API management refers to the process behind the API lifecycle—i.e., designing, developing, testing, deploying, managing, and retiring APIs. Optimizing this process has become a critical business strategy, because APIs represent the building blocks of today’s applications. They are now the vast majority of internet requests and are growing faster than any other traffic.
Businesses adopt API management to address the needs for API security, governance, versioning, performance, analytics, and monitoring. However, as the program scales, businesses must choose reliable tools that meet their current and future requirements, hire and train for new skills, and ensure operational excellence.
The API management ecosystem is rife with complex software developed 10+ years ago that is ill adapted to cloud native environments. This forces the following limitations:
Workflows based mostly on point-and-click UIs, proprietary APIs, and CLIs create friction and inefficiencies as organizations adopt CI/CD and GitOps-centric strategies.
Businesses cannot pick and choose the components of their stacks from different vendors and must take an all or nothing approach.
API management solutions are limited to specific deployment environments, making it harder to adopt hybrid, multi-cloud, and edge strategies.
Addressing the challenges of API management requires reimagining the software from the ground up. Modern solutions must embody the following:
Any modern API management solution should directly leverage Kubernetes objects including CRDs, labels, and selectors to create, manage, and secure APIs at scale. This allows organizations to utilize the full capabilities and benefits of Kubernetes.
Choice is core to cloud native principles, so modern API management solutions need to work with third-party tools, such as ingress controllers and API design, testing, mocking, and security solutions. Vendor lock-in is simply an unnecessary burden on optimization and scalability.
Businesses need speed and agility to compete, so modern solutions should install in minutes, streamline processes with an intuitive UI, and allow users to fully leverage Kubernetes automation and GitOps capabilities they already use for their software developments.
API management solutions should empower CI/CD and GitOps-friendly workflows, whether for initial configurations or ongoing changes, to speed up the API lifecycle and ensure operational excellence. Otherwise, they just create more work for your team.
Security is top of mind for any organization, so modern API management solutions should automatically apply industry-standard authentication and authorization, offer robust RBAC capabilities, and integrate with leading third-party API security solutions.