Akamai API Gateway vs. Kong Comparison

Which is the best API Gateway provider for you?

November 17, 2022

Written by
Louis-Victor Jadavji, Cofounder of Taloflow

Who should you choose and why?

✋ Most important consideration

  • Akamai has a great CDN, but its gateway service is much less feature-rich compared to Kong’s.

🤔 Strongly consider Akamai API Gateway over Kong if

  • You integrate with Ping Identity for access management.
  • You need to prioritize traffic based on the urgency of the API calls. 
  • You want to have better token-based authentication and digest-based authentication.

🤔 Strongly consider Kong over Akamai API Gateway if

  • You want better support for protocol conversion.
  • You want better support for SAML (an XML-based open standard for transferring data between two parties).
  • Securing SOAP-based web services using WS-security is a strategy you want to employ.

📝 Other Notes

  • Given its dominance in the CDN space, Akamai’s API Gateway has very good support for tooling related to the Akamai CDN.
  • Kong is better for gRPC (Google Remote Procedure Calls).
  • Kong uses Nginx, making it a generally better performer compared to Akamai.

Akamai API Gateway

Akamai API Gateway is a highly suitable solution for content delivery and securing public APIs. It distinguishes itself with its robust documentation, which is more comprehensive compared to many other providers. This documentation can assist users in understanding and navigating the platform's features and capabilities more effectively. Akamai's focus on content delivery and API security also ensures that APIs remain secure while providing fast, reliable access to services. Its extensive documentation aids users in implementing these security features and managing their APIs, thus making Akamai a strong contender in the API management market.

Kong Gateway

Kong’s API Gateway delivers high performance while providing a level of deployment flexibility that is much appreciated by software engineers. The service is built on NGINX Open Source and maintains a relatively small footprint. However, it is essential to note that this solution requires the use of Lua scripts and external databases to handle gateway configurations and API policies. Despite these requirements, Kong’s API Gateway's high performance and flexibility make it an attractive solution in the realm of API management.

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Feature Comparison

Integration With Other Services

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About the Author

Louis-Victor Jadavji (or "LV") is a recognized leader in the cloud services industry. He's helped 50+ digital native companies like ModusBox, Later, and NS1 choose the right cloud stack for their applications. His work has been featured in Forbes (30 Under 30 All-Star), HuffPost, The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, and Inc. Magazine.

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