Kong Enterprise goes into hybrid mode for 2.1 release


Kong has just rolled out version 2.1 of its service connectivity platform Kong Enterprise, which looks to provide better support for more complex distributed use-cases through additional insight and flexibility.

Meant as a simple way of managing APIs and microservices, the product is built upon the company’s open source project Kong, which is an API gateway or microservice abstraction layer, and integrates with a couple of other projects for extra functionality. In the current iteration, for example, Kong Enterprise has learned to work with Kong Studio plugins in Insomnia, a tool for testing and debugging APIs Kong acquired in 2019

The addition promises users an option to declaratively configure their runtimes so that those are able to adapt dynamically to changing network conditions across environments. To improve flexibility in such systems, Kong Enterprise 2.1 includes a hybrid mode to run data plane instances across data centers. It follows the approach of control plane/data plane separation, which does not rely on a deployment of database Cassandra that also spans the data planes for that. 

The latter would normally be used to get data plane configurations, however in hybrid mode, those are pushed directly from the control plane when necessary. This is supposed to help with performance issues as well as operational costs, Kong claimed. Speaking of issues, version 2.1 also comes with a new interface for Kong Vitals that not only provides dashboards for monitoring a Kong Enterprise deployment, but includes an option to generate reports from them for easy sharing.

To attract a larger customer base to Kong Enterprise, the team behind the platform has been busy getting Go PDK support up and running. As such, developers will finally be able to write plugins in Go, which is a bit more widespread than Lua, previously the only option.

The platform’s application registration has left the beta stage behind, so that users now have a more robust way of bundling backend services into an app that also supports “any OIDC-compliant” identity provider. App registration can be done either via Kong Manager or Kong Enterprise’s Developer Portal. The latter is helpful for companies looking to establish more of a self-service approach, as it allows developers to match apps to services and APIs without having to run everything by operations first.

A complete list of changes can be found in the Kong Enterprise documentation.

Kong is mostly known for its microservice abstraction layer of the same name and the recently CNCF-sandboxed universal service mesh Kuma.