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Gloo

May 2020
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With the increasing adoption of Kubernetes and service mesh, API gateways have been experiencing an existential crisis in cloud-native distributed systems. After all, many of their capabilities (such as traffic control, security, routing and observability) are now provided by the cluster’s ingress controller and mesh gateway. Gloo is a lightweight API gateway that embraces this change; it uses Envoy as its gateway technology, while providing added value such as a cohesive view of the APIs to the external users and applications. It also provides an administrative interface for controlling Envoy gateways and runs and integrates with multiple service mesh implementations such as Linkerd, Istio and AWS App Mesh. While its open source implementation provides the basic capabilities expected from an API gateway, its enterprise edition has a more mature set of security controls such as API key management or integration with OPA. Gloo is a promising lightweight API gateway that plays well with the ecosystem of cloud-native technology and architecture, while avoiding the API gateway trap of enabling business logic to glue APIs for the end user.