OPEN TALK (API): Proxies, Gateways, and Meshes: Cloud Connectivity for API Developers


Viktor Gamov
Kong, Principal Developer Advocate

Viktor Gamov is a Principal Developer Advocate at Kong, a cloud connectivity company. He is a professional conference speaker on distributed systems, streaming data, JVM and DevOps topics, and is regular on events including JavaOne, Devoxx, OSCON, QCon, and others. Follow him at @gAmUssA.


API gateway technology has evolved a lot in the past decade, capturing use cases in what the industry calls "full lifecycle API management." API gateways allowed developers to expose and consume the APIs, secure them, and govern API traffic. However, today, they provide a series of functionalities to support the complete development cycle, including creating, testing, documentation, monitoring, event monetization, monitoring, and overall exposure of our APIs. Another pattern emerged from the industry around 2017: Service Mesh! Service Mesh is an infrastructure layer for microservices communication. It abstracts the underlying network details and provides discovery, routing, and a variety of other functionality. Many attempted to describe the differences between gateways and service meshes. This talk will also discuss the similarities and differences between the communication layer provided by gateways and service mesh. I want to illustrate the differences between API gateways and service mesh — and most importantly when to use one or the another pragmatically and objectively.