March 20, 2024
3 min read

Kong Open Sources Gateway Operator to Simplify Kubernetes-Native Gateway Management

Kong Gateway Operator 1.2 Streamlines and Simplifies Deployments and Ongoing Operations

Paris — March 20, 2024 — Kong Inc., a leading developer of cloud API technologies, today announced the release of Kong Gateway Operator (KGO) 1.2 at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2024. This is the first open source release of KGO, continuing Kong’s long history of supporting the open source community. In addition, this latest version introduces a new era for deploying and managing the Kong Gateway in a Kubernetes-native manner, offering unprecedented ease and flexibility for Kubernetes platform teams. When using vendor-neutral Gateway API resources, KGO will automatically deploy the Kong Ingress Controller and Kong Gateway Data Planes, either separately or together, when running on Kubernetes.

“Kong Gateway Operator is now one step closer to being the de-facto reference for Gateway API implementers on Kubernetes,” said Marco Palladino, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, Kong Inc. “With this open-source update, developers can read the code and see what a production-grade Kubernetes operator looks like. You can keep the tooling and workflows that you already know from Kubernetes while managing your domain or application-specific items for your business.”

KGO 1.2 is engineered to integrate seamlessly with Kubernetes, providing a Kubernetes-native experience that leverages familiar tooling and workflows while managing domain or application-specific requirements effectively. With the introduction of Horizontal Pod Autoscaler (HPA) for autoscaling and support for multiple Gateway API-managed Gateways, KGO 1.2 simplifies the installation and management process, making it more intuitive for Kubernetes users. Deploying is made easier too, thanks to a Kong-maintained Helm chart to deploy the operator into your cluster.

Kong Gateway Operator 1.2 open sources all features from the previous versions (1.0 and 1.1), and adds new capabilities, including:

  • Managed Gateways (OSS) — The Kong Gateway Operator watches for any Gateway resources in your cluster and dynamically deploys both the Kong Ingress Controller and Kong Gateway in order to serve traffic based on your configuration.
  • Kong Konnect Integration (Enterprise) — KGO 1.2 integrates with Kong Konnect, providing a seamless bridge to Kong's comprehensive API management features, thereby enriching the KGO with advanced analytics, security and governance capabilities that are essential for modern enterprises.
  • Automatic Certificate Rotation (Enterprise) — With deep CertManager integration, KGO can ensure that the certificates used to secure communication between the control plane and data plane are always up to date, ensuring that new configurations are loaded immediately.
  • HPA-Based Gateway Autoscaling (OSS) — Automatically scale up or down your Kong Gateway deployments based on CPU and RAM usage. Run as many instances of Kong as you need to handle your traffic, and scale down when they’re no longer needed, helping ensure that you have just the right number of Kong Gateway instances needed to process your live traffic.
  • Latency-Based Workloads Autoscaling (Enterprise) — Though CPU and memory usage are often used as auto-scaling metrics, they’re not a good proxy for measuring user experience. Therefore, with this release, latency will become available as an auto-scaling metric for your Kubernetes cluster. Now you can make decisions about autoscaling based on workload latency in addition to core metrics such as CPU and memory usage.
  • Kubernetes-Native Metrics (Enterprise) — Spend less time translating from Kubernetes objects to Kong Gateway resources by building observability dashboards that can be filtered by Kubernetes resources, allowing people to work with filters and aggregations that they’re already familiar with.
  • AI Gateway (OSS) — Deploy and test Kong’s AI capabilities by creating a single resource without the need to learn about Kong Gateway or how the plugins are configured. Get started on Kong’s new AI Gateway on Kubernetes by simply creating an AI Gateway Custom Resource Definition (CRD) with your AI provider credentials.

Visit us at Booth #J7 to learn more about Kong Gateway Operator 1.2 at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2024. If you’re not at the show, we’ll be hosting a KGO 1.2 webinar on April 4, 2024. The webinar will include a live demo of these new features and answer any questions you may have. Register now

To get started with Kong Gateway Operator, see our installation guide here.

About Kong

Kong Inc., a leading developer of cloud API technologies, is on a mission to enable companies around the world to become “API-first.” Kong helps organizations globally — from startups to Fortune 500 enterprises — unleash developer productivity, build securely and accelerate time to market. For more information about Kong, please visit or follow us on X @thekonginc.