December 14, 2022
4 min read

Migration Options for IBM Cloud API Gateway Customers

Syed Mahmood

IBM recently announced the deprecation of its Cloud API Gateway, a service used to create and manage APIs by placing a gateway in front of existing IBM Cloud endpoints. With this move, IBM Cloud Functions and IBM Cloud Foundry are no longer able to use Cloud API Gateway service for rate limiting, splitting, and authentication.

IBM recommends several options to customers for migrating their API Gateway endpoints — among them is Kong. Although IBM mentions the open source version of Kong as a third-party solution, those running mission-critical applications and services on IBM Cloud API Gateway will be better off considering Kong Enterprise, which extends Kong Gateway with enterprise plugins, developer portal, analytics, advanced security features, GUI, and 24/7 support.

Customers migrating from IBM Cloud API Gateway to Kong have options available to them.

  • Kong Enterprise is the self-service API gateway in use by companies like PayPal, Nasdaq, GSK, Miro, Moderna, RightMove, Wayfair, and hundreds more to run mission-critical applications.
  • Kong Konnect is the hybrid SaaS API lifecycle management platform that offers the easiest way to get started with Kong Gateway. Konnect’s global control plane is hosted in the cloud by Kong, while the runtime engine — Kong Gateway — runs within your preferred network environment.

Built from the Ground Up to Deliver Performance

Whether you select Kong Enterprise or Kong Konnect, the first thing you’ll notice is the blazing speed of the Kong Gateway that is at the foundation of both solutions.

Kong Enterprise is based on a lightweight gateway known for its ability to process thousands of transactions per second at sub-millisecond processing latency with minimal memory usage and reverse proxy with caching.

Kong Gateway utilizes NGINX as the underlying proxy technology to accept incoming requests and manage the input/output of the request/response lifecycle. NGINX is the most adopted web server in the world and processes the largest majority of traffic on the internet. With this performance, NGINX is the technology of choice not only in the cloud and for containers but also in on-prem data centers where providers are limited by rack space and server resources.

Kong has deep expertise in the full stack of Kong Gateway, including the NGINX core, which is regularly expanded by Kong with features and capabilities not natively available and has contributed to upstream NGINX. NGINX provides Kong with the fastest, most lightweight, and most reliable core engine for managing requests that Kong can freely manipulate to provide advanced API connectivity capabilities via Kong Core and its plugins.

Taste of Architectural Freedom

If your current and future digital transformation plans involve operating applications and services on multiple or hybrid cloud environments, Kong offers the architectural freedom to run your applications and services in the environment and protocol of your choice.

Kong is truly infrastructure agnostic as it can be deployed across any platform (public clouds, hybrid, containers, Kubernetes), protocol (REST, gRPC, WebSockets, GraphQL, Kafka, TCP, and UDP), or architecture (monolith, microservices, serverless, service mesh, etc.) to expose, protect, and secure services consistently regardless of where they’re deployed.

Supported by Industry-Leading Plug-In Ecosystem

Another unique architectural feature that you will experience with Kong is its industry-leading ecosystem of Enterprise and community plugins.

Plugins keep the underlying API gateway core lightweight, fast, and modular by delivering API management functionality such as traffic control, security, authentication, logging, observability, and much more.

Plugins make Kong Gateway highly customizable and easy to use as you can add, configure, and remove a plugin via Kong Manager UI, Admin API call, or declaratively via Kong decK. They also provide their own configuration schema, which is automatically validated by the core and can extend the functionality of Kong quite significantly.

Kong also provides developers the ability to expand its native functionality by building new plugins using our SDK. Plugins can be built with Lua, Go, Python, Ruby, Javascript, and WasmX.

By migrating to Kong you’ll be able to take advantage of the most comprehensive plugin ecosystem that currently stands at over 100 plugins available to our Enterprise customers with new plugins being added regularly, like the ones rolled out with Kong Enterprise 3.1.

Robust API Governance Capabilities

Kong also provides your Central Enablement Team with robust API governance capabilities through a single source of truth for all the technical APIs in the organization regardless of which line of business they belong to.

Kong’s Service Hub is a permission-based centralized location for the whole organization to use as the API catalog to quickly search, discover, and consume existing services while providing a more consistent end-user experience across the organization’s applications.

Now that you have some idea about Kong’s cloud native API platform, let’s talk about our approach to migrating customers to our stack.

Our methodology involves:

  • Defining key KPIs and metrics so that we can be objective and data-driven in our approach to measuring the value migration has generated
  • Analyzing each component that could be migrated
  • Prioritizing components based on business benefits — target the most impactful but lower-risk components first

This approach allows later stages of the migration to move faster with a lower overall effort as we’ve already migrated elements that have a high reusability across the ecosystem earlier in the project. Kong’s overall approach to migrating customers to our platform is outlined in the graphic below.

Next Steps

Kong Enterprise and Kong Konnect represent ideal choices for organizations in need of an API gateway. With full dynamic configuration, a RESTful API, support for Kubernetes, extensibility via plugins, a Dev Portal, analytics, and enterprise-grade support, Kong offers a seamless experience for those migrating from IBM Cloud API Gateway.

Learn more about Kong’s API management platform. Talk to an API expert today.

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