New Products at Kong Summit 2021 - Kong Istio Gateway, Kong Gateway 2.6, Kong Mesh 1.5 and More!

Opening Keynote (Part 2): The Kong Journey

Marco Palladino, CTO & Co-Founder, Kong

CTO & Co-Founder Marco Palladino explores the journey Kong has taken since its birth, community and customer adoption, and product innovation at Kong over the years. He also introduces the new Kong Istio Gateway.


Marco Palladino
Hi, everybody, and welcome to Kong Summit. Augusto already mentioned some of the things that we have done together, but let’s take another look at our journey. Do you remember the world in twenty fifteen? Our world got rocked by new technologies like Docker and Kubernetes and a new way of doing things. It feels like yesterday, but it was more than half a decade ago. No API Gateway was able to properly run in these new environments because, as we know, they were born for a different world. The SOA and soap world. And that’s why we created Kong. And look where you’ve taken us. Over the past 12 months, Kong’s adoption grew more than the previous five years combined. With over two point seven million instances of Kong running everywhere in the world every month. With this increase of adoption, we were able to better gather your requirements. And as a result of that, we made more than a hundred product releases in the last 12 months all across the board. Kong started as an API gateway, but today it is much more than that. Your adoption momentum creates product momentum, which in turn fuels innovation like we can see. With hundreds of product releases, we shipped thousands of new features like UDP support for our APIs or marking to accelerate API development. We introduced a new JavaScript PDK to create plugins in JavaScript. In addition to the existing languages Golang, Python and Lua, we have released and shipped service, map topology, views and much more.

And since you’re using Kong to think big, we also have to think big. Over the past 12 months, we have doubled down on our customer success teams running twenty four seven all over the world. In the last year, we were able to address more than four thousand five hundred customer enablement requests, like requests for training for education in general support. The customer success team grew for X as a testimony of our commitment to support you in your API journey. As a founder, I don’t look at Kong and think of Kong just as a technology, but I am also very proud to see how you are using Kong in the real world to change the life of people. We are building long lasting partnerships. And I’m very excited about all the things that we’re going to be doing together moving forward. We are learning from you every year since twenty fifteen, we shipped a new major product from the Gateway to connect across the service, mesh and Insomnia for API design and testing. I am proud of what we’ve done together, and I’m proud of where we’re going, so let’s talk about that. Just to show you this next product announcements, we have to go back and look at the evolution of API management throughout the years. In the prehistoric era of API management, API gateways were as monolithic as our applications, you remember there were hard to scale, hard to extend. Their performance was very slow. Back then, APIs used to be an afterthought.

Sometimes we would build an API on top of the monolith later on, for example, to connect the monolith with a mobile application. But then, with the introduction of new technologies like containers and Kubernetes, our application changed. APIs were built first. An API first architecture, our applications became connected with each other and they became decentralized. Therefore, we needed a decentralized gateway that was fast, that was easy to deploy, that was extensible, that could run across Kubernetes and every cloud vendor. Kong was born to be this gateway. Fast forward to today, our applications are becoming even more decoupled. With the creation of hundreds and thousands of microservices, we are having so much more traffic within the applications themselves. We must reliably secure, observe and connect all of this traffic, enter service mesh. But that created a challenge. Service mesh works great within the services and the traffic that’s happening within an application, but it doesn’t give us the right governance in place to be able to expand and expose some of these APIs outside to either another team or at the edge. API gateways needed to support service meshes so that we can provide a full service connectivity stack to our applications and to our teams. As we know, Gateway already supports our service mesh Kuma. And we are committed to support our community throughout everything that they’re working on. And that’s why today I am very excited to announce that Gateway also supports Istio as an additional service mesh platform.

With our Kong Istio Gateway integration, we can provide a full lifecycle API management solution to every API that we want to expose from Istio. Available today. Let’s take a look at what we can do with this. Well, first and foremost, we can use all of Kong’s plugins and features and capabilities to expand Istio native gateway resource to provide full user governance, event streaming, traffic control and onboarding. We can do that for services we want to expose at the edge or internally. Out of the box, we get access to hundreds of Kong plugins for authentication authorization, traffic control transformations and logging and so on and so forth. Within every Istio cluster. And finally, we can leverage every product that natively integrates with Gateway, like the portal, like the API catalog, like the API analytics, and much more on top of every Istio API we want to expose. I am very excited about the future of these integrations. Moving forward, Kong Gateway and Istio will converge towards using the same Gateway API specification. This is the next generation spec for the Kubernetes Ingress. As a matter of fact, Kong has worked with the Kubernetes community to create this new specification. And moving forward, we’re going to be supporting it within this Kong Istio Gateway integration as soon as it gets more mainstream. All right. We can download the Istio Gateway integration today from Kong HQ dot com slash install and get up and running today with this new product.