A New Foundation for Cloud-Native API Gateways: Kubernetes Gateway API and Backstage

The general availability announcement of the Kubernetes Gateway API marks a significant milestone in the evolution of gateway capabilities within the Kubernetes ecosystem. At the same time, the Kubernetes community has united in its endorsement of Backstage as the leading solution for internal developer platforms and portals. Both the Kubernetes Gateway API and Backstage are built from the ground up to encourage extensibility within the community. At Solo, we see a huge opportunity for Backstage and the Kubernetes Gateway API to form the foundation of modern, cloud-native API gateways in Kubernetes and we are excited to announce support for both Kubernetes Gateway API and Backstage within Gloo Gateway!

The Future of Ingress with Kubernetes Gateway API

kubernetes gateway api logo

The Kubernetes Gateway API represents a critical foundation for API gateways by introducing a standard, role-oriented, and highly adaptable approach to configuring and deploying gateways. One of the standout improvements the Kubernetes Gateway API offers over the existing Kubernetes Ingress is its role-oriented API structure. This empowers various personas within the infrastructure, platform, and application domains to take ownership of the aspects of the API that relate directly to their use cases. Another key feature of Gateway API is its design for extensibility – the API is focused on core gateway and routing use cases with the ability for implementations to extend with additional capabilities such as security, rate limiting, and transformation.

Following up on the GA announcement of Kubernetes Gateway API, Solo is excited to announce a fully conformant implementation of the Kubernetes Gateway API in the Gloo Gateway open source offering. We would love to get your feedback and participation with this exciting new support in Gloo Gateway. Our documentation has been updated with all the details of our implementation including a Getting Started guide to kick the tires.

The Future of Internal Developer Platforms with Backstage

If you haven’t come across it yet, Backstage is making waves in the Kubernetes community as a CNCF project dedicated to crafting Internal Developer Platforms. Backstage revolves around the concept of a well-defined user experience and a consistent approach to a core set of functionalities, all while maintaining the flexibility to seamlessly incorporate community-contributed or custom-built extensions.

Backstage covers the central use cases for collaboration around API gateways with its Software Catalog for discovering APIs, Software Templates for providing automated API onboarding flows with guardrails, and Tech Docs for providing API documentation next to the API implementation.

Backstage and Integration with Gloo Gateway

Download the Solo.io Backstage plugin and integrate with Gloo Gateway

Gloo Gateway is equipped with Solo.io’s plugins and offers full-fledged support for Backstage, spanning the entire API lifecycle for development and platform teams. This direct integration with Backstage aligns with our commitment to providing an API-first developer portal, enabling our customers to deploy both external and internal developer portals on a unified technology stack.

By combining support for Backstage with the Kubernetes Gateway API, our customers gain the ability to build, deploy, manage, and collaborate on APIs using the leading open-source technologies within the Kubernetes community.

What’s Next?

Backstage and the Kubernetes Gateway API have firmly established themselves as foundational pillars for a cloud-native API gateway, with both projects full of innovation in their respective roadmaps. Among the most interesting areas is the expansion of the Kubernetes Gateway API beyond its traditional north-south ingress capabilities to encompass east-west service-to-service communication through the introduction of the GAMMA API. With real traffic flowing in every direction, providing a single foundation for both north-south and east-west traffic will help improve security, resiliency, and observability for any containerized application.

At Solo, we see a tremendous opportunity to extend a standard API for all traffic directions with the enterprise policies and features our customers require in both Gloo Gateway and Gloo Mesh. When combined with Backstage, they will provide development and platform teams with unprecedented control and visibility for all traffic in their enterprise.