Mashape Unleashes Kong as Open Source API Management Platform

As part of an effort to enable IT organizations to provide API management capabilities wherever they might be needed, Mashape today announced it is making the Kong API management platform that powers its namesake API marketplace openly available.

Montana Flynn, head of product at Mashape, says that as IT organizations move away from monolithic applications, they need access to an API management Platform that is optimized to support modern deployment of “microservices” based on technologies such as Docker containers.

Based on the proxy server from NGINX and the NoSQL Cassandra database, Flynn says Kong can scale to support 20,000 API calls per second. IT organizations can now take advantage of that same API management horsepower on a local server that can be deployed on premise or in a hosted cloud service that scales out as each new server is added to the distributed computing environment, says Flynn.

In addition to being deployed in support for enterprise IT applications, Flynn adds that Mashape also expects to see Kong deployed as an API gateway in support of Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Organizations that have already deployed a commercial API management platform can opt to deploy Kong in a drop-in replacement using a simple RESTful API to import data from third-party API management systems without any downtime being incurred, says Flynn.

Flynn says Kong is both server- and programming language-agnostic. Longer term, Flynn says that Mashape envisions IT organizations deploying Kong in hybrid cloud computing environments where sensitive data is secured locally, while less sensitive data might be accessed via the Mashape API marketplace.

Kong, adds Flynn, is designed to be extensible. Initial plugins for Kong include Authentication, logging, caching, Rate Limiting, transformation, security, and other utilities. Longer term, Flynn says that open-source developers will be able to extend Kong in almost any direction they choose without having to recode common backend logic for every service they deploy.

The fact that most traditional enterprise IT organizations have not gotten around to deploying an API management platform just yet means the overall market is still fairly wide open. To facilitate that adoption, Flynn says that Mashape has created a professional services arm to help organizations implement Kong.

The Mashape API marketplace currently processes billions of API requests generated by over 140,000 globally distributed developers. While most IT organizations may never need to scale API process management to that level, Flynn notes that Kong will provide them an open-source approach to API management at a time when many IT organizations have implemented an open-source first policy when it comes to acquiring new software technologies.

Be sure to read the next API Management article: Akana Extends API Management to Microsoft Azure