Akamai API Gateway Improves Microservices Architecture

April 1, 2020 · by Viktoriya Reyzelman ·

A microservices architecture approach to software development is predicted to account for 80% of application development on cloud platforms by the year 2021 according to the IDC

Microservices promise greater stability by separating services into separate functions. This allows for more fine-grained control. The key principle is to break down the system into functional components that are small enough to be worked on by small teams. In this way, microservices not only change the architecture of services, but also the architecture of teams and organizations.

Organizations can automate API processes in a framework that provides a cohesive end-to-end experience for creation, development, testing, publishing, and maintenance. 

The trade-off, however, is that there is inherently an increase in operational complexity, which can cause the following problems:

  • Tight coupling: Multiple application areas decomposed into microservices are interdependent and frequently updated 
  • Too many round trips: A single application page can require several calls to multiple services that add latency 
  • Security issues: The attack surface expands when microservices are exposed to the external world 

The Akamai API Gateway helps address these challenges. It distributes governance logic to the Edge, allowing for scale while providing high availability, authentication, authorization, and consumption management. 

With the API Gateway you can: 

  1. Prevent unauthorized consumers from accessing your API by using key-based authentication (oAuth 2.0)

  2. Control access by authorizing with JSON Web Tokens (JWT), a secure method where the token issued is decoupled from the content

  3. Enforce business service-level agreement (SLA) requirements by limiting the number of requests

  4. Reduce latency by scaling the number of requests using the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform

  5. Provide a unified interface and link multiple legacy applications together with support for GraphQL and RESTful APIs 

reference architecture
Reference: Edge Security with API Gateway​​​​

The Akamai API Gateway is a layer that goes between your clients and services. Instead of clients sending requests directly to individual services, they send them to the API Gateway, then the gateway passes the requests on to the appropriate service. 

The API developer resource site equips developers with the tools and resources to get started with the Akamai API Gateway. The site includes Getting Started Guides, a product demo, and use cases so API developers and DevOps teams can understand how the solution adds value to applications with microservices architecture.