What is an API gateway?
An API gateway is a server or service that sits between a client and a collection of backend services, providing a unified interface for clients to access those services.
The API gateway acts as an entry point for client requests, routing them to the appropriate microservice and handling tasks such as authentication, rate limiting, load balancing, and caching. It can also perform additional functions such as protocol translation and message transformation.
With the growth in adoption of Kubernetes for workload orchestration, much of the functionality of traditional API gateways—like authentication, service discovery, traffic management, security, and observability—is also available at Kubernetes ingress gateways and in a service mesh.
Implementations of the new Kubernetes Gateway API such as Envoy Gateway promise to offer full-featured application gateway functionality for Kubernetes clusters. Enterprise solutions like Tetrate Service Bridge offer a global application connectivity and security platform for an entire fleet of applications across clusters, clouds, and on-premises.