Frequently Asked Questions


Why Ambassador Edge Stack?

Kubernetes shifts application architecture for microservices, as well as the development workflow for a full-cycle development. Ambassador is designed for the Kubernetes world with:

  • Sophisticated traffic management capabilities (thanks to its use of Envoy Proxy), such as load balancing, circuit breakers, rate limits, and automatic retries.
  • API management capabilities such as a developer portal and OpenID Connect integration for Single Sign-On.
  • A declarative, self-service management model built on Kubernetes Custom Resource Definitions, enabling GitOps-style continuous delivery workflows.

We've written about the history of Ambassador, Why Ambassador In Depth, Features and Benefits and about the evolution of API Gateways.

What's the difference between the Ambassador API Gateway and the Ambassador Edge Stack?

The Ambassador API Gateway was the name of the original open-source project. As the project evolved, we realized that the functionality we were building had extended far beyond an API Gateway. In particular, the Ambassador Edge Stack is intended to provide all the functionality you need at the edge -- hence, an "edge stack." This includes an API Gateway, ingress controller, load balancer, developer portal, and more.

How is Ambassador Edge Stack licensed?

The core Ambassador Edge Stack is open source under the Apache Software License 2.0. The GitHub repository for the core is Some additional features of the Ambassador Edge Stack (e.g., Single Sign-On) are not open source and available under a proprietary license.

Can I use the add-on features for Ambassador Edge Stack for free?

Yes! The core functionality of the Ambassador Edge Stack is free and has no limits whatsoever. If you wish to use one of our additional, proprietary features such as Single Sign-On, you can get a free community license for up to 5 requests per second. Please contact sales if you need more than 5 RPS.

For more details on core unlimited features and premium features, see the editions page.

How does Ambassador use Envoy Proxy?

Ambassador uses Envoy Proxy as its core proxy. Envoy is an open-source, high-performance proxy originally written by Lyft. Envoy is now part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

Is Ambassador Edge Stack production ready?

Yes. Thousands of organizations, large and small, run Edge Stack in production. Public users include Chick-Fil-A, ADP, Microsoft, NVidia, and AppDirect, among others.

What is the performance of Edge Stack?

There are many dimensions to performance. We published a benchmark of Ambassador performance on Kubernetes. Our internal performance regressions cover many other scenarios; we expect to publish more data in the future.

What's the difference between a service mesh (such as Istio) and Ambassador Edge Stack?

Service meshes focus on routing internal traffic from service to service ("east-west"). Ambassador focuses on traffic into your cluster ("north-south"). While both a service mesh and Ambassador can route L7 traffic, the reality is that these use cases are quite different. Many users will integrate Ambassador with a service mesh. Production customers of Ambassador have integrated with Consul, Istio, and Linkerd2.


How do I get help for Edge Stack?

We have an online Slack community with thousands of users. We try to help out as often as possible, although we can't promise a particular response time. If you need a guaranteed SLA, we also have commercial contracts. Contact sales for more information.

What do I do when I get the error no healthy upstream?

This error means that Ambassador could not connect to your backend service. Start by verifying that your backend service is actually available and responding by sending an HTTP response directly to the pod. Then, verify that Ambassador is routing by deploying a test service and seeing if the mapping works. Then, verify that your load balancer is properly routing requests to Ambassador. In general, verifying each network hop between your client and backend service is critical to finding the source of the problem.


We’re here to help. If you have questions, join our Slack, contact us, or request a demo.