We just raised a $30M Series A: Read our story

Kong Enterprise Competitors and Alternatives

Get our free report covering Microsoft, MuleSoft, WSO2, and other competitors of Kong Enterprise. Updated: September 2021.
540,884 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Read reviews of Kong Enterprise competitors and alternatives

PrashansaShukla
Software Engineer at Jio Platforms Limited
Real User
Top 10
Easy to adopt and lets us extend functionality at any time

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the great things about WSO2 API Manager is that it is so easy to adopt. And because it's an open source solution, we're able to extend the implementation any time to suit our company needs better."
  • "From a product perspective, the first thing is that although the documentation provided by WSO2 is good, it could be much better. We're in the middle of a complex migration, moving away from VMs to Kubernetes with the latest version of WSO2 and good documentation is essential to us right now."

What is our primary use case?

I work as a software engineer on the WSO2 API management and WSO2 identity and access server, using version 2.6.

At my company, Jio India, I have been one of the main people driving adoption of WSO2. In the beginning, we used WSO2 on virtual machines to handle the API and IAM requirements for more than 40 applications. Now we are currently in the process of migrating to WSO2 version 3 with Kubernetes as our orchestration system.

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped us manage and scale our APIs in one solution, which is important to us as a large enterprise with over 40 applications relying on various APIs.

What is most valuable?

One of the great things about WSO2 API Manager is that it is so easy to adopt. And because it's an open source solution, we're able to extend the implementation any time to suit our applications better.

What needs improvement?

From a product perspective, the first thing is that although the documentation provided by WSO2 is good, it could be much better. We're in the middle of a complex migration, moving away from VMs to Kubernetes with the latest version of WSO2 and good documentation is essential to us right now.

If you are doing some basic implementation, that's easy enough to do with the current documentation, but suppose you are stuck with an error or you're engineering a complex scenario. In this case, when diving deep into the documentation, it's very helpful to find more information on how things are connected, what each file does, and what the various configuration settings do.

Although they do have paid support which may help in cases where documentation is lacking, we aren't paying for a support license at the moment so we would definitely like to see better documentation for those in our kind of situation. Especially since we're using WSO2 API Manager to such a large extent.

Beyond documentation, they have provided a caching mechanism which I believe could also use some improvement. Once you have set up and implemented WSO2, caching becomes very important and I think they could work on the cache parameters, etc., to make it easier to work with.

Regarding the code itself, there are some bugs which we have encountered among the many different enterprise-level scenarios we have faced. Once again, because we are not paying for the licensed version, it becomes more difficult to request changes and bug fixes to the WSO2 codebase. So, for example, when we find a bug, we would like to be able go to GitHub and get better help on creating a solution that we can quickly push into production.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using WSO2 API Manager for about five years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Apart from some bugs which can be expected in a complex enterprise environment like ours, it is a stable product. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of orchestration, it's very scalable. Especially when using Kubernetes to handle the orchestration. When we are creating our deployment architecture, we can easily define all sorts of parameters. For example, we can change the CPU parameter, memory parameter, etc., as needed.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't have a license with WSO2 so I couldn't connect with the WSO2 team for technical support. I was the main engineer who drove adoption of it at my company, and during initial setup, editing of the product, and implementation, I obtained a lot of support from Stack Overflow, LinkedIn WSO2 groups, Slack conversations, and GitHub.

How was the initial setup?

From a deployment perspective, initially, we had started with our deployment on VMs (virtual machines), which we understood would take some time to get right. Thankfully, WSO2 provided many sane defaults in the initial setup, including defaults for authentication and so forth, which saved us some time.

But as we migrated our deployment from virtual machines to orchestration using Kubernetes, it became a bit more complex. It took us a long time to figure out the best way to configure the orchestration, since there are multiple ways of doing it with Kubernetes. Another complicating factor in the orchestration setup is that we have to always keep in mind where our users are located, so that there won't be any negative impact on their end.

Keeping all these points in mind, we finalized deployment by creating our own API manager image which we could deploy in Kubernetes. This image was based on our previous VM setup, which we simply reused. However, it was still a challenging task to get everything correctly configured for the Kubernetes orchestration, especially since we were in the middle of simultaneously migrating 15 different implementations.

Now that we have mostly finalized the deployment architecture for our APIs, it's much easier moving forward. We know exactly how to deploy the base image, and there's not much work to do now except for changing parameters around and so on.

What about the implementation team?

We are implementing WSO2 API Manager without any paid support licenses so we do mostly everything in-house.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We have not opted for the paid version of WSO2 but we have implemented the free and open source WSO2 software to a great extent and it is working as per our expectation.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When we started looking into it, we compared WSO2 products with a few other products including MuleSoft, Tyk, Kong, Nginx, and Express Gateway. Obviously each product has some pros and cons, but out of those products, we liked WSO2 and KONG. Again, both have their limitations, but as an enterprise business we found WSO2 more easy to adopt.

What other advice do I have?

WSO2 API Manager is a good solution for enterprise API management and, even better, it is free to use the software. If you are doing complex implementations, however, it might benefit you to go with a paid license which will help when you discover any bugs or need extra support that the documentation cannot provide.

I would rate WSO2 API Manager an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MD
CEO & Co-Founder at a computer retailer with 11-50 employees
Real User
Vendor-free, well implemented and managed, with good documentation

Pros and Cons

  • "The documentation is great; it is always up to date and well-presented."
  • "The initial setup is very complex."

What is our primary use case?

We are solution integrators and this is one of the products that we implement for our clients.

It is used for integrating and logging data from legacy systems to make it available for other systems within the IT infrastructure in the enterprise. It is also used for data migration and making it available for customers, devices, services, and so on.

Essentially, it is for data governance and API governance.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable things about this solution are how it is implemented and managed, and that it is vendor-free.

For system integrators and analysts, it is pretty clear how this system works.

The documentation is great; it is always up to date and well-presented. If any details are missing then there is a blog available that contains a lot of details. There are also channels on YouTube to help you better understand the solution and what some of the processes look like.

What needs improvement?

The initial setup is very complex.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the MuleSoft Anypoint API Manager for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable but it is important to remember that it is the glue between other systems that might have issues with instability. The MuleSoft platform connects all of the systems together and collects data from different sources to create new types of data and new statistics.

In general, it is used on a daily basis and most of the time, it's stable.


What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is perfect. The API Manager is used by large clients and is made to be scaled.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never been in contact with technical support. It is not often that something goes wrong.

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

I have worked with other API management systems such as those by Kong and Tyk. Each vendor has its own functionality that you need to know about so that you can work with effectively.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is complex compared to solutions such as Kong or Tyk. There are many things to keep in mind concerning configuration, features, and different options for different systems. I would say that overall, it is very complex.

When all of the requirements are well defined, well described, clear, and consistent, the implementation is fast and can be done in a matter of weeks.

Maintenance only needs to be done when there is a change in business or operational processes. Also, there are some updates that are required but usually not many.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing fees are approximately $80,000 USD per year and there are costs for additional functionality, as well as premiums for connectors to systems such as Oracle and SAP.  You're not obligated but it is better to buy premium and official connectors, although they cost approximately $25,000 per year.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is considering this solution is to first make sure that there are no alternatives that are most cost-effective, such as open-source products. Many of them are much cheaper but are still able to provide the same relevant functionality and the same level of data security.

I would say that MuleSoft has the best API manager but it is not the cheapest one and as such, not for everybody. It is not everyone who needs to connect expensive systems together.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Jun Hwang
Director at funlab inc
Real User
Top 20
Deployment is easy and fast, and the technical support is good

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the load balancing with the circuit-breaker function."
  • "Sometimes when new features are released, they are not immediately stable."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and Tyk is one of the solutions that we implement for our customers. It is an API gateway and management system that is the single entry point for all of the microservices.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the load balancing with the circuit-breaker function.

The virtual endpoint and distributing requests work well.

It integrated well with other solutions, such as Datadog.

What needs improvement?

Sometimes when new features are released, they are not immediately stable. It can take a few months for them to catch up completely.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Tyk for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Tyk is really stable and we haven't had any crashes in three years. It is the type of solution that is running all of the time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is awesome. Most of our customers are large businesses with a lot of internet traffic. One of our clients installed this product on AWS and the auto-scaling is great.

Depending on the requirements, the solution is sized accordingly. If there are more than five nodes then it is unlimited, so it is very flexible.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good. They use a ticket-based system and they respond within two business days, without any SLA.

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

I used Kong at one point but it was quite some time ago, so I do not have recent experience with it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and really easy. They distribute a Docker version, which can be installed within several minutes after a couple of clicks.

Depending on the requirements, this solution can be deployed on-premises, not the cloud, or in a hybrid configuration.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed this solution for our customers, and one person is all that is required.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There are different versions and plans available depending on the requirements, so there is flexibility in terms of the pricing. Compared to other products, this is a cheaper solution.

What other advice do I have?

Our customers are happy with the features and performance, and I have not heard any complaints with respect to technical support.

Tyk only has a single product, so the length of time between updates is really short. For example, if there is a change in a security specification then they catch up quickly.

Overall, this is a good product but they could improve in terms of stability and performance with new updates that are released.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Distributor
FM
Assistant Vice President at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Intuitive solution with good interface; currently lacks an integrated billing feature

Pros and Cons

  • "Good interface, intuitive solution."
  • "Lacks an integrated billing feature."

What is most valuable?

The interface is good. The policies that it uses as opposed to the features that it has in terms of security and the throughput management and those aspects, are intuitive. There's also the ease of use. 

What needs improvement?

The product currently doesn't have a feature for integrated billing, so it's on the monitors or EPS, it's something they could add as an additional feature. The other thing is perhaps a SaaS version of Akana would also help.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for a few months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't seen it in production yet, so I can't comment on stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't tested it yet, but I believe the solution will scale. At the end of the day, it's an API management tool. We currently have three people in the company doing some sort of proof of concept on that. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We actually did reach out to the technical support and it was all right, not great. We didn't get the answers we needed. 

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

We tried out the AWS VPN advantage gateway and the other API management. Those products are out of the box and are therefore much simpler to use, but we also wanted to see an on-prem version of it, so that's when we took up Akana.

How was the initial setup?

Implementation didn't take too long, maybe a few weeks. 

What other advice do I have?

The thing is that there are the other API gateways out there as well. There is a tool called Kong and a tool called Tyk, which are open source versions your decision depends upon the scale of the company. If you have someone who can work with open source, I would recommend using Kong. If you have a lot of money, I would suggest Apogee, but Apogee's quite expensive from what I gathered, as is Akana. The problem with Akana and Apogee is that the pricing models are not very clear upfront. It's not easy to know whether you want to invest in them unless it's clear what the cost will be. We always have to reach out to the sales team first, and only then it's possible to figure out what the pricing model is. 

I would rate this solution a seven out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Get our free report covering Microsoft, MuleSoft, WSO2, and other competitors of Kong Enterprise. Updated: September 2021.
540,884 professionals have used our research since 2012.