Comparing Gloo Gateway and Kong Architecture, Scalability and Performance, and Developer Experience

Organizations today need an API gateway that moves as quickly as they do, rapidly responding to market changes and infrastructure updates.

In our recent API gateway buyer’s guide, we’ve evaluated five of the leading API gateway solutions, including Gloo Gateway and Kong, and compared them against seven key capabilities.

In part 2 of our series comparing Gloo Gateway and Kong (see part 1 here), we’re looking at how each solution handles architecture, scalability and performance, and developer experience and documentation.


API gateway architecture must be able to support modern applications, providing confidence and the ability to run independently in a container, along with flexibility for scaling.

These are the API gateway architecture capabilities we compared:

  • Cloud-native design provides comprehensive microservices support, container orchestration, and/or Kubernetes support.
  • Virtual machine environments ensure efficient handling of traffic levels while maintaining security and ease of use.
  • ARM processor support enables applications to run efficiently on devices using this architecture.
  • Serverless function support helps with applications built in hybrid-cloud serverless environments.
  • Packaging and deployment gets organizations and individuals started quickly and easily.
  • Event-driven architecture offers seamless integration with services and systems based on specific events or conditions.
  • Gateway-to-gateway communication connects multiple gateways across services securely and efficiently.
  • Multi-tenancy and isolation make API gateway features available to those who need them while maintaining overall security.

Overall, Gloo Gateway gets a 4/4 for these offerings, while Kong gets a 3/4. Read the full breakdown in the API Gateway buyer’s guide.

Scalability and Performance

An API gateway must be able to handle the anticipated volume of incoming requests and ensure efficient and reliable communication between clients and services.

The API gateway scalability and performance capabilities we compared include::

  • Auto-scaling handles fluctuating levels of incoming traffic efficiently.
  • Load balancing distributes incoming traffic across multiple backend servers or services.
  • Latency and throughput ensures that API requests are processed responsively.
  • Resource overhead considers CPU utilization and memory, and how they affect a gateway’s processing and management tasks.
  • Resiliency allows for easily defined timeouts, retries, circuit breakers, and more.
  • High performance APIs (streaming and gRPC) help with integration and communication between clients and backend services.

Overall, Gloo Gateway gets a 4/4 for these offerings, while Kong gets a 3/4.

Developer Experience & Documentation

API gateways must be easily adopted by developers, limiting time spent onboarding and learning while providing a positive user experience.

These are the developer experience and documentation capabilities we compared in our API gateway buyer’s guide:

  • API catalog/developer portal provides a valuable resource for developers to better understand and use APIs.
  • DevOps/GitOps friendly allows for easy integration for developers.
  • GraphQL simplifies the creation and maintenance of GraphQL APIs.
  • Service discovery enables API gateways to adapt to changes in underlying infrastructure.

Overall, Gloo Gateway gets a 4/4 for these offerings, while Kong gets a 3/4.

Compare Every API Gateway Capability

To learn more about all of the capabilities we compared for Gloo Gateway and Kong, download our API gateway buyer’s guide.

A Buyer's Guide to API Gateways

For a better understanding of API gateways, take our API Gateway Basics course.