XML schema validation, IP restriction, and for cross-domain.

What needs improvement?

There are old algorithms that the tool does not support - and it shouldn't, in my opinion. But sometimes customers need old algorithms, from old use cases and old applications, migrated to the platform. At those times, there are hiccups that happen. It's a bit of a challenge to make the customer understand that we should not be going with these old applications.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not faced many issues with its stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is a bit tough if it is a production environment. If you are planning to scale it and increase the number of servers within one to two years, that can be challenging. Up until now, if I have installed four servers, I haven't been given requirements to add more than that.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have contacted support. There were two cases where there wasn't support for old algorithms, the assertions weren't supporting them, and we reached out to the support team. They were very helpful. It depends on the problem you are asking them about. If it's easy, they give you solutions quickly. If there is a requirement for the engineering team to be involved, then it takes time. But they're very helpful.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is straightforward. If I'm doing it on a local machine, it takes 20 to 30 minutes for a single client. I don't have any implementation strategies. It's a straightforward process where you just need to select the options, click enter, enter, enter, and provide whatever input is required.

Before starting the implementation with a customer, we give them the prerequisites that are required. If those prerequisites are met, it doesn't take much time to do the deployment. They have to provide the IP, the hostnames, and the port openings.

In our last deployment, it took me two days to install all the port services. There was one replication and there were two persisting nodes. I did the complete installation and was initially involved in the API development. After that, my colleagues were involved in the development of APIs.

It requires a minimum of two people for maintenance, once it's up and running.

What other advice do I have?

The tool is very powerful so if you are looking to go with an API platform I would recommend CA.

The number of users among our clients is growing, although I don't have an actual number I can give you. Initially, it takes time to get people to understand the platform, but once they understand it, everyone wants to use the platform and have their application exposed to this platform only.

Overall, I would rate the solution at nine out of ten. 

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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