At the recent Google’s Cloud Next virtual conference, Google announced the public beta of API Gateway, a fully-managed Google Cloud service to create and monitor APIs for serverless workloads.
API Gateway provides a way of consuming services via APIs, hiding the complexity of the backends. It builds on GKE, Compute Engine, App Engine and serverless backends like Cloud Run & Cloud Functions, without the need to write codes for different endpoints or managing the scaling of the infrastructure. Clients can consume the REST APIs to implement standalone apps for a mobile device, browser or create any other application that can make a request to an HTTP endpoint.
The managed service is built on Envoy, a cloud-native high-performance edge/middle/service proxy, and offers features such as rate limiting, authentication and key validation to manage and secure the APIs.
image source: https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/serverless/google-cloud-api-gateway-is-now-available-in-public-beta
Fabian Seitz, technical product manager at MediaMarktSaturn, commented on the advantages of the new managed service:
We had challenges with scaling and consolidation of different API call types prior to implementing the API Gateway. Not only have we resolved issues, but we’ve experienced a 10x improvement in API management by using a single platform that is easily accessible through the cloud console and fully managed by Google Cloud.
The API Gateway is one of the key services of the new Business Application Platform, a collection of services that includes API management, no-code application development, automation and data insights capabilities. The goal of the new platform is to allow non-technical employees to build data-driven applications without coding, simplify the integration of applications and extract insights from data using self-service tools.
Vikram Shinde, cloud architect at Mastek UK, wrote a detailed tutorial on how to create a first API endpoint using Cloud Function, Cloud Run, App Engine Standard and API Gateway to control the requests. He highlights the benefits of the new service:
With the API Gateway it is easy to develop and manage APIs compared to Cloud Endpoints (ESPV1 and ESPV2). API Gateway can be created using Cloud Console so there is less complexity involved to create/modify configurations.
Services like Amazon API Gateway and Azure API Management are already popular with cloud developers managing serverless workloads, and Google offers as well solutions using Apigee and Cloud Endpoints. Some users feel that the new service was long-overdue, Wang Hq tweeted:
Feels a bit surprised about GCP’s announcement. What? There was no API Gateway service before?
while Baldur Bjarnason, web developer at the Rebus Foundation, added:
Google is only now managing to build the cloud services I expected them to have built five years ago
As a managed service, API Gateway charges by its calls to service control and the first two million requests per month are free. As for most other services and providers, ingress traffic is always free while egress is charged according to network usage and region.