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Important Features of an API Gateway

The API gateway is a vital part of any modern cloud computing environment. It is a system that enables the management and protection of all types of applications. It also provides many benefits, including high availability, scalability, and security. In this article, we’ll discuss these some of the major features, as well as how they can be used to help your business.


Managing APIs can be a challenging task. Whether it’s an internal service or an external one, you’ll want to ensure that everything is working well. You can do this by monitoring your API gateway. The metric that you’re most likely to see in this chart is the number of requests.

This chart will include information on your API, the path you’re sending requests on, the time spent making API calls, and the HTTP status codes your API is sending. It’s also important to note that the API Gateway is limited usually.


Rate-limiting on API gateways allows API gateways to throttle requests when they exceed the limits that are configured. This can be a convenient way to control traffic, as well as prevent malicious overuse of APIs. Depending on the amount of traffic that you need to limit, rate-limiting can be implemented at source, sink, or middleware.

The process of limiting a request is similar to that of using a quota. However, the difference between a quota and a rate limit varies with request volume and backend latency.

For example, a developer may choose to configure a rate limit of 10 requests per minute. If a user issues two more requests within the first second, the limit is reached. Once a quota is reached, an error message is returned to the client.

Rate-limiting can also be used to prevent friendly-fire DoS attacks. It does not have sophisticated support for these cases.

A Floating Time Window algorithm can be used to set a rate limit for each throttling filter. The algorithm uses a unique cache for each filter. Alternatively, a leaky bucket algorithm can be used. Leaky buckets use a queue to smooth out requests.

API Gateways can be configured to return a HTTP 429 status code to clients when too many requests arrive. When a request reaches the quota, the request is queued for processing later.

High availability

When building a new API gateway, high availability should be considered. It’s a requirement for an API gateway to operate efficiently. Downtime can cost thousands of dollars to some companies. By building an API gateway with high availability, your business can avoid the risks of a system outage.

High availability refers to the ability to continue operating the system even when some components fail. This is achieved by clustering your nodes. In addition, you need to have a data store that stores configuration details. The store should be replicated across multiple regions.

Another aspect to consider is load balancing. The number of nodes in your cluster will depend on the level of availability you want. You should also consider caching. Cached data ensures high availability.

Moreover, you should consider implementing rate limiting. This will help you manage heavy traffic. Also, timeouts on calls can help control the volume of traffic.

In addition, you should consider using a data store for your API gateway. This store can contain data like the node count and configuration details. However, you should be aware that in order to have high availability, the data store needs to be replicated.

Load balancing

An API gateway is an application-server that routes API requests to the right backend service. It may also offer authentication and other services.

As an application-server, it is typically deployed as a software instance on a virtual machine. However, its usage may vary depending on the nature of your applications.

For example, in the Netflix ecosystem, it is used to distribute traffic between a large number of different devices. This type of load balancer can handle up to a million requests per second.

When designing a microservice architecture, it is important to understand how an API gateway and a load balancer work. If implemented incorrectly, the performance and reliability of your system could be negatively impacted.

A load balancer is a server that is designed to distribute incoming network traffic among several servers. The algorithms that the load balancer uses to distribute the traffic are meant to optimize the response time and performance of the system.

In contrast, an API gateway is designed to perform more complex functions. Such functions include authentication and authorization, input validation, and centralized middleware.

Both the gateway and the load balancer are capable of improving the performance, scalability, and availability of your system. However, they are also quite different.

Threat protection

In order to protect your API gateway from attacks, you need to understand how to use the tools available. Often times, the best solutions come from an integrated approach.

For example, API gateways can be a great place to log client access requests, which will reveal IP addresses involved in an attack. You can then export the information to a SIEM tool to help identify trends.

One of the most common vulnerabilities is SQL Injection. This vulnerability allows attackers to read and alter data in your database.

An XSS attack is another risk you should be aware of. This attack involves a compromised website that injects malicious code into the content. If your system is not patched, this can lead to high-level access to confidential data.

To combat this issue, you can configure your API gateway to protect against denial of service attacks. For instance, you can create a throttling policy that limits incoming requests to 150 per minute. By limiting your API requests, you can prevent misuse of resources and avoid performance lags.

Response transformation

A Response transformation for API gateway allows developers to alter the shape and content of HTTP requests. It is used to address security concerns, deprecated specifications, and documentation-reality misalignment.

Gateway level transformations of requests are a critical part of any API gateway. By transforming the request before it reaches integration, API gateways can ensure that they are providing the correct responses. Whether you are implementing a transition period, security best practices, or document-reality misalignment, you can use a transformation to accommodate stragglers and implement new specs.

API gateways support JSON to JSON transformations out of the box. They also support specifying models for response bodies. This helps to generate SDKs for strongly-typed languages. You can also hide the original URLs in the HTTP response.

The Gateway also supports a range of transformation policies. These include mutating requests before forwarding them to downstream services. For instance, you can add extra status codes to the API response. In addition, you can add custom header values to the response.

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