APISIX Through Unity Group's Eyes: Simple to Use, Powerful, and Enjoyable to Use
Lukasz Biegaj, System Architect of Unity Group, shares the changes that APISIX has brought to their company in an interview. He describes APISIX as streamlined, potent, and pleasurable. By utilizing APISIX in their projects, the team and company can significantly reduce their time-to-market and swiftly deliver effective solutions.
- As the internal division of labor in Unity Group becomes more detailed, any cross-functional or cross-departmental changes cost more time and manpower for communication.
- The increasing projects lead to more complex multi-protocol communications that need to be supported.
- The closed-source solutions are costly and difficult to deploy.
- Addressing the problem of interdepartmental communication: improve overall efficiency and productivity within the organization.
- Shorter time-to-market: gain a competitive advantage and increase revenue.
- Easy environment setup accessible to development teams for quick prototyping, creation, and deployment of production-ready workloads: improve overall agility and responsiveness to changing business needs.
This article is created based on an interview with Lukasz Biegaj, the System Architect of Unity Group, as our guest. Being one of the leading providers of E-commerce solutions in Poland, Unity Group has been facing the challenge of interdepartmental communication, which has significantly increased their workload. Lukasz Biegaj provided us with a detailed overview of the challenges that their company faced before adopting APISIX, the reasons behind selecting APISIX after comparing it with other alternatives, how APISIX resolved their pain points, and an overall assessment of their experience using APISIX.
Unity Group is one of the largest providers of E-commerce solutions in Poland. The company exists for 25 years and has been providing technology for the digital transformation of enterprises. Most of their clients are E-commerce companies. They offer support in business and technology consulting, as well as software development. Before using APISIX, the major pain point of Unity Group is interdepartmental communication: one person provisioned and configured the infrastructure, and another person - a developer - used it. Every change required communication and arrangements. Moreover, setting up the monitoring properly was time-consuming.
Lukasz Biegaj is a System Architect working with a team of 11 DevOps engineers. They design, implement and launch large-scale sites mainly related to E-commerce. They often use cloud services and Kubernetes as a platform to launch applications.
A few years ago, the process of designing and implementing applications involved interdepartmental communication between the system administrator teams and the development teams. The former team was responsible for creating the infrastructure, installing the components, and setting up the deployment mechanisms, while the latter team focused primarily on writing code and deploying it by clicking a button.
However, in recent years, this separation has become less distinct with the emergence of roles like DevOps, and even developers themselves wanting to be involved in the deployment preparation and component selection.
From a technical perspective, almost all components that are deployed require some form of HTTP communication. A few years ago, they used simple web servers, like the Apache Web Server. As the projects grew, they started using load balancers, like HAProxy or NGINX as they supported HTTP/2 before Apache2 and could be used as a reverse proxy. They also tried some strict API Gateway solutions, but most were expensive and difficult to deploy and support. Unity Group rejected many closed-source solutions because the cost of implementing and maintaining them was high, not to mention the licensing issues.
Why They Chose APISIX
Lukasz Biegaj and his team always try to choose the best solutions for themselves and their customers, and the specific solutions change when a better one appears. They have been investing heavily in Kubernetes, and APISIX was mentioned as one of the projects implementing the new Gateway API. Being under the umbrella of the Apache Software Foundation was a very big advantage for APISIX. The other advantages of APISIX are fully demonstrated in subsequent testing and practice.
So far, they have been using and deploying APISIX for about one year. They deploy all instances of APISIX within an AWS Kubernetes cluster, utilizing the official Helm Charts and exposing it through an AWS Network Load Balancer. They terminate the SSL at the NLB so they can take advantage of AWS Certificate Manager. The APISIX Ingress Controller enables users to configure their routes independently, along with other Kubernetes application manifests. In addition, they leverage the built-in Prometheus plugin to process data metrics and generate alerting rules and dashboards to visualize the state of the application.
When asked "Were there any internal risks or additional costs involved with implementing APISIX?", Lukasz Biegaj confidently replied, " I don't think we took any risks. Granted, this was a new software, a new solution, but being an open-source one we could comfortably test it in a proof-of-concept scenario. It allows us to easily set up an environment that can be perused by development teams in many projects to quickly prototype, create and deploy production-ready workloads." Lukasz Biegaj highly praised the simplicity and ease of use of APISIX and affirmed its other advantages such as being Kubernetes-native and open-source.
Achievements after Using APISIX
For projects using the APISIX, the time-to-market is considerably shorter and Unity Group can deliver solutions more quickly.
Lukasz Biegaj said," We're very used to using open-source projects, and it is of great concern for us for the projects to be actively maintained. We've run into some issues with the Helm Charts at the beginning, but there either were fixed quickly (a bug report for one was already being fixed and merged) or our patches were quickly accepted into the main branch. In summary, we feel that the project is active, that it cares about its users and we currently have no concerns about its development."
The challenges faced by Unity Group are universally significant within the entire industry. From Lukasz Biegaj's perspective, the key challenge is: M A C H. Where M stands for Microservices, A for API First, C for Cloud Native, and H for Headless. It's a great trend, but it's also a great challenge. How to enable teams to focus on individual areas and how shift the performance where it's needed? How to make the connection to the infrastructure? APISIX is one of the tools that enable us to deliver such solutions.
"Simple to use, powerful, and enjoyable to use." - This is the evaluation of APISIX by Lukasz Biegaj, the system architect of Unity Group.
With its superior performance and Kubernetes-native and open-source features, APISIX has become the ultimate choice for Unity Group. APISIX allows Unity Group to easily set up an environment that can be accessed by development teams in multiple projects to quickly prototype, create, and deploy production-ready workloads, addressing the problem of interdepartmental communication and reducing time costs.
If you are facing the same problem as Unity Group, please feel free to contact us. By choosing APISIX, you will solve your problems effortlessly!