The Kubernetes API Gateway Buyer’s Guide

Unlocking the Power of Kubernetes

According to the “State of API Security Q1 Report 2023,” 94% of respondents have experienced security problems in production APIs over the past year, with 17% having experienced an API-related breach. Prioritizing API security with the best API Gateway for Kubernetes development is essential to avoid these proliferating security issues as API technology adoption expands.

But, where do you start when it comes to managing APIs in Kubernetes environments? Which API management solution is right for you? Which option is the best API Gateway for your needs that fits into the rest of your API lifecycle?

Download our Kubernetes API Gateway Buyer’s Guide for an in-depth analysis of the following so that you’ll walk away knowing the role an API Gateway plays, what the best API Gateway for Kubernetes environments is, and the pros and cons of each API Gateway solution you may be considering.

Download Kubernetes Buyer's Guide

What is an API Gateway?

An API Gateway is like a bridge in a microservices setup, connecting client apps to the services in the background. Think of it as a traffic cop for different ways apps talk to services. The best API Gateway for Kubernetes environments should act as a traffic management tool that gathers all these talking points into one convenient location, making it easier to manage requests, guide them to the right places, and ensure everyone understands each other. This not only increases security measures, but it also lets developers concentrate on building their services without dealing with the complex web of APIs.

Kubernetes developers need modern applications that can actually flourish in a Kubernetes environment. The guide dives into the differences you can expect between generic API Gateways and Kubernetes-centric ones to help users make the right decision.

How to choose the right API Gateway for your Kubernetes setup?

This guide will delve into the pivotal role an API Gateway plays in securing your API development activities, routing traffic, and providing a better developer experience all around. We’ll also walk you through key features you should look out for to select the best API Gateway for your environment. Here are a few

  • Scalability and performance
  • Security and authentication mechanisms
  • Traffic management (rate limiting, throttling)
  • Logging, monitoring, and analytics
  • Extensibility and plugins
  • Support for multiple protocols (gRPC, HTTP/2, WebSockets)

Do I need an API Gateway for Kubernetes?

When deploying applications on Kubernetes, an API Gateway can play a crucial role in managing APIs efficiently, enhancing scalability, and ensuring security. An API Gateway acts as a reverse proxy to accept all application programming interface (API) calls, aggregate the various services required to fulfill them, and return the appropriate result. In Kubernetes-based environments, this is particularly important as it can simplify the complexity of handling multiple microservices and different endpoints.

One of the key benefits of using an API Gateway in a Kubernetes environment is that it can provide centralized management of API services. This makes it easier to monitor and control access to your APIs, ensuring that only authorized users can access them. Additionally, an API gateway can handle tasks such as load balancing, caching, and request transformation, which can help to improve the performance and scalability of your application.

Another significant advantage of using an API Gateway in Kubernetes is enhanced security. The API Gateway can be configured to handle security concerns such as authentication, authorization, and encryption, protecting your backend services from potential threats.In other words, an API Gateway is a vital component in modern application development and deployment in Kubernetes-based environments. By providing centralized management, improving scalability, and enhancing security.

Best API Gateway for Kubernetes: A Comparative Analysis

Edge Stack API Gateway

Comprehensive Network Capabilities (Generic APIs required paid plugins)


Authentication (Generic APIs required paid plugins)

Advanced Rate Limiting (Generic APIs required paid plugins)


Admin Portal (Edge Stack is read-only or does code generation)

Mesh, Mocking, API Development Tool

No Other Infrastructure Required (Generic APIs can require a production-ready Postgres db for full functionality)

Integration and Compatibility

A proficient API Gateway must offer seamless integration with your current Kubernetes infrastructure, while also boasting compatibility with the entirety of your toolstack. In this guide, we will explore the essential integrations you should take into account, as well as delve into potential compatibility challenges that may arise if you opt for a generic API Gateway as opposed to one that is specifically tailored for Kubernetes environments.

Making Your Decision

Our guide is here to provide you with in-depth insights, but let's highlight the crucial points to consider when selecting an API Gateway tailored to your Kubernetes operations:

  • Steer clear of generic gateways.
  • Look for cost effective solutions
  • Be cautious of unsupported options that may lack scalability, including certain open-source alternatives.
  • Prioritize gateways with robust integration capabilities that align seamlessly with your tech stack and Kubernetes ecosystem.
  • Opt for a solution that is API-first, cloud-native, and meticulously crafted by Kubernetes developers expressly for their peers in the Kubernetes community.

Best API Gateway for Kubernetes

The best API Gateway for Kubernetes success is the one that solves your problem in an affordable, scaleable, and Kubernetes-focused way. We may be biased on using Edge Stack, but download our full buyer’s guide to see which one works best for your Kubernetes developer needs.

Edge Stack makes it very easy for us to manage endpoints across all our regions worldwide and is able to seamlessly adapt and work with every region’s 80 different endpoints, each with varying configuration requirements.

Nashon Steffen

Staff Infrastructure Development Engineer | Mercedes-Benz