Kong Unveils Plug-and-Play Cloud Connectivity Solutions
September 28, 2021

Kong unveiled new plug-and-play products and capabilities for managing, connecting and securing APIs and microservices, to help make customers' core infrastructure as invisible and as easily consumable as electricity.

With upgrades to all major product lines, Kong's technology now covers a broader array of platforms, stacks and communities, and is driving greater automation across workflows for everyone involved in the software development lifecycle.

The Kong Konnect service connectivity platform enables organizations to eliminate API and microservices connectivity concerns from their developers' responsibilities to free them up to focus on strategic work.

With the general availability of Kong's Istio Gateway solution, Kong is providing even more flexibility and customization capabilities for builders and operators creating cloud native architectures. This powerful solution allows customers to use all of Kong's policies for security, identity, observability and more to manage traffic going into Istio meshes. Kong announced Kong Mesh 1.5, a major release of the universal service mesh solution that now provides support for Windows, an industry first for mesh technology. Additionally, Kong Gateway 2.6 makes it easier to build real-time applications with enhanced Apache Kafka support. Kong's also announced a technology preview of a WASMx integration, which will allow developers to create policies in a broad array of programming languages to even better align with their specific application's stack.

"Today, we're delivering on our vision to make cloud connectivity as elegant and simple as plugging in a device or appliance into an outlet and turning it on, from API gateway to service mesh," said Marco Palladino, CTO and co-founder of Kong Inc. "With the new Istio Gateway, Kong customers can govern traffic entering their Istio deployments so they no longer have to do the dreaded task of writing and maintaining policies for user governance and tiering, building catalogs and developer portals, and overall API management. Kong Mesh 1.5 enables official support for Windows with RBAC that spans zones across 13 different distributions, which dramatically extends the value and reach for service meshes. It's been my dream to provide developers and operators with the 'plug and power outlet' experience so when they build new APIs and microservices, they don't have to worry about how they will be deployed and have the confidence to know they will just work."

"For people like me who have been working in the API management space for many years, it's truly exciting that APIOps workflows are becoming the new normal," said Reza Shafii, VP of product at Kong Inc. "The technology, tools and planned capabilities announced today are all designed to help organizations to evolve their infrastructure for scale and enable game-changing productivity for their developers. We're making Kong's integrations more seamless and driving greater automation across each customer's unique stack of technologies."

Below are highlights of Kong's fall product releases, with the common thread of extending automation, and liberating developers and hands-on operators from tedious and frustrating connectivity burdens from their day-to-day responsibilities.

- Kong Istio Gateway: This new capability enables organizations to use Kong Gateway to expose Istio services in a secure and governable way. Customers can leverage all of Kong's plugins for security, identity, traffic control, observability and more to manage traffic and consumers going into Istio service meshes. Natively integrated with Istio, the gateway helps eliminate the need for custom coding and other manual work by bringing critical features missing in the default Istio ingress. The Gateway also brings full lifecycle API management capabilities to every Istio cluster, including developer portals, API catalogs and API analytics

- Kong Mesh 1.5: The latest announcement of Kong Mesh – built on top of CNCF's Kuma and Envoy – allows service meshes to support Windows, an industry-first and a major milestone for the mesh landscape. Kong Mesh will massively increase the surface area that meshes can cover as well as remove the current bottlenecks that exist for many customers to run service meshes due to their environments. The new release – shipping in October 2021– will also provide role-based access control (RBAC) to simplify and automate the process of onboarding new users and improve governance over how the mesh is operated across the organization, the policies in place and the overall experience for developers.

- Kong Gateway 2.6: New features for Kong Gateway enhance support for Apache Kafka so organizations can more easily deploy, manage and consume synchronous (event-based) APIs and microservices, and streamline the development of real-time applications. New jq support offers better mapping and manipulation of underlying data structures.

- Kong Ingress Controller 2.0: The newest version of Kong Ingress Controller provides a backbone that enables faster innovation and supports more diverse use cases. Enhancements include support for user-data protocol (UDP), the ability to watch multiple Kubernetes namespaces to better focus on how product workloads are performing, and support for Prometheus metrics to more easily fit into each customer's unique stack and gain a cohesive view of performance and health metrics that ensure uptime.

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