Kong Konnect: The API Management Platform for the Cloud Native Era

IntVerse.io
11 min readJul 25, 2023

Kong Konnect is a cloud-native SaaS API lifecycle management platform that is designed from the ground up to simplify the process of building, securing, and managing APIs and services. It helps organizations securely publish, manage, and consume APIs across multiple platforms and architecture.

It is built on top of the Kong Gateway, an API gateway solution that provides a unified entry point for managing API traffic and provides several features that make it easy to manage APIs at scale. It is available as a subscription-based platform, where organizations pay for access to the platform's features, services, and support.

In this blog, we will explore how Kong Konnect works features and benefits of Kong Konnect:

Kong Konnect consists of two main distinct components, the control plane, and the data plane.

Control Plane is hosted in the cloud by Kong and offers centralized management, configuration, and monitoring of apis.

Data Plane is managed by the customer and it handles the processing and routing of API traffic.

Table to summarize key differences between Kong Konnect control plane and data plane:

There are a number of benefits of using Kong Konnect, including:

Ease of use: Kong Konnect is easy to use, even for organizations that are new to API management. The centralized management interface makes it easy to create, update, and delete APIs, as well as manage their configuration.

Security: Kong Konnect provides several features to help you secure your APIs, including authentication, authorization, and rate limiting. You can also use Kong Konnect to audit API traffic and identify security risks.

Scalability: Kong Konnect is designed to scale to meet the needs of even the largest organizations. It is also highly reliable, with a 99.9% uptime SLA.

Cloud-native: Kong Konnect is built on top of Kubernetes and is designed to be deployed in the cloud. This makes it easy to scale and manage your APIs as your needs grow.

Control Plane offers the following key features:

The Kong Konnect control plane is a centralized management plane for Kong Gateway. It stores all configuration data for APIs and plugins, and it distributes this data to runtime nodes. The control plane is hosted in the cloud by Kong, while the runtime engine, Kong Gateway, is managed by you within your preferred network environment.

The control plane is responsible for the following tasks:

  • Managing API configuration: The control plane stores all configuration data for APIs and plugins. This includes things like the API’s endpoint, the plugins that are enabled, and the configuration for those plugins.
  • Distributing configuration data: The control plane distributes configuration data to runtime nodes. This ensures that all runtime nodes have the same configuration data.
  • Managing runtime health: The control plane monitors the health of runtime nodes. This includes things like the runtime’s CPU usage, memory usage, and network connectivity.
  • Providing a management interface: The control plane provides a management interface that you can use to manage your APIs. This interface allows you to create and manage APIs, configure plugins, and monitor the health of your APIs.

The control plane is a critical component of Kong Konnect. It provides a centralized way to manage your APIs and ensure that they are always configured correctly.

Here are some of the benefits of using the Kong Konnect control plane:

  • Centralized management: The control plane provides a single place to manage all of your APIs. This makes it easy to track changes, troubleshoot problems, and roll out new features.
  • Improved visibility: The control plane provides centralized visibility into API configuration and runtime health. This information can help you to identify and troubleshoot problems more quickly.
  • Reduced costs: The control plane can help you to reduce the cost of managing APIs by centralizing configuration and management tasks.
  • Increased agility: The control plane can help you to be more agile by making it easier to deploy new APIs and features.

Konnect Runtime Manager is a module of Kong Konnect that allows you to manage your runtimes. A runtime is a Kong Gateway instance that is used to proxy API traffic. The Runtime Manager allows you to:

Create and manage runtime groups: A runtime group is a collection of runtimes that share the same configuration. This can be useful for isolating changes between teams or environments.

Deploy runtimes: The Runtime Manager allows you to deploy runtimes to different environments. This can be useful for rolling out changes to production or staging environments.

Monitor runtimes: The Runtime Manager allows you to monitor the health of your runtimes. This can help you to identify and troubleshoot problems.

Upgrade runtimes: The Runtime Manager allows you to upgrade your runtimes to the latest version of Kong Gateway. This can help you to keep your runtimes up-to-date with the latest security patches and features.

The Runtime Manager is a powerful tool that can help you to manage your runtimes more effectively. If you are using Kong Konnect, you should consider using the Runtime Manager to improve the flexibility and scalability of your API management solution.

Here are some of the benefits of using the Runtime Manager:

Centralized management: The Runtime Manager provides a single place to manage all of your runtimes. This makes tracking changes, troubleshooting problems, and rolling out new features easy.

Improved visibility: The Runtime Manager provides centralized visibility into runtime health. This information can help you to identify and troubleshoot problems more quickly.

Reduced costs: The Runtime Manager can help you to reduce the cost of managing runtimes by centralizing configuration and management tasks.

Increased agility: The Runtime Manager can help you to be more agile by making it easier to deploy new runtimes and features.

Kong Service Hub is a feature of Kong Konnect that provides a centralized way to manage and discover APIs. It allows you to:

Create and manage API products: An API product is a collection of APIs that are related to each other. You can use API products to group APIs together for easier management and discovery.

Publish API products to a Developer Portal: You can publish API products to a Developer Portal so that developers can easily find and consume your APIs.

Track API usage: Service Hub allows you to track API usage so that you can see how your APIs are being used and make informed decisions about how to improve them.

Configure API security: Service Hub allows you to configure API security so that you can protect your APIs from unauthorized access.

Service Hub is a powerful tool that can help you to manage and discover your APIs more effectively. If you are using Kong Konnect to manage your APIs, consider using Service Hub to improve the visibility and control of your API portfolio.

Here are some of the benefits of using Kong Service Hub:

Centralized management: Service Hub provides a single place to manage all of your APIs. This makes tracking changes, troubleshooting problems, and rolling out new features easy.

Improved visibility: Service Hub provides centralized visibility into API traffic, which can help you to identify and troubleshoot problems more quickly.

Reduced costs: Service Hub can help you to reduce the cost of managing APIs by centralizing configuration and management tasks.

Increased agility: Service Hub can help you to be more agile by making it easier to deploy new APIs and features.

Service Hub is a great way to improve the management and discovery of your APIs.

Kong Konnect Dev Portal is a customizable website that allows developers to locate, access, and consume API services. The Dev Portal enables developers to:

Browse and search API documentation: The Dev Portal provides a centralized location for API documentation. This makes it easy for developers to find the documentation they need to use your APIs.

Test API endpoints: The Dev Portal allows developers to test API endpoints directly from the Dev Portal. This makes it easy for developers to verify that your APIs are working as expected.

Manage their credentials: The Dev Portal allows developers to manage their credentials for your APIs. This makes it easy for developers to get started using your APIs without having to contact you for help.

The Kong Konnect Dev Portal is a powerful tool that can help you to improve the developer experience for your APIs. If you are using Kong Konnect to manage your APIs, consider using the Dev Portal to enhance the visibility and usability of your APIs.

Here are some of the benefits of using the Kong Konnect Dev Portal:

Improved developer experience: The Dev Portal provides a centralized location for API documentation, testing, and credential management. This makes it easy for developers to find the information they need to use your APIs.

Increased visibility: The Dev Portal provides visibility into how your APIs are being used. This information can help you to identify and troubleshoot problems more quickly.

Reduced costs: The Dev Portal can help you to reduce the cost of managing APIs by centralizing documentation and testing tasks.

Increased agility: The Dev Portal can help you to be more agile by making it easier to deploy new APIs and features.

Kong Konnect Monitoring and Analytics platform that allows you to track the performance, usage, and security of your APIs. The Kong Konnect monitoring and analytics platform includes the following features:

Traffic reports: Traffic reports provide you with detailed information about the traffic to your APIs, including the number of requests, the number of errors, and the average response time.

Latency reports: Latency reports provide you with information about the latency of your APIs, which can help you to identify bottlenecks and improve performance.

Healthchecks: Healthchecks allow you to monitor the health of your APIs and ensure that they are always available.

Security reports: Security reports provide you with information about the security of your APIs, which can help you to identify vulnerabilities and protect your APIs from attacks.

The Kong Konnect monitoring and analytics platform is a powerful tool that can help you to improve the performance, security, and reliability of your APIs. If you are using Kong Konnect to manage your APIs, consider using the monitoring and analytics platform to improve the visibility and control of your API portfolio.

Here are some of the benefits of using the Kong Konnect monitoring and analytics platform:

Improved visibility: The monitoring and analytics platform provides you with visibility into the performance, usage, and security of your APIs. This information can help you to identify and troubleshoot problems more quickly.

Reduced costs: The monitoring and analytics platform can help you to reduce the cost of managing APIs by centralizing monitoring and reporting tasks.

Increased agility: The monitoring and analytics platform can help you to be more agile by making it easier to deploy new APIs and features.

Here are some additional benefits of using Kong Konnect monitoring and analytics:

Custom reports: You can create custom reports to track the metrics that are most important to you.

Alerts: You can configure alerts to be notified when there are problems with your APIs.

Integrations: The monitoring and analytics platform can be integrated with other tools, such as Prometheus and Datadog.

The Kong Konnect monitoring and analytics platform is a powerful tool that can help you to improve the performance, security, and reliability of your APIs. If you are using Kong Konnect to manage your APIs, consider using the monitoring and analytics platform to improve the visibility and control of your API portfolio.

Kong Konnect Data Plane is the part of Kong Konnect that is responsible for proxying API traffic. It does this by receiving requests from clients, routing them to the correct backend servers, and returning responses to clients.

The Data Plane is implemented as a collection of Kong Gateway instances, which are distributed across a network.

The Data Plane is responsible for the following tasks:

  • Proxying API traffic: The Data Plane receives requests from clients, routes them to the correct backend servers, and returns responses to clients.
  • Monitoring API traffic: The Data Plane monitors API traffic and collects metrics, such as the number of requests, the number of errors, and the average response time.
  • Logging API traffic: The Data Plane logs API traffic and stores the logs in a database.
  • Securing API traffic: The Data Plane can be configured to use a variety of security features, such as authentication, authorization, and rate limiting.

The Data Plane is a critical component of Kong Konnect. It is responsible for proxying API traffic and ensuring that API traffic is secure and reliable.

Here are some of the benefits of using the Kong Konnect Data Plane:

  • Scalability: The Data Plane can be scaled horizontally to handle increasing traffic.
  • Performance: The Data Plane is designed to be performant and can handle high volumes of traffic.
  • Security: The Data Plane can be configured to use a variety of security features to protect APIs from unauthorized access.
  • Reliability: The Data Plane is designed to be reliable and can handle unexpected events, such as server outages.

A Runtime Group in Kong Konnect is a collection of API connectivity runtime instances sharing the same configuration and behavior space. Each runtime group acts as a separate control plane and can manage runtime configurations independently of any other group.

Runtime groups are useful for a variety of purposes, including:

Isolating changes between teams: If you have multiple teams working on different APIs, you can use runtime groups to isolate their changes from each other. This can help to prevent conflicts and ensure that each team’s changes are tested and deployed independently.

Creating staging environments: You can use runtime groups to create staging environments for testing changes before they are promoted to production. This can help to ensure that changes are stable and secure before they are exposed to production traffic.

Managing multiple environments: If you have multiple environments, such as development, staging, and production, you can use runtime groups to manage each environment’s configuration independently. This can help to ensure that each environment has the correct configuration for its specific needs.

There are two types of runtime groups in Kong Konnect:

Standard runtime groups: These are the most common type of runtime group. They allow you to manage a collection of runtime instances that share the same configuration.

Composite runtime groups: These are a type of runtime group that allows you to combine the configuration of multiple standard runtime groups. This can be useful for creating a single environment that contains the configuration of multiple teams or environments.

To create a runtime group in Kong Konnect, you can use the Konnect UI or the Kong Konnect API. Once you have created a runtime group, you can add runtime instances to it. You can then manage the configuration of the runtime group using the Konnect UI or the Kong Konnect API.

Runtime groups are a powerful way to manage API connectivity in Kong Konnect. They can be used to isolate changes between teams, create staging environments, and manage multiple environments. If you are using Kong Konnect to manage your APIs, you should consider using runtime groups to improve the flexibility and scalability of your API management solution.

Conclusion:

Kong Konnect’s Control Plane and Data Plane form a dynamic duo that empowers organizations with comprehensive API management capabilities. The Control Plane offers centralized management, configuration, and monitoring of APIs, while the Data Plane handles the reliable and scalable processing of API traffic. Together, they enable organizations to streamline API development, ensure security and governance, provide self-service options for developers, and optimize the performance of their API infrastructure. With Kong Konnect organizations can confidently drive their digital transformation initiatives, unlocking the full potential of their APIs efficiently and securely.

At IntVerse.io we play a crucial role in helping businesses implement and adopt complex software solutions like Kong, especially in large enterprise environments where multiple systems need to work together seamlessly. We can provide expertise in integrating Kong with existing infrastructure, configuring it to meet specific business needs, and ensuring it operates optimally in the overall technology ecosystem.

  1. Consulting: Understanding the business requirements and suggesting the appropriate use cases for Kong within the organization’s architecture.
  2. Installation and Configuration: Installing Kong and configuring it according to the specific needs of the business, including setting up security, access controls, and rate limiting.
  3. Integration: Integrating Kong with existing systems, applications, and services to enable smooth communication and data exchange.
  4. Customization: Developing custom plugins or extensions to extend Kong’s functionality as per the unique requirements of the business.
  5. Monitoring and Support: Setting up monitoring systems to track the performance of Kong and providing ongoing support and maintenance services.
  6. Training: Conducting training sessions for the organization’s teams to ensure they can effectively use and manage Kong after integration.

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