API Gateway

What is an API gateway? 

An API gateway is a single-entry point for all API calls made by your clients, including containerized web applications running on Kubernetes. A service-oriented architecture is the best approach for building APIs for different applications and services. The API gateway sits directly between desktop and mobile clients and the various services they’re trying to connect to. The API gateway serves up the content from the back-end data store as REST responses to requests from the API client. With the ability to provide network services as required by cloud, security, compliance, and performance requirements of microservices, and also as a basis for other features including WAF, API gateway, rate limiting, and authentication, this solution gives you complete visibility and control over what you expose and to whom you disclose.

API Gateway
API Gateway

Benefits of using API gateway 

APIs constitute a large and growing share of network traffic, and businesses need the correct practices and API management tools to optimize performance and protection. 

A digital transformation initiative aims to take an organization’s business and IT applications to a new level. As these organizations are busy implementing digital initiatives, they’re trying to scale their APIs and find the right way to integrate them securely. Some benefits of using API gateway include: 

  • Consistent enforcement of authentication and WAF policies for API access 
  • Load balance and route API requests to the optimal destination based on your application’s needs 
  • Know if APIs are being abused, for instance, by excessive API calls 
  • Rate limit and audit API traffic as needed to protect back-end services 
  • Collect detailed analytics on API requests and traffic 
  • Determine if microservices architectures are working as designed 
  • Reduce operational complexity by consolidating network functions 
  • Improve app performance with fewer TCP and TLS decryption hops 
  • Apply rewrite and responder policies to HTTP transactions 
  • Broadly shield APIs from threats like injection attacks and data exposure 

With API Gateway, it’s possible to gain comprehensive API management and protection for fulfilling the core tasks and other ones that arise as they develop. 

How an API gateway works 

An API gateway performs a wide range of management and protective functions. 

Authentication and authorization: API Gateways let organizations validate and inspect API calls and authorize their requests. They also provide many other valuable services, including authentication, rate limiting, and rate-based billing. An API gateway configuration can also be customized to limit API access by application and user. 

Rate limiting and traffic analysis: 

API gateways are designed to throttle incoming requests to avoid overload or provide greater control over outgoing requests to other services. Granular controls may include:

  • Rate limits.
  • Sending alerts about anomalous API traffic.
  • Allowing for the throttling of request frequencies. 

WAF policy configuration and enforcement: API Gateways help prevent injection attacks by maintaining policies that protect your API instances and endpoints. They can automatically update WAF signatures, enabling you to make your application more secure. And they can perform code analysis for security vulnerabilities, such as buffer overflows. 

Content routing and optimization: An API gateway helps you route API calls to the best available destination by providing a combination of load balancing and content switching capabilities. Parameters for routing include the URL path, HTTP method, and a policy expression that determines the result. 

Rewrite and responder policy management: 

Protocol-aware policy expressions can be used for transforming HTTP transactions as they pass through an API gateway. With the help of writing and responding policies, client requests can be reliably sent to the optimal destinations. 

Single-Pass security insights and enforcement: The modern API gateway consolidates multiple API security functions into one appliance that handles WAF, load balancing, content routing, and more in a single pass. This simplification of the security architecture for the API Gateway improves application performance by eliminating unnecessary steps that the application must perform to get through the API gateway. 

API gateway solutions 

Enterprises have long been aware of the dangers posed by malicious and unprofessional activity on the Internet. Enterprises are constantly battling cyberattacks, which they often face through inadequate security controls. They must also pay the price of data loss when their network security is breached. 

You can use the API Gateway functionality in ADCs, which serves as the ingress gateway for all north-south traffic into your ADC cluster.  

ADC simplifies APIs’ creation, publication, maintenance, and security. In addition, many advanced features enable protection against the most sophisticated attacks and threats when it comes to enterprise application security. You can use Appviewx ADC+ to manage all your ADC changes including F5, Citrix, Nginx, A10, AVI, and more.