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API gateway comparison

Apigee vs. AWS

Are you finding it challenging to choose a vendor for your API gateway, and are you struggling to make a decision? Our team of experts has conducted a comprehensive analysis and we are here to assist you in finding the best API gateway that suits your needs.

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Higher than AWS
High QPS capacity with scalable infrastructure
Moderate latency
Moderate latency
Low latency
Uncustomizable pre-built policies and extensions
Limited built-in plugins
100+ open-source plugins
Plugin upgrade hot reloading
Custom development
Limited flexibility for tailored custom development
Limited fine-grained customization options
Supports custom development in multiple languages Lua, Go, JavaScript, Python, Node.js, Wasm, Java, etc
Deployment methods
Can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises
Can only be deployed in the cloud
On-prem, any cloud, multi-cloud, hybrid cloud
Vendor lock-in
Proprietary platform, potential migration challenges
Tightly integrated with the AWS ecosystem
Open source, donated to the Apache Software Foundation; never worry about vendor lock-in
User support
Limited control over support, dependency on Google Cloud
Complex AWS ecosystem and tiered support pricing
Active community with timely issue resolution on Slack and GitHub

What to consider most when choosing the API gateway

1. Performance

Apigee and AWS are both commercial API management platforms. Apigee is a full API management product, but its legacy architecture on the Google Cloud Platform imposes limitations on handling high traffic volumes and achieving optimal response times, particularly in dynamic API environments with growing data volumes. On the other hand, Amazon API Gateway is tightly integrated with AWS services like AWS Lambda, making its API performance reliant on the efficiency and scalability of underlying Lambda functions, which can be challenging to develop and come with additional costs.

In contrast, Apache APISIX excels in terms of performance. Its lightweight and scalable architecture enables efficient handling of high traffic volumes, ensuring low latency and optimal response times. Unlike Apigee and Amazon API Gateway, Apache APISIX is not tightly coupled to any specific cloud platform. This lack of platform dependency allows organizations to deploy Apache APISIX on the infrastructure of their choice, providing flexibility and optimal performance.

2. Scalability

Apigee possesses a well-developed API gateway, however, its scalability is hindered by its tight integration with the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). As a result, it lacks flexibility for multi-cloud environments, complex microservices, and integration with legacy systems. Google's new offering, Apigee Hybrid, aims to address these limitations by providing a more unified experience across GCP and on-premises environments, but it is still in its early stages of development and lacks maturity.

Conversely, Amazon API Gateway is capable of scaling to handle thousands of requests per second. However, since Amazon operates on a pay-as-you-go model, the cost of using Amazon API Gateway can become significant for applications with high traffic or complexity.

In terms of scalability, Apache APISIX stands out as a cloud-native API gateway. APISIX offers inherent scalability and flexibility, seamlessly managing high traffic volumes and allowing horizontal scaling based on evolving API demands. Its lightweight architecture ensures efficient performance and adaptability in diverse deployment scenarios. Unlike proprietary platforms like Apigee and Amazon API Gateway, APISIX holds the advantage of being fully open-source. This means that organizations have complete access to the source code, enabling them to customize and optimize the platform according to their specific scalability requirements. Additionally, enterprise products built on top of APISIX follow a fair pricing model, providing a cost-effective alternative to both Apigee and AWS API Gateway.

3. Features and Plugins

Apigee offers pre-built policies and extensions but may not fully accommodate specific customization needs, leading to limitations in tailoring these features. This lack of flexibility can be a drawback for organizations seeking extensive customization options. Additionally, Apigee's feature set and plugin options can introduce complexity, requiring a significant learning curve for developers, which may hinder organizations looking to scale their API program.

Similarly, AWS API Gateway offers built-in plugins; however, developing and testing offline with this service can be challenging due to its heavy reliance on the AWS infrastructure. The tight integration with AWS also means that certain performance or configuration aspects are abstracted away, limiting direct control and customization possibilities.

Apache APISIX stands out, leveraging its plugin-based design to offer customizable functionality, empowering developers to optimize performance based on their specific needs. It supports dynamic routing, hot reloading, canary release, rate limiting, and service observability, contributing to high availability and efficient resource utilization. By taking advantage of a diverse community of contributors, Apache APISIX benefits from continuous improvements and innovations, enhancing its performance capabilities.

4. Vendor Lock-in

With Apigee's tight integration into GCP, organizations face challenges if they decide to migrate to a different cloud provider or adopt a multi-cloud strategy. The reliance on Apigee's proprietary technology and infrastructure limits flexibility and can result in increased switching costs and complexities in transitioning to alternative solutions. Similarly, AWS API Gateway is closely tied to the AWS ecosystem, making migrating to alternative cloud providers or platforms complex and time-consuming, as it may require rearchitecting and rewriting significant portions of the API infrastructure.

If you want to avoid getting tied to a specific vendor, APISIX is an excellent option. APISIX is an open-source API gateway owned by the Apache Software Foundation and licensed under the Apache 2.0 License. This means that anyone can access and freely use, modify, and distribute APISIX's source code. This gives users the confidence that they can continue to utilize and customize the software without being restricted to a particular vendor's services.

5. Ecosystem and growth

Apigee's proprietary nature restricts the involvement of external developers and organizations, as its development and improvements are primarily driven by Google. This limitation hampers the speed of community-driven enhancements and reduces the opportunity for diverse contributions.

Similarly, AWS API Gateway, as a proprietary service owned by AWS, lacks the same level of community involvement and contribution in shaping its direction and features, as its development and updates are solely controlled by AWS.

In contrast, Apache APISIX, being an open-source API gateway, benefits from a collaborative community of developers, contributors, and users who actively participate in its development and improvement. This open ecosystem fosters greater innovation as users can freely customize and extend the functionality of Apache APISIX to meet their specific needs.

The transparency and accessibility of its source code instill trust and encourage diverse contributions, resulting in a dynamic and evolving ecosystem. Additionally, the open nature of Apache APISIX enables seamless integration with other open-source technologies, promoting interoperability and expanding possibilities for developers. This open approach to development significantly differentiates Apache APISIX from closed-source alternatives like Apigee and AWS API Gateway, enabling a more vibrant and adaptable ecosystem.

6. Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction with Apigee is a mixed bag. While some appreciate its capabilities, the platform's extensive feature set, and plugin options can overwhelm newcomers, requiring dedicated resources to fully understand and utilize them. This complexity may hinder organizations seeking a more intuitive API management solution like Apache APISIX. Conversely, AWS API Gateway's pay-as-you-go model provides flexibility but can result in unexpected costs for high API traffic or complex use cases, leading to cost escalations.

In contrast, Apache APISIX, an open-source API Gateway, offers a comprehensive feature set without additional costs or restrictions. Its open-source nature encourages active contributions from a diverse developer community, ensuring continuous improvements, bug fixes, and new features. APISIX has gained popularity among renowned companies like Amber Group, Airwallex, zoom, vivo, iQIYI, demonstrating its reliability and effectiveness in real-world applications.

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