February 26, 2024
3 min read

Transparency and Trust Through Kong Gateway Performance Benchmarks and Open Source Test Suites


In the rapidly evolving landscape of API management, understanding the raw performance and reliability of your API gateway is not just an expectation — it's a necessity.

At Kong, we're dedicated to ensuring our users have access to concrete, actionable data to guide their operational and development strategies. With the release of Kong Gateway 3.6, we're reinforcing our commitment to transparency and trust within our community by providing detailed performance benchmarks and open-sourcing the test suite. Furthermore, we pledge to maintain and update these benchmarks with each minor release, ensuring you have the latest data to inform your decisions.

Unveiling performance benchmarks

Our performance benchmarks for Kong Gateway 3.6 offer a comprehensive view into the expected throughput, latency, and scalability under various conditions. Conducted within a Kubernetes environment on AWS infrastructure, these benchmarks span several common use cases and configurations to provide a holistic view of Kong Gateway's capabilities:

  • Kong Gateway proxy performance: Demonstrating our gateway's throughput capabilities both with and without plugins.
  • Authentication and rate limiting: Assessing the impact of security and traffic management features on performance metrics.
  • Scalability: Understanding how varying numbers of routes and consumers affect gateway behavior and performance.

For example, our tests reveal that a basic Kong Gateway proxy configuration can support up to 137,850.4 requests per second (RPS) with a latency of just 3.82ms at the 95th percentile. Even when applying rate limiting and key authentication to a setup with 100 routes and 100 consumers, Kong Gateway sustains a high throughput of 96,289.6 RPS, highlighting its efficiency and robustness.

Open-sourcing the test suite

To further our commitment to transparency, we are open-sourcing our entire performance testing framework. This move is designed to empower you to conduct your own performance evaluations, replicating our testing environment and scenarios. This ensures that you can independently verify our performance claims and tailor the tests to your unique requirements.

The test suite is optimized for deployment on an AWS EKS cluster and includes Kong Gateway, Redis, Prometheus, and Grafana, as well as K6 for comprehensive load testing. This configuration not only aids in your performance analysis but also establishes a foundation for ongoing performance monitoring and optimization.

Empowering you with tools and insights

Our goal in sharing these performance benchmarks and the test suite is to equip developers and operational infrastructure teams with the necessary tools and insights for informed API management. Whether you're assessing Kong for the first time or seeking to fine-tune an existing setup, our resources are crafted to assist you in:

  • Benchmarking your environment: Utilize our test suite to gauge Kong's performance in your specific setting, ensuring it aligns with your operational demands.
  • Validating configuration changes: Evaluate the effects of configuration adjustments or plugin integrations on your API gateway's efficiency.
  • Ensuring reliability: Use our benchmarks and testing framework to confirm that Kong Gateway can reliably underpin your application's scalability and performance objectives.

Join us in the journey

We believe that transparency is the foundation of trust. By providing detailed performance benchmarks and open-sourcing our test suite, we're inviting you to join us in a journey of continuous improvement and collaboration. 

Begin your journey with Kong Gateway 3.6 by signing up for Kong Konnect for free!

If you’re interested in Kong Gateway Enterprise 3.6, you can download it for free here. To explore the comprehensive list of features, fixes, and updates, please see the Docs and the CHANGELOG.