4–7 Nov 2019
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API gateways and service meshes: Opening the door to application modernization

Daniel Bryant (Datawire)
15:0015:45 Thursday, 7 November 2019
Location: Hall A2
Secondary topics:  Best Practice
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 4 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Architects, tech leads, senior developers, and DevOps engineers




Modernizing applications by decoupling them from the underlying infrastructure on which they are running can enable portability and innovation (shifting workloads to the cloud), reduce costs, and improve security. Cloud native infrastructure, container technology, and orchestration frameworks like Kubernetes decouple applications from the compute fabric, but in order to fully realize the benefits, they also need to be decoupled at the traffic and networking layer too.

An API gateway can decouple applications from external consumers by routing ingress requests from end users and third parties to various internal applications and by providing cross-cutting functionality like authentication, encryption, and rate limiting. A service mesh can decouple applications from internal consumers by dynamically routing inter-data center and service-to-service requests, regardless of where they’re exposed on the network. The core concepts behind an API gateway and service mesh are not new, but the combination of current user requirements and modern cloud native technologies provides new constraints and new opportunities.

Daniel Bryant provides an overview of these technologies, how they impact application architecture, and what implementation options are currently available. Daniel has worked within these technologies for over five years, both as an architect and end user, and also as an engineer within a cloud infrastructure-focused tooling organization.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A fundamental understanding of distributed systems and microservices
  • A basic understanding of container, cloud, and networking technologies

What you'll learn

  • Learn the difference between using an API gateway for handling ingress—"north-south"—traffic and a service mesh for managing service-to-service—"east-west"—traffic
  • Understand how these technologies could be used within application modernization programs, the trade-offs with deploying them, and when not to use a service mesh
  • Explore how these technologies impact application architecture (such as the use of the sidecar pattern) and get an overview of the networking cross-functional requirements that these technologies provide and how the open source Envoy proxy project has driven massive innovation within this space and understand how it differs from existing proxies
  • Gain a high-level overview of technology options currently available
  • Watch a brief demo of the open source Ambassador API gateway and Consul service mesh being configured to work together in collaboration using a simple Kubernetes-based application
Photo of Daniel Bryant

Daniel Bryant


Daniel Bryant is an independent technical consultant and product architect at Datawire, where he specializes in enabling continuous delivery within organizations through the identification of value streams, the creation of build pipelines, and the implementation of effective testing strategies. Daniel’s technical expertise focuses on DevOps tooling, cloud and container platforms, and microservice implementations. He contributes to several open source projects, writes for InfoQ, O’Reilly, and Voxxed, and regularly presents at international conferences, including OSCON, QCon, and JavaOne.

  • AXA
  • Contentful
  • Datadog
  • HERE Technologies
  • QAware
  • SIG
  • Zara Tech
  • GitLab
  • NearForm
  • WhiteSource
  • Cloud Native Computing Foundation

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