Kong Summit has come and gone! Whether you joined us in San Francisco or missed this year's big shindig, here are some of the highlights from the event and a round-up of all the Kong news dropped over the past two days.
Kong Summit 2022 recap
Kong Summit 2022 was back in-person after two years of digital-only events, bringing together Kong's customers, partners, open source user community, and industry thought leaders to explore breakthrough ideas and developer-driven innovation.
The Summit explored the idea of unleashing API innovation and modernizing connectivity without compromising security and governance. Sessions and workshops covered real-world solutions to building, securing, consuming, and governing APIs and microservices.
Viktor Gamov, Principal Developer Advocate, Kong, and Daliya Spasova, Community Manager, Kong, having the worst time at Kong Summit 2022.
Product news and announcements
Kong Gateway 3.0 is now available
Kong Gateway 3.0, the latest and greatest version of the world's most trusted API gateway, is a triple threat of API gateway awesomeness for both OSS and Enterprise versions — with big benefits including enhanced security and governance, more flexibility and extensibility, and improved performance. (Want more watching, less reading? Watch our team discuss what’s new with Kong Gateway 3.0.)
These benefits are thanks to a boatload of new features, including secrets management, native support for WebSockets, a new routing engine, and more.
Sunny Xia, Product Manager for Dev Portal, Kong, discusses the API-first development experience.
Kong Konnect adds multi-geo support, dynamic client registration, and custom reporting
Updates in the newest release of Kong Konnect include the ability to host and operate Konnect control planes in the EU region, support for Kong Gateway 3.0 capabilities, Dynamic Client Registration support for application management using Okta (in private beta), support for application registration across all runtime groups, and new features in Kong Analytics (formerly known as Vitals).
Gabriella Angiolillo, Director Product Management, Kong, demos Kong Konnect.
Kong Mesh 2.0 coming October 2022
The new release of Kong Mesh, built on top of CNCF's Kuma and Envoy, provides customers with improved performance, flexibility, and security.
Kong Mesh 2.0 features support for eBPF (runs sandboxed programs in an operating system kernel) traffic redirection, which results in up to 12% latency improvement to sidecar performance. It also introduces next-gen specification for applying service mesh policies to services to improve expressiveness and ease of use, as well as new logging capabilities around role-based access control (RBAC) auditing.
Kong Mesh 2.0 will be available in October 2022.
Reza Shafii, VP of Product, Kong, kicks off the second day of Kong Summit 2022 talking about Kong’s product vision and strategy. Watch his session here.
Kong Insomnia now supports WebSockets, Enterprise plan debuts
Don't sleep on Kong Insomnia 2002.6. The latest version of Insomnia includes native support for WebSockets APIs (in addition to REST, gRPC and GraphQL). With support for WebSockets, users can now leverage Kong Insomnia to debug the most popular API protocols and accelerate API integrations and developer efficiency.
In other Insomnia news, we announced a new Enterprise plan for Kong Insomnia. This plan help dramatically increase API productivity across teams in organizations by ensuring API projects are well-supported with Kong's API experts at your disposal Monday-Friday to offer support with everything from onboarding to implementation.
Kubernetes Gateway APIs go beta in Kong Ingress Controller 2.6
With the release of Kong Ingress Controller (KIC) 2.6, Kong's implementation of the Kubernetes Gateway API graduates to beta. This will allow users to perform advanced traffic control, provide true layer 4 support, and includes the ability to conduct canary deployments, rollbacks, and traffic weight splitting.
Kong's partner ecosystem expands with AWS and Red Hat
Kong's partner ecosystem is expanding, with announcements related to AWS and Red Hat.
Second, to help Red Hat customers easily deploy Kong Gateway to OpenShift and Kubernetes platforms, the Red Hat Ansible Certified Content Collection for Kong is now available. This allows customers to integrate with popular CNCF projects, such as cert-manager for automated TLS certificate provisioning and external-dns integration with AWS Route53 for automated DNS provisioning.
Kong Summit 2022 Day 1 highlights
Day 1 of Kong Summit 2022 started with keynotes from Kong co-founders Augusto "Aghi" Marietti and Marco Palladino, plus a stacked selection of insights from Cargill, Kroger, Vanguard, and more. The day ended with a swinging speakeasy jazz-soundtracked night at the Kong Party.
Creating your cloud nervous system
Kong CEO & President Aghi kicked off the first official day of the conference by describing his vision for building your cloud nervous system.
At Kong, we believe APIs are becoming the neural network of the cloud. APIs are the building blocks of modern applications; they're how software connects and interacts. All that's missing is a central nervous system.
APIs need to become smarter. And so do the ways we build, design, run, and govern APIs and services. That's where Kong comes in.
Kong CTO and co-founder Marco Palladino discussed the new frontier of API management technology. (Watch it here.) With the surge in API and microservices adoption and innovation over the last few years, Marco's session was a reminder that now is the perfect time for organizations to take advantage of all that APIs have to offer.
Migrating from Apigee Edge Microgateways to Kong OSS Gateways
Benjamin Bertow and Dominik Schmid, Senior Technical Leads & Product Owners, Mercedes-Benz Tech Innovation GmbH, shared how their team evolved API management to an open platform, integrating the Kong OSS Gateway as the preferred gateway solution. They also discussed how only three Kong Gateway instances replaced hundreds of Apigee Edge Microgateways with zero downtime.
Their team developed "Gorilla Service" (one guess what inspired the name), a self-service platform for simply managing and setting up Kong API gateways with a goal of providing business partners with benefits ranging from high availability by spanning Kong across multiple regions to BYOD (bring your own domain).
Vanguard's API adventure
For the past few years, the team at Vanguard has been busy breaking down monoliths into microservices. When they began to focus on APIs, they determined they needed an established team around API standards and development. Starting out as the "API Economy" team, they were the keepers of all things APIs.
They're now working to build an API platform for their developers to easily deploy their APIs and make them available to consumers wherever they are. They designed a new build pipeline using Kong’s decK tool to improve the developer experience and used Kong’s plugin system to provide a modular experience for developers.
Augusto Marietti, CEO & President, Co-Founder, Kong, talks about the future of APIs.
How Kroger Builds and Scales Their API Program
Kroger is one of the top 10 eCommerce companies in the U.S. and has seen massive growth in the past decade. To support this, the engineering and product teams had to evolve their way of working. John Heckler, Senior Engineering Leader, Kroger, and Nick Rapier, Group Manager of Product Management – Platforms, Kroger, detailed how their team scaled their API program from the early days to the evolution of their architecture.
Dynamic IP Restriction with Cargill
Cargill’s security team recently migrated to a new software defined networking solution. The API Platform team needed a way to respond to the new dynamic nature of changing IP Allow lists to ensure their servers are protected against DoS and brute force attacks.
Rob Hayes, Lead API Engineer, and David Lewis-Frazier, Senior API Engineer, shared their approach to implementing a combination of a custom plugin with out-of-the-box capabilities of Kong that works with a dynamically changing network.
The team at ATP pose with a statue of Kong mascot GRUCEO.
Kong Summit 2022 Day 2 highlights
Day 2 of Kong Summit 2022 continued to showcase the amazing work innovative organizations and developer teams have been doing to make application connectivity faster and more seamless than ever before.
Jen Goodison, CTO Engineering Platforms, HSBC, talks about empowering collaboration across business units and improving HSBC’s developer experience.
Women in Tech Leadership
A highlight of day 2 was the Women in Tech Leadership session. The session discussed how women can fight imposter syndrome, bring awareness to unconscious bias, and stand up and speak up.
"Be vocal about your achievements," Anna Khan, General Partner, CRV, said. "Go be that woman that is the only woman at a customer dinner with 20 men, and find your allies within this pool of men and make yourself heard and seen."
"As women, we don’t do enough to promote ourselves and we think we’re just not ready for that promotion — for that leadership role," said Cony Trifu, Kong Senior Customer Experience Manager EMEA, who attended the session.
Assembling a Developer-First Experience at IKEA
Dervis Avdic, Engineering Manager for API Management in Ingka Group, IKEA, described how the massive ready-to-assemble furniture retailer accelerated its digital transformation by putting a focus on the developer experience by implementing internal platform teams.
With a 100+ person engineering team shipping and deploying APIs secured and proxied by Kong Gateway, IKEA is driving to enable API re-use with a similar approach as the flatpack they're known for shipping furniture in.
Uber Uplevels Reliability Engineering with API Gateways
Madan Thangavelu, Director of Engineering, Uber, showed how Uber keeps systems reliable — not a small task when dealing with more than 4,000 microservices.
Modernizing and Changing Minds at Sky Italia Through APIOps
Sky Italia, one of the largest media companies in Europe, partnered with Kong and Live Reply to implement an API-led connectivity approach as they modernized and improved the company's middleware architecture.
Claudio Spadaccini, Head of Integration at Sky Italia, dug into how Sky Italia improved time to market and increased security and innovation by promoting an API-first architecture. Davide Franceschino and Gianmarco Sciortino from Live Reply showed how they built the new system and gave an overview of their APIOps pipeline, use of decK, Dev Portal, and plugins.
Marco Palladino, CTO and Co-Founder, Kong, congratulates Sven Bernhardt on being named 2022 Kong Champion of the Year.
2022 Kong Community Awards
Community is part of Kong's DNA. We continue to be blown away by all of our community members and contributors who have been with us throughout the years. To honor them, we gave out three awards to recognize some of the awesome contributions made this year.
The Kong Contributor of the Year: Tharun Rajendran — Tharun works for HousingAnywhere in the Netherlands. He most often contributes to Kuma.
Hackathon Winner: Marcelo Bezerra, Mateus Fonseca, and Robson Camanducci of ‘Team BR HEXA" — During September, the global Kong developer community contributed to the 2nd annual Kong Summit Virtual Hackathon. A big Kong-gratulations to Marcelo Bezerra, Mateus Fonseca, and Robson Camanducci of ‘Team BR HEXA" for their Lua-based Kong Gateway plugin to add OTP protection to services and routes. They earned a $500 gift card and a trophy for their excellent submission.
Champion of the Year: Sven Bernhardt — Kong Champions are frequent contributors who play a key role in developing and engaging with the Kong community globally. Sven has been an absolute pleasure to work with and is always eager to help and collaborate. From hosting webinars and on-site meetings to speaking at conferences, Sven has been crucial for growing our community and spreading awareness for our products.
2022 API Innovator Awards and Partner Awards
At Kong Summit 2022, we announced the winners of our second annual API Innovator Awards and inaugural Partner Awards. These awards shine a light on the impressive projects our customers and community users have delivered using Kong.
The API Innovator Awards recognize teams and individuals navigating new and complex business challenges with the help of Kong solutions such as Kong Konnect, Kong Enterprise, Kong Gateway, Kuma and Kong Insomnia. For the very first time, the Partner Awards spotlight companies in Kong's partner network that are supporting joint customer success across various regions.
Here are the 2022 API Innovator Awards honorees.
Top Overall Innovator – Commercial: Alef Edge — Alef Edge is building the first Private Mobile Network as a Service for enterprises. The goal? Simplifying mobile networking and standards. With Kong, Alef Edge was able to achieve shorter time to market, improved visibility in API usage, and an enhanced self-service developer experience.
Top Overall Innovator – Enterprise: The LEGO Group — The LEGO Group is building toward a future where large pieces of its revenue could go through its gateway — and where kids around the globe rely on connectivity to their platform for their experiences. With Kong, the LEGO Group migrated to standardized APIs as integration points, built and maintained by the product teams themselves. Now, the company is equipped to build with resilience.
Top Finance Innovator: TBC Bank — TBC Bank's IT infrastructure and processes had become increasingly complex and inefficient. After implementing Kong Enterprise, TBC reduced time to market by 40%. Its operational lending API platform offers more power to control the movement of funds and loans and caters to 700,000 customers.
Top Open Source Innovator: CRED — CRED has more than 350 microservices powering different functionalities for various lines of business. Kong enabled CRED to provide Quality of Service by disabling non-critical flows, saving the team 500 hours of manual monitoring and intervention.
Top Public Sector Innovator: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) — DWP Digital deliver the digital services for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Working with Kong to provide a common API platform and tooling for connecting systems, DWP Digital now process more than half a billion API calls a month — resulting in a more connected experience for citizens and millions saved on administration costs associated with manual checking processes.
Innovator of the Year: Thomas Joham with Raiffeisen Bank International — Thomas Joham's vision for the Realtime Integration Center of Excellence (RICE) was a lofty one, but with his unique drive and laser focus on customer needs, RICE was piloted during the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. Thomas's team delivered 20 standard APIs to 12 network banks per country, based on real business demand, within the first year.
Partner Award honorees included:
Overall Partner of the Year: Amazon Web Services (AWS) — AWS has supported Kong throughout a number of achievements, such as key product support, as well as the development of Kong's framework for the AWS Cloud Development Kit. AWS sellers have been instrumental in Kong’s success through its availability in AWS Marketplace, a digital catalog with thousands of software listings from independent software vendors that make it easy to find, test, buy, and deploy software.
Global System Integrator (GSI) of the Year: Wipro Limited — With a result-oriented focus, Wipro Limited has mobilized people and resources to grow their Kong business, including building a practice with over 150 trained consultants and helping develop a three-way relationship with Wipro Limited, Kong, and AWS.
Regional Partner of the Year – Americas: SHI — SHI generated more resale deal flow than any other partner in North America, supporting Kong's growth across regions, industries and solution areas.
Regional Partner of the Year – EMEA: Reply — Reply and their network of companies throughout EMEA is one of Kong's longest-standing partners in that region. Having sourced multiple deals for Kong with contract values of over half a million dollars, Reply has built an experienced team to implement end-to-end Kong projects.
Regional Partner of the Year – APJ: MFEC Public Company Limited — MFEC Public Company Limited has relentlessly focused on customer success by continuously building a strong go-to-market team that helps customers re-imagine their businesses and reinvent their services driving significant success and keeping the APJ economy moving forward.
Technology Partner of the Year: Red Hat — Red Hat has invested heavily in Kong and seen massive success across product integration, marketing and go-to-market programs. The company added Kong to its ISV Elite Partner tier and has been instrumental in Kong achieving product certifications for Ansible, Red Hat OpenShift Operator and Red Hat OpenShift on AWS (ROSA).
Head over to YouTube to see all the sessions livestreamed from 2022’s DevOps Speakeasy.
That’s a wrap for this year!
That’s all for Kong Summit 2022! Thank you again to the builders, leaders, and visionaries who joined us and helped make Kong Summit 2022 our best event yet. Stay tuned for keynote recordings and news about upcoming events.
Want to relive 2021? Keep reading to take a trip back in time (without risk of breaking the space-time continuum) in our look back at Kong Summit 2021!
Kong Summit 2021 recap
Josh Molina contributed to this blog post.
So many announcements, so many surprises and a seemingly never-ending list of impactful customer stories! After two and a half days packed with fun and learning, we bid farewell to Kong Summit for another year.
If you were one of the almost 5,000 people that registered, you know exactly what we are talking about. Here is a recap of some of the most exciting parts of Kong Summit 2021.
Behind the Scenes at Kong Summit 2021
We were hard at work preparing for a virtual summit with over 75 speakers. Many months, dozens of staff and hundreds of hours behind the scenes went into making Kong Summit a success.
Watch the video below to see how we turned our San Francisco office into a live event studio.
Day 2 started with the sounds of DJ D Sharp, the official DJ of the Golden State Warriors, who spun some crazy mixes to get us in the mood for another day of excitement. He then handed it off to Kong Summit 2021 emcees Viktor Gamov and Christie James, who broke some exciting news! Watch the announcement below.
Each day, we held a fireside chat with a special guest. On Tuesday, Brad Peterson, EVP/CTO/CIO of Nasdaq, joined Kong CEO and Co-Founder Augusto Marietti on stage. Brad explained that Nasdaq not only provides technology for the markets they operate; they are also a leading technology provider to other exchanges.
Like many Kong customers, Nasdaq has been breaking down monolithic applications to provide them as services.
"The strategy is not necessarily to come with a full solution that we offer full service. We also allow companies that have some solutions to integrate with an API strategy. Rather than lift, shift and replace a competitor's product, we can actually augment and add value much quicker."
On Wednesday, Tim Hinrichs, CTO of Styra joined Kong CTO and Co-Founder Marco Palladino for a virtual fireside chat to discuss zero-trust security and Open Policy Agent (OPA). Styra contributed OPA to the open-source community in 2016.
OPA is an open-source, general-purpose policy engine that unifies policy enforcement across the stack. OPA provides a high-level declarative language that lets you specify policy as code and simple APIs to offload policy decision-making from your software.
"Instead of having monolithic applications, we have more microservice-based applications. With lots of different pieces of software that all have to work together to deliver value for end-users, you have authorizations that need to be enforced in each. What we want is a zero-trust model where each piece of software, regardless of whether big or small, owns its authorization."
Real-World Success With Kong
The first customer sessions were part of Tuesday's keynote. Reza Shafii introduced John McCann, VP of Connected Living Technology, and Harman Dhillon, executive director of platform infrastructure and tools, who shared how they use Kong Gateway in their Connected Living products.
"We use Kong API gateway in Connected Living Technology to elevate the developer experience so that our developers building all the services that run in our cloud can be developed independently by various SCRUM teams and published in a way that is consistent and coherent to the consumers."
Kong Gateway makes it easy for their developers to publish and manage their routes, monitor the critical metrics around their systems' operational health, and efficiently and consistently generate API documentation for the consumers.
Reza also introduced Ivan Rylach, Senior Staff Software Engineer at Checkr, an API-based unicorn startup in the background check industry. Checkr delivers global availability for their APIs, and Kong Gateway is the foundation for their API platform. The platform relies on Kong for ingress and egress traffic routing, enforcing security, maintaining a level of service quality and gaining visibility for auditing and analytics.
An extensive plugin ecosystem allows them to create new and enhance existing capabilities of an API layer. So how do they manage and keep Kong configurations consistent across each region and environment?
Lastly, Reza introduced Jason Walker, director of technology at American Airlines. American uses Kuma to power their internal service mesh.
"One of the things that we see as an advantage internally is being able to make it very easy to do the right hard things to make the developer experience not only productive but practical. And we see Kuma as a great way for us to incorporate three specific attributes around our developer experience."
Learnings From Kong Summit 2021
Over the past two days, we've heard exciting, and often extraordinary stories from our customers, partners and industry thought leaders, as well as many exciting announcements from Kong. Several themes emerged, namely, development velocity, scalability and the importance of innovation and modernization. And there was also much love for Kong plugins.
Modernizing Financial Services Infrastructures
Our first session featured Kong guildmaster at Vanguard, Ryan Swanson, who shared how Vanguard offloads security requirements from applications to Kong Gateway so developers can focus on what they do best: developing applications!
FactSet principal software engineer Stephen Tyree shared how he uses Kong Gateway to accelerate digital transformation and transition to the public cloud.
Jayakumar Ganesan, head of service for digital platforms at First Abu Dhabi Bank, explained how Kong helped them adopt modern technology without being disruptive to legacy systems which reducing operations costs by 57% with an evergreen infrastructure.
API Workflows: APIOps, GitOps and DevOps
We also heard from Jacqui Leggetter, head of integration at the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), and Dean Clark, technical lead for integration technologies at DWP, the largest UK governmental department responsible for welfare pensions and child maintenance policy.
Jacqui discussed how DWP is transforming through their recovery from the pandemic by focusing on re-use and holistic citizen/agent facing services. Specifically, DWP offers a distributed network of gateways deployed in Kubernetes containers and following APIOps best practices.
Aditya Soni from Red Hat also shared how APIOps is the next evolution for DevOps and automation. Aditya discussed how and when organizations could adopt APIOps.
From the API design perspective, Jeremy Glassenberg from Docusign explained how new solutions and an API gateway could help teams develop an automated, scalable system for designing, implementing and launching consistent APIs.
Finally, Kong's Michael Heap led a hands-on session featuring Kong's declarative configuration (decK) capabilities and how to use a CI system, such as Jenkins, to lint API descriptions (OpenAPI) and automatically deploy the appropriate Gateway configuration. He demonstrated how to test changes in a staging environment and automatically apply the same configuration to production.
Building on the Cloud
We had two sessions from AWS, one each day. On Tuesday, Anuj Sharma, senior container specialist solutions architect at AWS, shared how Kong Gateway provides a modular approach to building a cloud fabric layer on AWS, unlocking multiple use cases and architectural patterns built on AWS.
Running With CI/CD
Kong's Michael Heap led a hands-on session, where he showed off Kong's declarative configuration (decK) capabilities and how to use a CI system to lint and apply configurations in various environments. He showed how to test changes in a staging environment, then apply the same config to production with a click of a button.
Innovating With Service Mesh
Service mesh was a popular topic throughout Kong Summit. Scott Lowe, a principal field engineer at Kong, demonstrated how service mesh isn't as challenging to implement and maintain as you may think.
“Beam me up, Scotty.” This session was a can't-miss for Star Trek fans. Viktor Gamov, a principal developer advocate at Kong, went boldly where no man has gone before by explaining the differences between API gateways and service meshes.
American Airlines is going above and beyond with service mesh. Karl Haworth, product technical lead with American, showed us how his team implemented Kuma within their developer experience product called Runway. Kuma provided multi-cluster connectivity for their application teams and automated governance and integration policies within the mesh.
Bringing Legacy Into the Future
Are SOAP services still an essential part of your API portfolio? You're not alone! Aaron Weikle of MS3, Daniel Kocot of Codecentric and Yohann Agostini of nexDigital described how they deal with the challenges of moving legacy systems to the future every day.
What's modern today is legacy tomorrow. Aaron explained how leveraging the "Strangler Facade" and "Mullet" patterns with Kong could help bring your legacy systems along for the ride.
Kong Summit 2021 Hackathon Winners
Finally, we announced the winners of our inaugural Kong Summit Hackathon. We asked the Kong community to build new ideas using Kong products. We had many impressive and creative submissions, and the winners are…
The top prize went to Satyajit Sial! Satyajit built an ingenious plugin for Kong Gateway that can skip plugins that have been enabled globally for specific services or routes.
Category winners included:
Best Kong Gateway Plugin (a category so big we decided to award it twice!)
Narendra Patel's plugin allows you to rate limit not just on the number of requests but the bandwidth consumed too.
Anup Rai built a plugin to dynamically choose an upstream based on the incoming request.
Best Insomnia Plugin - Scott Harwell submitted an awesome Oracle Cloud signature generation plugin.
Best Docs Contribution - Anindita Basu won for her detailed and descriptive copy edits to our plugin documentation, which represent the quality we strive for in our docs!
Best Presented Demo - Satyajit Sial provided an excellent mix of education and entertainment.
Check out the links to the winning contributions on the Hackathon page.
I can go on and on - there is so much more to share, including our final session: Developing the Fearless Girl: Changing the Tech World One Action at a Time with Siew Choo Soh, head of technology for consumer banking & big data/AI at DBS Bank. For those of you who registered, all the keynotes and sessions are available to watch on-demand. For the rest, the videos will be available in a couple of weeks.
While Kong Summit registration has officially closed for the year, you can already save the date for next year's event. The fifth annual Kong Summit will be taking place in San Francisco on September 28-29, 2022. We can't wait to see you there!