Kong Inc., the creator of application programming interface connectivity platform, today announced a new version of its popular API gateway, Kong Gateways.
Kong Konnect Dedicated Cloud Gateways provides customers with a simpler and more cost-effective way to run the platform, fully managed and as-a-service, on dedicated cloud infrastructure. The announcement, made at the company’s 2023 API Summit today, came as Kong also detailed a new update to its popular API development tool Kong Insomnia, adding new artificial intelligence features and other features.
Kong sells a connectivity platform that connects APIs and microservices natively across and within clouds, Kubernetes, data centers and more using intelligent automation. APIs are the preferred method of exposing data and services when building microservices-based apps in software containers that can be extended across different computing environments. They’re used to connect different services, making it possible, for example, to book a flight using an app and have that reservation appear automatically in Google Calendar.
APIs can be accessed via Kong’s Gateways platform, and with the release of Dedicated Cloud Gateways, users can now run it on their own, dedicated cloud-hosted servers. This means the infrastructure it sits on is exclusively reserved for each customer, the company explained. Because users won’t have to share server resources with anyone else, it’s ideal for the needs of larger enterprises that require heightened connectivity, performance, security and control.
Kong said Dedicated Cloud Gateways are available through Kong Konnect, its unified API platform, and also make it easier to adopt the platform. Because Dedicated Cloud Gateways are fully managed, it means customers don’t have to worry about setting up or configuring the underlying servers. There are no backups to schedule, and there’s no need to set up monitoring, as this is all done for them. The offering also supports secure private networking and multi-cloud and multi-region coverage, allowing it to handle both edge and internal traffic.
The advantage of having a dedicated gateway is that enterprises will no longer have to concern themselves with scaling the platform or worry about getting the skilled personnel to manage it. Should a server go down, Kong will automatically take care of it. If an API sees a spike in traffic, the system scales to support this automatically without downtime, Kong said. And if something can’t be handled automatically, Kong offers professional support around the clock to resolve issues as quickly as possible.
Users can choose two operating modes, with Autopilot elastically and autonomously scaling the infrastructure up or down based on current traffic flows, without any user input at all. Meanwhile, the Custom mode will allow customers to specify the exact size of each instance, and the number of instances, in each cloud region, for more predictability and control.
In addition, there’s a hybrid mode where Kong manages the control plane and the customer takes care of the data plane within their preferred environment, Kong said, enabling them to maintain better control of business-critical data.
“Dedicated Cloud Gateways make it even easier for businesses and builders to quickly harness the power of Kong Gateway, the world’s most adopted API gateway,” said Kong co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Marco Palladino (pictured). “It’s the best of both worlds: serverless-like usage that’s one-click for ease of use while running on fully dedicated multicloud and multiregion infrastructure that delivers the best performance and the lowest latency at all times.”
For now, Dedicated Cloud Gateways are accessible through an invitation-only technical preview on Amazon Web Services Inc.’s public cloud platform, in the U.S., Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific regions. Support for Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure will be added in the coming months.
AI to transform API testing
As for the new Kong Insomnia 8.0 release, this is said to be one of the most significant updates to its API development tool in quite some time.
The standout new feature is Insomnia AI, which is said to transform API testing by auto-generating tests, helping to improve developer productivity by up to 30%, the company claims. It’s the first of several AI-powered features that Kong plans to add to its products, it said.
Elsewhere, Kong Insomnia gains new real-time collaboration features that make it possible for developers to work together on API design projects, similar to how two co-workers might collaborate in Google Docs. The platform also adds support for Server-Sent Events, or SEE, in addition to its existing support for REST, gRPC, WebSockets and GraphQL. With this update, Kong Insomnia now supports 99% of APIs, Kong said.
Kong Insomnia 8.0 and its new features are all available now, with both free and tiered subscriptions available for enterprises with more demanding needs.
Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller told SiliconANGLE that customers will be pleased to see Kong innovating on both sides of the API value chain, namely their creation and operation. “On the creation side, Kong is making it easier for developers to build their APIs with Insomnia’s AI capabilities,” he said. “As for the operations side, the dedicated gateways make it easier to operate and monitor the APIs in the cloud. Both updates will be welcomed by technology teams that need to build and maintain APIs, which are critical to business operations.”
Palladino said Kong Insomnia’s new AI functionality and the promised updates to come will have the effect of reshaping the API development tool landscape. “This release marks a major step forward in our mission to simplify the lives of developers, making it easier and more efficient for teams to design, test and collaborate on APIs,” he said.
Earlier this year, Palladino stopped by SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio theCUBE, where he discussed the company’s ambition to tackle complexities and fragmentation in the API landscape:
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