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What should one take into consideration when choosing an API management solution to manage Microservices?


Hi community, 

What do you recommend to take into consideration when choosing an API management solution to manage Microservices in a big enterprise? 

Would you recommend an open-source solution?


ITCS user
35 Answers

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardConsultant

Whether to adopt an open-source question is more about an organization's view on the use of OS. A lot of organizations I’ve dealt with feel it is necessary to have commercial support to fallback on. This comes back to things like, if a vulnerability is discovered who can you hassle to get it sorted. Open source, the community will apply the fix, but how quickly will that come. If you have people able to dig in and commit fixes if necessary then you in a good place.

The next consideration is whether the APIs are purely internal or public-facing. Public-facing ones are going to need more than just a portal offering the open API spec. If you want to see what a good public API provides review a good public API like Google Maps. You’ll see things like dev guidance, examples, plus legal stuff like terms of use.

For internal use, you can relax a bit on the support considerations. But the more your portal enables self-service, the better for you.

What goals as you trying to achieve with APIs? Security, usage measurement, bulkheads and consumption limits? Or is it more about abstraction so people don’t see whether they’re connecting to legacy systems to be replaced by shiny Microservices? Kong has a nice article about this.

In addition to the suggestions @Ram Kanumuri ​mentioned, depending on answers to the above, you could consider Ambassador, Kong, Oracle (have some options). Most major integration vendors will have something in the API space. So that includes Boomi. 

Are your APIs going to be deployed in a hybrid, on-prem, single cloud or multi-cloud model? This can impact how the gateways are placed and managed.

I would caution on Mulesoft as it tries to offer itself as an API gateway and API implementation solution - you mentioned microservices, so might not get the full value from Mulesoft. 

Last, I heard IBM Connect has its origins in a hardware solution, which will mean it is more of a black box solution (plus in terms of security-hardened and minus in so far as deployment options and scaling may prove to be restrictive).

author avatarEvgeny Belenky
Community Manager

@Phil Wilkins thank you for sharing your professional opinion!

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

The two important sides of API Management are: 

(a) "Portal" for API Life cycle management that allows for continuous change for innovation, extensive developer/consumer collaboration, and all the nice features that support the best design/development time maturity to your development teams. 

The other side is all about 

(b) "Gateway" runtime/gateways, their ability to provide service-mesh/service-grid/side-car architectures for API to support various microservices patterns, extensive/elastic scalability, portability, net/cloud neutrality and of course containerizable, etc. 

That being said, we have to introspect into our own requirements of Application development in Micro-services architecture: what are our patterns? what are application agility objectives? how fast/often do we change services/APIs, security and access control? do we need an associated iPaaS? how is the infrastructure deployed (container architecture) for application micro-services vs data services? are we cloud-neutral and multi-cloud?

All these factors will need to be vetted out to devise a comprehensive API management strategy that will help in choosing the right API management platform.

Open-source solutions are a good beginning for testing waters in a tactical approach, but for big enterprises and long-term strategic approach where APIs are not only for Microservices but usually also for many other areas (like SaaS integration, Data/Analytics-as-a-service architecture, Legacy Modernization and Hybrid Integration) a well established COTS platform will be a better choice. 

For Strategic platforms - Software AG webMethods, Google Apigee, IBM API Connect, WSO2, Axway and MuleSoft are the top considerations.

author avatarEvgeny Belenky
Community Manager

@Ram Kanumuri thank you so much for your answer! 

author avatar
Community Manager

Hello @Viktor Dolyna, @Igmar Rautenbach, @MichaelSukachev ​and @Phil Wilkins.

Can you please assist here with your expertise and let other peers know your thoughts?

Thanks for the help!

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