Ultra Low Latency API Management for Microservices with Red Hat 3scale

In this article, we provide a solution that enables almost latency free API management for Java-based microservices APIs. We build on Manfred Bortenschlager’s white paper Achieving Enterprise Agility With Microservices And API Management. We provide a practical solution for adding the management layer Manfred outlines to internal microservice-to-microservice API calls.

API Management and Microservices

Figure 1 – a typical microservices architecture with depictions of externally and internally consumable microservices

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In the white paper Manfred describes a typical microservices architecture consisting of:

  • A perimeter service layer that is typically implemented by an API gateway which manages and secures components that follow the backend for frontend (BFF) pattern. The perimeter service exposes APIs to external consumers.
  • Internal microservices that are clustered into functional elements and communicate via APIs.

The most common and most decoupled way to achieve API management is through deployment of API gateways on the API provider’s infrastructure. These gateways act as traffic controllers which authenticate, authorize, and report on API traffic to the 3scale API Management Platform. These extensive management features are achievable with very low latency overhead through our caching and asynchronous architectural features. Additionally the gateways provide excellent routing and security protections such as defense against DDoS attacks and more.

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APIs Are The New Language of Collaboration

“Survival of the fit,” in Darwinian evolutionary theory, describes the mechanism of natural selection. The biological concept of fitness is defined as reproductive success. But could this also apply to modern business? Sustained growth might be the criterion for fitness in a business context. So why is sustained growth so difficult to achieve? Surprisingly, it is not for the lack of ideas but lack of ability to adapt to change and competition.

The fittest business can quickly innovate and adapt to competition and it can use its core competencies to extend itself in new ways. These organizations are often lean, mean, and learning machines using application programming interfaces (APIs). They are built on a foundation of cloud, mobile, big data analytics and social computing and they are generally connected to the internet of things, to extend and monetize the organization’s core assets for growth and  new value and revenue streams.

Even organizations born in different eras of digital transformation (mobile, internet-based, and client/server) that are successfully using APIs to achieve disruptive growth in their respective industries.

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Red Hat launches 3scale APIcast – faster, flexible, open source API gateway

Dockerized version of APIcast 2.0 deploys on OpenShift for easier installation and operation in microservice environments

Today we’re happy to announce the general availability of Red Hat 3scale APIcast gateway 2.0. The APIcast gateway (NGINX-based) is open source and has served hundreds of happy customers over the last four years. Now we’ve taken it to the next level, supporting both a cloud gateway or hybrid model with an on-prem gateway. In fact, the new on-premise version introduces significant upgrades in terms of performance and flexibility. 3scale was the first in market with on-prem and now we are pleased to offer the second generation.

The API gateway, which is configured within 3scale’s Admin Portal, is part of the 3scale API Management SaaS offering. The Admin Portal allows customers to define desired authentication methods, set rate limits, get analytics on the usage of their APIs, and create a developer portal for their API consumers. APIcast 2.0  is the first of two on-prem releases. With the upcoming 3scale on-premise release, customers will be able to deploy the entire 3scale API Management Platform on-premises. Stay tuned!

Companies are increasingly migrating to microservices architecture, so the average number of API services managed with 3scale have significantly increased, and continue to do so. To accommodate to these requirements, APIcast changes the way it pulls the configuration from the Admin Portal. For starters, now it’s now possible to pull the configuration for just a subset of services. In addition, it makes it easier to automate the deployment of multiple gateways by providing the gateway configuration via a JSON file which can be fetched by an API. It also supports two environments out-of-the-box (staging and production) with options to enable always-up-to-date configs in staging, and control of updates in production. For example, you can set the reload config variable to true so it reloads the API gateway configuration with each request, which comes in handy during development phases.

Another big change introduced with APIcast 2.0 is the enhanced integration with Red Hat’s OpenShift Container Platform, which leverages Docker and Kubernetes for an easier deployment and DevOps experience. The new OpenShift template pulls the dockerized image of APIcast from the Red Hat container registry and lets you enable/disable key features of the API gateway by just changing the value of the corresponding template parameter.

Get started with APIcast 2.0:

Let me tell you a beautiful story about APIStrat

nadhan-at-apistrat

A conference about the strategy for APIs?  APIs need a strategy too?  Those are the intriguing thoughts on my mind as I walked into the 2016 API Strategy and Practice conference — APIStrat at the Marriott Long Wharf in Boston.  Gartner Fellow, Peter Sondergaard characterizes APIs as the synapses of IoT — a point reinforced by Gartner Analyst Mark O’Neil during his keynote at the conference.  There was a general ambiance of openness, inclusion and collaboration which can only be realized if the organizers, coordinators and attendees collectively share that mindset – a mindset that can only stimulate innovation that is relevant.  Even though I came in with an intent to exchange ideas on the technology of APIs, I came out with other supplementary but powerful thoughts that I share below.  APIs may be the synapses of IoT but conferences like APIStrat are those critical junction points experience based insight is shared through beautiful real-life stories by knowledgeable practitioners.

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Seamless developer portal authentication with 3scale and RHSSO

3scale rhsso

About four months ago, Red Hat announced that it was acquiring 3scale. (Almost two years ago, Red Hat and 3scale announced a joint solution relationship for 3scale’s API Management Platform and Red Hat’s Middleware portfolio.) As the acquisition settles in, 3scale is already starting to integrate with middleware products, which will strengthen developers’ abilities to design and implement API initiatives and services.

This first point of integration is between the 3scale Management Platform and Red Hat Single Sign-On: more specifically, for the developer portal authentication.

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If you are thinking API Management, you should be at APIStrat

I had the pleasure of meeting my colleague, Steve Willmott, at the Red Hat booth at the Gartner ITXPO Symposium where we had a chance to have some insightful discussion about API Management — how it has evolved, where it is headed and its usage patterns etc.  API Management is one of the techniques I called out during my session on the Relevance of Innovation at the Gartner symposium where I had made the point about the need to modernize integration techniques themselves over and above the modernization of infrastructure and applications.  Just like I had made the point about “Integration is dead! Long live integration”.

“So, are you coming to APIStrat?” asked Wilmott.

Pictured: Steve Wilmott and E.G. Nadhan

steve-wilmott

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New styles of integration are the hallmark of Digital Transformation

New Styles of Integration 2

Shakeup your integration strategy to enable digital transformation, says VP & Gartner Fellow Massimo Pezzini. Pezzini asserts that it is not just about transforming and modernizing the infrastructure and the applications concerned.  Some of the fundamental concepts of integration need to be revisited and transformed as well.  Such systemic transformation punctuate the migration of  legacy environments to microservices and the cloud.  What may have worked in the past will no longer be applicable going forward.  “Integration is dead.  Long live integration,” screamed the title of one of the sessions at the Red Hat Summit 2016.  The session was making a point.  Integration, as we knew it a few years back, is dead.  Integration in the digital world has a long life in the decades ahead.  Join me as I walk through the new styles of integration that are the hallmark of digital transformation.

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