Kong HQ

For our November Tech Forum, Vikas Vijendra from Kong visited our Melbourne office to bring us up to speed on what’s happening at KongHQ.

At Marlo we are already familiar with the Open Source Kong API Gateway and we like how it fits into our own digital enablement platform. Kong, however, are making a bold shift in product direction with the announcement of their Service Control Platform. They understand that while we might be focused on RESTful APIs today, the future will also include protocols such as gRPC, GraphQL and Kafka. Moreover, the advent of Kubernetes as the container platform of choice means Kong needs to extend into the cluster itself to provide full lifecycle service management.

The main features of the Service Control Platform are:

  • A centralized control plane to design, test, monitor and manage services
  • Multiple Runtimes – not just the nginx engine of Kong but also Istio, Kuma, Apollo and serverless
  • Multiple Protocols – REST, gRPC, GraphQL and Kafka
  • Multiple Platforms – All major cloud providers plus any Kubernetes

The open source API Gateway offering will remain with most of the new features available in the Kong Enterprise offering. These include:

  • Kong for Kubernetes (K4K8S): a supported version of the Kong Ingress Gateway for Kubernetes along with all enterprise plugins
  • Kong Studio: for designing, mocking and testing APIs
  • Kong Manager: for the runtime monitoring and management of deployed services.
  • Kong Developer Portal: a self-service portal providing access to the service catalog.

All of the above features are available as a SaaS offering (Kong Cloud) or on-premise, or any combination of the two.

Perhaps most interesting is the announcement of the Kuma service mesh. An Ingress Controller alone, is limited to managing traffic entering a cluster (north-south traffic). In a microservices architecture most of the traffic is between services on the same cluster (east-west traffic). A service mesh allows control of traffic between these services.

Of course Istio is the dominant product in the service mesh space but Kong (and others) believe Istio has become too complex and Kuma provides a more appropriate level of functionality. The functionality of the Ingress Gateway and the service mesh will eventually morph into a single product controlling both north-south and east-west traffic.

At our latest tech forum, James Liu, Hybrid Application Modernization Specialist from Google, visited Marlo’s Melbourne office and presented on Google Anthos and more broadly on some of the exciting tech coming out of the Google Cloud Platform.

Anthos lets you build and manage modern hybrid applications in your data centre or in the public cloud. Built on open source technologies pioneered by Google—including Kubernetes, Istio, and Knative—Anthos enables consistency between on-premise and cloud environments. Anthos is a vital part of strategically enabling your business with transformational technologies like service mesh, containers, and microservices.

The main takeaways from the session include:

  • GKE (Google Kubernetes Engine) on-premise lets you create a fully managed Kubernetes cluster in your own data centre, controlled and managed from the Google console control plane – all over a https connection.
  • You will soon be able run a Google-managed GKE cluster on any IaaS cloud provider (currently AWS only). This is a great approach for businesses needing a multi-cloud strategy.
  • Anthos Config Management provides a git-based common configuration tool for all policies across Kubernetes clusters both on-prem and in the cloud.
  • Google Cloud Service Mesh provides a fully managed Istio implementation. This represents the next stage of abstraction of the underlying infrastructure.

Marlo is a certified Google Partner working with large business and government clients across Australia and South East Asia. We are Australia’s leading specialists in the delivery of microservices and legacy integration solutions in cloud and on-premise environments.

Get in touch to find out how we can help enable your organisation’s digital journey.