Kong vs linkerd: What are the differences?
Kong: Open Source Microservice & API Management Layer. Kong is a scalable, open source API Layer (also known as an API Gateway, or API Middleware). Kong controls layer 4 and 7 traffic and is extended through Plugins, which provide extra functionality and services beyond the core platform; linkerd: Twitter-Style Operability for Microservices. linkerd is an out-of-process network stack for microservices. It functions as a transparent RPC proxy, handling everything needed to make inter-service RPC safe and sane--including load-balancing, service discovery, instrumentation, and routing.
Kong and linkerd belong to "Microservices Tools" category of the tech stack.
Some of the features offered by Kong are:
- Logging: Log requests and responses to your system over TCP, UDP or to disk
- OAuth2.0: Add easily an OAuth2.0 authentication to your APIs
- Monitoring: Live monitoring provides key load and performance server metrics
On the other hand, linkerd provides the following key features:
- Adaptive load-balancing
- Fine-grained instrumentation
- Abstractions over service discovery
Kong and linkerd are both open source tools. Kong with 22.2K GitHub stars and 2.71K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than linkerd with 5K GitHub stars and 499 GitHub forks.
What is Kong?
What is linkerd?
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What are the cons of using Kong?
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I use Kong because it reliably proxies traffic quickly with an assortment of pluggable features. The engineers behind the product are of the highest quality. The Company has cultivated the largest active open source community of any API gateway. They generally squash bugs in hours or days not weeks/months. Company engineers help community members through social avenues as well as supporting large enterprise. They heavily value their product and individuals as opposed to just solely growing enterprise license fees.
We needed a lightweight and completely customizable #microservices #gateway to be able to generate #JWT and introspect #OAuth2 tokens as well. The #gateway was going to front all #APIs for our single page web app as well as externalized #APIs for our partners.Contenders
We looked at Tyk Cloud and Kong. Kong's plugins are all Lua based and its core is NGINX and OpenResty. Although it's open source, it's not the greatest platform to be able to customize. On top of that enterprise features are paid and expensive. Tyk is Go and the nomenclature used within Tyk like "sessions" was bizarre, and again enterprise features were paid.Decision
We ultimately decided to roll our own using ExpressJS into Express Gateway because the use case for using ExpressJS as an #API #gateway was tried and true, in fact - all the enterprise features that the other two charge for #OAuth2 introspection etc were freely available within ExpressJS middleware.Outcome
We opened source Express Gateway with a core set of plugins and the community started writing their own and could quickly do so by rolling lots of ExpressJS middleware into Express Gateway
We're a small startup in San Francisco (team of 18 people). After spending lots of time building our core technology, it was time to bring it to life and deploy with several very large customers (500+ API requests/customer/minute).
We looked for a solid API management solution that would allow for easy authentication, quick installation and great logging features (requests and responses). After looking at various (very) expensive solutions out there, we ran into Kong.
After testing it for a few days, we deployed quickly to production to serve the needs of our customers. 3 weeks in, our experience has been great. Highly recommended to anyone who's looking for API management solutions.
P.s. Scored "Reliability" as "OK" for now with lack of data. Will definitely update once we've had Kong in production for a longer period of time.