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Proxies, Gateways, and Meshes: Cloud Connectivity 101 for Developers


Viktor Gamov
Kong, Principal Developer Advocate

Viktor Gamov is a Principal Developer Advocate at Kong, a cloud connectivity company. Viktor has comprehensive expertise in building distributed systems and cloud-native architectures using open source technologies. He previously worked at Confluent and Hazelcast where he was helping architects and developers design and develop low latency, scalable, and highly available systems. 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. He co-authored O’Reilly’s «Enterprise Web Development» and Manning's «Apache Kafka® InAction» He blogs at and co-hosts «Crazy Russians in Devoops» and «» podcasts. Follow Viktor on Twitter @gamussa, where he posts there about gym life, food, open-source, and, of course, Kong and Cloud!

API gateway technology has evolved a lot in the past decade, capturing more prominent and more comprehensive use cases in what the industry calls “full lifecycle API management.” API gateways were just the management of the network runtime that allows us to expose and consume the APIs (RESTful or not), secure, and govern our 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. Then around 2017, another pattern emerged from the industry: 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, e.g., API gateways are for north-south traffic and service meshes for east-west traffic. I want to illustrate the differences between API gateways and service mesh — and when to use one or the other pragmatically and objectively. This talk will also discuss the similarities and differences between the communication layer provided by gateways, service mesh!